Sunday, July 24, 2011

This Is Teen Event Miami Recap!

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to get off from work and got to go to the This Is Teen event at Books & Books in Miami, Florida. Five us piled in my little car and drove down 2 and a half hours to Meg Cabot, Libba Bray and Maggie Stiefvater speak about their new novels coming out and answer some of our questions. It was a really amazing event.
Ashley, Andi and Jackie piled into the back of my car
Since we were driving, we figured we'd make a day out of the whole thing. We got to Miami at around 2:00 and walked around Book & Books for a bit. I talked to an employee and got the low down on the event that night. Then we met up with my friend from Miami Maggie and headed over to The Bookstore in the Grove and Cheesecake Factory for a delicious dinner!
Maggie, Ashley, Brian, Andi and Jackie outside on the street where The Cheesecake Factory is
Jackie waiting inside The Cheesecake Factory
My husband I inside The Cheesecake Factory
Maggie, me and Ashley at The Cheesecake Factory
Ashley and Maggie holding up their drinks 
My husband Brian and I posing with ours
We were really hot by the time we sat down to eat and were grateful for the cold drinks and a/c. We ate and left there in time to get seats for the This Is Teen event which had just started by the time we arrived back. We were there 45 minutes early and still the first few rows were taken! It was sweltering inside the room there and it just got hotter as more people poured in.
Me holding up the flyer in our seats

No matter though, because it was awesome! For her birthday present, a 15 year old girl got to introduce the three authors.
The lucky birthday girl
All three amazing authors came out, looking very composed for the hot temperatures. Maggie Stiefvater took the mic first and told us a little bit about her book series and answered the two questions she gets asked most often.
Maggie Stiefvater talking
The first was, why write Shiver? To this, she responded (very funnily) that she read The Time Travelers Wife the second time around and even though she knew what was going to happen preceded to bawl even though she never cries during movies or books. That doesn't sound funny but her story was hilarious.
Next, she told us a little story about why she chose to write about werewolves. She talked about going on a book tour to Hungry and they asked if she'd like to meet a few wolves so she did and how majestic and fascinating they were. She was particularly interested in their howl and pack mentality. This was funny too though I seem to be living out the funny parts.
Next up, Meg Cabot took the mic and told us a bit about her new series Abandon. After she very princesslike (as she reminded us since she is one) got some water for all three authors and someone in the audience.
She explained the importance of loving the book you are writing now as she has so many series out and a little about her journey to publishing.
Then, Libba Bray took the mic and began by sharing one of her embarrassing moments as an adolescence.
 She explained about going to the pool during the summer when she was 15 and trying to copy this commercial of a woman drinking a bottle of water then diving into the pool and popping up seductively.
Her seductive pose
The problem was, she was blind and had to jump in without her glasses so she didn't see the metal bar above the pool when she popped up. Her head colliding with the metal caused a loud clang and a major pain. Afterwards, we play mad libs in order to re-write the synopsis of her novel. We came up with a very hilarious Eat, Pray, and Thrust as part of an outcome and one of the questions was when the authors were going to start on THAT book.
Then, the authors answered a few audience questions. Afterwards, the bookstore played a game with the author where they asked them questions about each other. In the end, Meg Cabot came out victorious and was giving some very summer garb to wear.
The store gave us group letters so we waited around for a while to get our books signed.
My group of six stood in a circle with our piles of books
When it was finally our turn, we were ushered into another room where the authors were waiting for us, pens at the ready. Here is where I got to give the authors my gifts I had made for them. I even wrapped them in pretty boxes:
Pink is Meg Cabot, red is Maggie Stiefvater, and orange is Libba Bray
I didn't exactly follow the rules as Maggie Stiefvater informed us we were supposed to give her all the gifts but she was first up so she got her gift first!
That there is a wolf howling at a snowflake cut out from a quarter. It's then attached to a clip and it became a key chain. Maggie Stiefvater asked me if it was Meg Cabot's gift first because she wanted to open Meg Cabot's but I think she was pretty happy with her own too!
Me and Maggie Stiefvater
Maggie Stiefvater also recognized me from online. I talked about this a while ago but I'd written a review for Linger that she commented on on Shelfari. She remembered it!

Next up was Meg Cabot! For her, I also had a key chain custom created!
That is a tombstone with a bird on it and the "A" from the cover. Tristan over at Reads With Reckless Abandon helped me figure out what to put on this key chain since I hadn't read Meg Cabot's book (though I have now!).
Meg Cabot and I with her gift and my pile of books
Libba Bray's line was last and man was it huge. Want to know why? Because she was spending a few minutes speaking to each person, taking loads of pictures and finding out who they are. 
For Libba Bray, I asked the artist to fashion the cow head after the one on Going Bovine. I think it turned out really well and Libba Bray loved it! Seriously, she thought it was really cool and even said her husband and son (known on her blog as The Boy) were going to go crazy for it too. This meant a lot because Libba Bray is really the first YA author I started reading before my bookstore even put her novels in the YA section. She's what brought me over there and fostered my love.
Afterwards, my husband took my left over books (we could only bring two from home) and had Ms. Bray sign those and handed her a travel book of Turkey (since she asked for turkey during the signing). Then, he begin chatting with her about entering a contest on her blog once upon a time ago. He actually one part of it and my name got put into one of her short stories. She remembered his screen name and she was so excited she got to meet "eeglfthr" and "the Amber" that her drug addict character is based off of! That short story will be coming out in a collection of short stories soon.
Libba Bray and I
So it was a really good night and totally worth the drive. We had loads of fun and it was everything I was hoping for and more! I loved meeting these amazing authors that inspire me everyday with their words. 

Did you go? I'd love to hear about your experience or maybe your favorite signing with another author!


  1. Awesome post Amber!
    Thank you very much for sharing & for the pictures.
    All the best to you & yours,
    RK Charron

  2. Wow this looks like so much fun. And those gifts you gave were very thoughtful and fun! :)

  3. What an AWESOME recap of the event! It sounds like you had an amazing time meeting the authors!! And that was so incredibly sweet of you to give those beautiful gifts to them! :)


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