Monday, July 21, 2008

Readercon, Northboro Library, and Fitchburg Trip Report

One Reason Why I'm Glad I'm a Writer

After arriving at my dad's house last Thursday night...

Me: "I have to wake up early tomorrow. Maybe I'll see you before you leave for work?"

Dad: "What time are you leaving?"

Me: "My talk is at 8:30 in Fitchburg. I think I'm going to leave by 7. What time do you leave for work?"

Dad: "5:30."

More Reasons Why I'm Glad I'm a Writer

This weekend, I had three book events:

AP Institute at Fitchburg State College

On Friday morning, I spoke with a class at an AP teacher training institute and had the chance to thank one of my high school English teachers (Ms. Tsang, who was teaching the class) for believing in me and encouraging me. How often do you get to say thanks to someone like that? I'm so pleased I was able to do this.

Northboro Free Library

On Friday afternoon, I talked about and read from Out of the Wild at the Northboro Free Library (my childhood library and
the library that appears in chapter seven of Into the Wild). I think this was one of my absolute favorite book events. To understand why, check out this photo of the audience:

My Heroes

There are more people on the sides (maybe four or five more girls on either side) that I didn't manage to fit in the photo. But the cool thing isn't just the size of the audience on a random Friday afternoon. No, the cool thing is this:

None of these people are related to me.

Okay, one of them is a childhood friend who I haven't seen since fifth grade, but the rest... They came because they like my books. Or because the librarians bribed them to come so that I wouldn't feel unloved. Either way, I want to thank everyone who came. You made it a really special day for me. I hope that you use the bribe money to purchase something extra-nice for yourself. Like a chandelier composed entirely of gummy bears. (Seriously. It exists. How awesome is that?)


Friday evening, I began my weekend as a progr
am participant at Readercon. (Readercon is a Boston-area science fiction and fantasy convention with an emphasis on books -- in other words, it's not about costumes, LARPs, filking, or panels about Babylon 5, but it is about 2am discussions on the narrative function of werewolves.)

I did seven programming items (a reading, an autographing, a kaffeeklatsch, and three panels) and talked with precisely one bajillion people over the course of the weekend. I had a fantastic time.

One highlight was my kaffeeklatsch (a "meet-the-author" session, in which con-goers can sign up to chat for an hour with a particular author). People came! I was shocked. And they even laughed at my jokes, wh
ich is even more shocking since one thing I learned from school visits is that my sense of humor is precisely fourth grade. Again, I suspect the Northboro librarians of bribing people...

Another highlight was hanging out with the YA author brigade. Friday night, I was up to the wee hours with Holly Black, Theo Black, Cassandra Clare, Josh, and Sarah Rees Brennan discussing werewolves and other pressing issues. Saturday evening, I had a lovely time out to dinner with Sarah, who talks exactly like her hilarious blog and is super-awesome. And Saturday afternoon, after a YA panel, a group of us lingered in the panel room for about two hours talking about writing and books. Very cool and very fun.

The YA Brigade (Cassandra Clare, Nancy Werlin, Me, Holly Black, Sarah Rees Brennan)

From beginning to end, it was a great weekend. I met lots of really fun and friendly people (way too many to even try to list them all here) and hung out with lots of friends, both old and new.

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At 2:13 AM, Blogger Desiree Lee said...

Hi Sarah,

It was so nice to meet you at Readercon, especially getting to hang out Saturday after your panel. I hope Sunday went well, I wish I could have been there!


At 12:53 PM, Blogger Q said...

Pardon me while I turn GREEN with jealousy. If you ever come near me, I will be an unbribed adoring fan.

At 1:09 PM, Blogger Anne Leigh said...

Wow how did you count exactly 'one bajillion' people? :-P That audiuence looks amazing! You're really reaching out to young adults with your books :D

At 3:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! I was one of the bajillion people you talked to at Readercon. :)

PS I also was happily amazed that Sarah Rees Brennan talks like her amazing blog.

At 3:27 PM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Desiree: So nice to meet you too! Hope you had a good time at your first Readercon!

Q: Aw, you're sweet!

Savyleartist: I count them on my fingers, naturally. Each finger stands in for a jillion. It's not the world's most precise measurement...

Meg: Hi! Thanks for stopping by! Great to meet you! Sarah does talk just like her blog. She's hilarious. And very sweet.

At 1:24 AM, Blogger Sarah Rees Brennan said...

It was so lovely to see you again, m'dear!

At 9:02 AM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Sarah: Lovely to see you too! Hope to see you again soon! Have fun on your many journeys!


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