Monday, February 18, 2008

Boskone 2008 Trip Report

Sometimes I'm attacked by shyness. When this happens, I feel like I'm trapped inside a Meow Mix commercial. I look inside my brain for something witty, intelligent, or at least semi-articulate to say, and my brain supplies me with, "Meow-meow-meow meow, meow-meow-meow meow."

So not helpful.

But I've wanted to be a writer for so long that I'm determined not to let the shyness win at book events. I force myself to be brave enough to let the real Sarah out. The real Sarah loves people -- she loves meeting people, talking to people, hearing their stories. The real Sarah gets giddy over fantasy books and marine mammals and rosy sunsets and chocolate-covered raisins. The real Sarah sings silly songs off-pitch with little provocation and isn't afraid to talk in public about how much writing means to her.

The real Sarah was in attendance at Boskone this past weekend. Boskone is a Boston-area science fiction and fantasy convention, and it is one of my favorites because it's attended by three YA powerhouses: Bruce Coville, Tamora Pierce, and Jane Yolen. I adore this trio. They write life-shaping books, and they are all brilliant and funny and kind. And I was mildly petrified (and incredibly excited) because I was scheduled on programming with them!

Here's photographic proof:

Me, on a panel with amazing people

I loved every one of my authorly events this weekend. I was on a total of four panels. My favorite was "The Works of Bruce Coville" with Tamora Pierce, Jane Yolen, and Mary Ellen Wessels. We each had a microphone for this panel, and I commented that we could be a barbershop quartet. So naturally, we all picked up our microphones and started to sing. Jane took melody, "Bru-u-u-ce Coville, Brucey-baby." I did the do-wop. I think that was my favorite panel ever.

And after the panel, I got to chat with two terrific girls who had been sitting in the front row. And one of them was holding a copy of my book! T
heir mom was nice enough to take a picture of the three of us:

Sunday morning was also awesome because I was on the "YA Novel" panel with Tammy, Bruce, Jane, and Stephen Fisher. I was just so giddy to be on that panel that light nearly started beaming out of my curls.

Me, so excited that my brain nearly exploded

After the YA Novel panel (aka the Panel of Awesome Delight), I had my kaffeeklatsch. A kaffeeklatsch is a meet-the-author event where you can sign up to sit at a table and chat with an author for an hour. Maximum sign-up is ten. I'd been a bit worried that no one would sign up and I'd be sitting by myself talking to the tablecloth!

But I had ten. A completely full kaffeeklatsch!!!

I was so thrilled that I nearly hugged them all. (I admit it: I'm a hugger.) After the kaffeeklatsch, I did a reading from Out of the Wild, and that was super-fun. This is my new book, coming out in June, and I'd only read from it once before (at World Fantasy Convention). But everyone laughed at all the appropriate places, so that made me very happy.

I also had lots of great conversations with super-awesome people in between my authorly events (and also on the train ride home). I won't list them all here for fear I'll forget someone, but if you're one of those people... hello! I loved talking with you! Hope to see you again soon!

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At 4:27 PM, Blogger janeyolen said...

Just to say, Sarah was adorable and not at all shy about speaking up on the panel. The Du wop song was a great hit. And I hope we all get to do this again some time soon.


At 7:57 PM, Blogger Ryan Freebern said...

It was great to see you again, Sarah! You didn't strike me as shy at all, but then again, I'm generally terribly shy myself so maybe I'm not the best one to judge.

I enjoyed the reading from "Out of the Wild," and I'm looking forward to getting a copy as soon as I can.

See you at Readercon, maybe?

At 10:53 PM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Jane: Aw, shucks. Thanks so much. It was wonderful seeing you this weekend. I had so much fun and can't wait to do it again. Du-wop du-wop...

Ryan: Great to see you too! I'm so glad you enjoyed my reading. Thanks so much for coming. And yes, I will be at Readercon this summer. See you there!

At 11:57 PM, Blogger Q said...

Would that I could have been there! Alas, plane tickets are expensive and I am poor. And I currently can't take time off from real life.

I'm shy too, don't worry.

At 4:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My daughter and I had a blast at your kaffeklatsch (she was the almost-teenager sitting next to you). :) Thank you so much! She can't wait for "Out of the Wild"...

At 5:13 PM, Blogger Enna Isilee said...

I'm almost jealous. But I got to spend the weekend with Gail Carson Levine and a bunch of others.

Then again... Tamora is one of my favorite authors, and so are you... maybe I am a bit jealous. ;)

At 6:33 PM, Blogger Laini Taylor said...

Wow, what a panel, Sarah! And a comment right up there from Jane Yolen! Wowee! Sounds great -- and the hugging too (hug!)

At 7:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are some pictures of you at the kaffeklatsch among my Boskone pictures.

Feel free to use them in any way you would like.

At 8:38 AM, Blogger amysue said...

Emily (my 12 year old daughter) was thrilled to meet and speak with you and IMed all her friends the minute she got home. That is the ones she didn't actually call from the dealers room after you were so kind to show her the ARC of Out of the Wild. She's already written a note on her calendar for June to not forget to find it!

At 8:55 AM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Q: Totally understand. I always want to attend everything, and it's just not possible.

Shira: So glad to hear it! I really enjoyed meeting both of you. Hope to see you again at future cons.

Enna Isilee: Gail Carson Levine! Very cool! Where did you go that you got to see her?

Laini: Thanks! Hugs to you too! And hello to the gummy bear!

Liamstliam: Cool! Thanks! I forgot to take any photos of the kaffeeklatsch.

AmySue: So cool to hear! That's awesome! It was a pleasure meeting both you and Emily.

At 4:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats. I'd love to meet Jane Yolen, whose journal I read all the time. But I don't fly, silly me. And it would be a long drive! Good luck with your work.

At 8:50 PM, Blogger Enna Isilee said...

Sarah, a conference in Utah called "Life, The Universe, and "Everything.

At 5:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are the most adorable author ever! It's the hair maybe???

I would sing doo wop with you anytime. I will read the book too - hoping that I am getting a vacation sometime from the never-ending stress that is preschool re-accreditation with conferences right on top plus supervising (terrific) student teacher. Am looking forward to the book though!! Cheers!!!

PS: "I made it into a real author's blog!??? Waaaay coool!!!" she says with her inside the head voice so as not to come off all "fan grrrl"

At 9:44 AM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Jane: Thanks for the good wishes!

Enna Isilee: Looks like a great event. Wish I could've been there!

Mary Ellen: Pleasure meeting you (and singing do-wop)! Best of luck with the re-accreditation!


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