By Alaska. Posted in Alaska, Switcheroo | 1 Comment »
Hello friends! I just got back from the most amazing trip! I was lucky enough to go to the ALAN conference again this year. To refresh your memory, this is a conference with the best librarians and teachers from all over the country. If that wasn’t good enough, there are also some of the best young adult authors! It’s like my dream! You may have read my blog from last year, if not check it out here.
Anyways, the conference was at the most magical place on Earth. Well, it wasn’t actually at Disney World, but it was in Orlando. The people of Disney were amazing, but I’ve got to say, something about hearing “Have a magical day” repeatedly made me want to kick something, or someone. I’m not proud, just honest. Anyways, the hotel where the conference was held was amazing, but large, and hard to navigate (at least for me, I’m directionally challenged). I stayed with fellow blogger Kelli, Switcheroo, and one of the most amazing teachers ever, Daria Plumb who teaches at Riverside Academy in Dundee. She has an amazing blog and website, so check them out.
There are so many amazing parts to this conference, I can’t even begin to pick favorites, oh, I guess I can. It’s the reception. It’s the opening night of the conference, and we get to mix and mingle with rock stars. I don’t mean Bono, although that would be cool. My version of rock stars are Matt de la Pena, Ally Carter, Jack Gantos, Ellen Hopkins, Lauren Myracle, David Levithan and Rachel Cohn and many, many more. It’s so amazing. I walk around in shock taking pictures like a paparazzo. You don’t believe me, I was too afraid to approach David Levithan (author of amazing books like Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Will Grayson, Will Grayson, so I just had Switcheroo take his picture like a stalker. It didn’t come out great, but here it is:
I realized that you guys may want to see photographic proof that I was rubbing shoulders with these genius minds, so got a little braver, and started speaking to people! Here are Switcheroo and I with Ellen Hopkins, that’s right The Ellen Hopkins, author of Crank, Burned, Impulse and many more!
We had the most amazing conversation with Ellen; we told her how her books were some of the most commonly stolen books. I think we surprised her when we told her this was a good thing. Not the stealing of books, don’t do that! But, the fact that her books are so important to people, that they feel that they need to keep them. This brings me to an exciting contest to tell you all about, a scavenger hunt of sorts. Another one of the best things about this conference is that they give us a giant box of free books! Here’s a pic of me with all the boxes of books the night before just making sure they were there.
And they are good books, amazing books! Some are even advance reading copies (ARCs), which mean we get to read them before they are even published! Switcheroo and I were talking, and decided it would be really fun to give some of these books to you guys! Well, we always do that, but in a new way. We are going to be putting little slips in some of the authors books we heard speak, and if you find one, you win a free book! One of the books we’re giving away is a signed copy of Ellen Hopkins newest book, Fallout! That’s right, no one needs to steal this, we’re giving it away!
We also had a lovely chat with Lauren Myracle about sisters and familial relationships. She has a new book coming out called Shine that sounds amazing, and just might be a giveaway at some point! Check out some of her books here and check out the photo below:
We topped the amazing evening off chatting with Ally Carter! I just loved Heist Society and all of her other books, and I’m sure you all do too! I may have creeped her out a bit by over sharing how much I know about her. I read her blog, I can’t help that I know what her kitchen cabinets look like. I mean, I know it’s weird, but that’s how it is with authors these days, and I love it!
We’ll be talking a lot more about Jack Gantos coming up in the spring, but I thought I’d post a pic of him too, how cute are his glasses? Love them! Also, he gave me his card, you know because that happens every day. And he pulled it out of somewhere like a magic trick, it was amazing! He really wants to come to Monroe next year, how cool would that be?
Wow, all of that and I haven’t even gotten to the bulk of the conference yet! I’ll tell you a little bit about it and save the rest for later. The bulk of the conference is hearing a ton of awesome YA authors speak, does it get any better? I think not. There are also amazing break out sessions where you get to connect with fellow librarians and teachers, in short, it’s amazing! We also got to attend the reception for the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award (Roomie Daria Plumb chaired the committee for the award this year) where Kristin Cashore won for her amazing book Fire. Read my review here. As I was getting my book signed, I felt the need to spill my guts to Kristin Cashore. I think her face says it all:
And a similar thing happened when Switcheroo was getting her book signed by the super amazing Robin Brande:
I promise you every time I ask the authors if we creep them out, they claim that we don’t and that they love it. So, hopefully they’re telling the truth and we are not on any restraining orders.
P.S. I learned two other things while in Orlando:
1. Don’t buy Goofy’s Sour Gummies, they taste like poison. Trust me, I tried every flavor, and they still taste like posion.
2. I’m no longer indifferent to tomatoes, I like them now. Well, provided they are swimming with mozzarella cheese.