Friday, April 22, 2011

Texas Library Association Conference 2011

Sorry, again, for my lack of updates as of late. As I've said, I'm in over my head in revising this draft (we are currently fighting, it is winning) and last week was the Texas Library Association Conference, or TLA. I think I'm still recovering. Those who have followed my blog for a while (or are general creepers) will remember I went last year and the epicness that followed. While I didn't meet Suzanne Collins again (or JK Rowling, though she did send her regards), an epic time was still had by all.

On Tuesday Jen and I checked into our swank hotel (seriously, we had a kitchen with full size fridge, stove top, dishwasher, etc. It was epic.) and while she was off doing her head-honcho duties I jumped on the bed worked on my edits while waiting from Cari to arrive from Houston. Once she arrived we jumped on the bed got her unpacked and settled in, and let me say, she brought everything. Girl had so many bags you'd think we were staying for weeks. I was impressed. ;) Once Jen was done we were invited to a Candlewick Press cocktail party, which was amazing.

Cari, Jen, and myself at the cocktail party

We left the party and picked up our last roommate, Jennifer, on the way to dinner with Sophie Jordan and Tera Lynn Childs. Sophie and Tera Lynn are so sweet, we talked about books, writing, publishing and everything in between. I just remembered that we forgot to take a picture, major boo on us! Next time, ladies.

Wednesday was when the conference itself started. I spent most of the morning waiting in author signing lines and was able to walk around the exhibit floor after lunch.

Cari and me waiting in line to meet Ally Condie

Ally Condie, author of Matched

Paolo Bacigalupi, author of Ship Breaker

Me, Jennifer, Jen, and our Girls in the Stacks friends. I love those gals.

Bettina Restrepo, author of Illegal.

I also met (but didn't get pictures with) C.C. Hunter, Michael Buckley, Elizabeth Scott, and Lauren Myracle.

At the end of the day, we all had so many books we couldn't carry them. Seriously. Our hotel was maybe a half-a-block from the exhibit center and we couldn't make it. We had to have a bellhop meet us at the corner to help us. We are pathetic. Or made of win, take your pick.

That poor, poor bellhop

After a quick change of clothes we were off to another cocktail party, this time all the authors and publishers were there. And this time we remembered to take a picture with Sophie. Yay!

Don't you love how we're color coordinated? It was accidental, I swear!

Thursday was a bit crazy, the only author I remembered to get a picture with was Carrie Ryan.

Carrie Ryan, author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Things were so busy I just didn't think about taking pictures. Other authors I met Thursday were Joy Preble, Gayle Forman, Jill S. Alexander, David Levithan, and James Howe.

I didn't have too much free time on Thursday because I was volunteering for most of the afternoon. I helped Jill S. Alexander (Who is so very sweet, and a Texas author. You should go buy her books.) and David Levithan (I think I did a pretty good job of keeping my squees to myself while helping him.). After my shift ended the exhibit hall was closing. Jen, Cari and I took a quick dip in the hot tub at our hotel before having dinner with our Literary Lonestar friends and Texas authors Bettina Restrepo, Joy Preble, and Jenny Moss. Jenny will be moving to Austin soon and I couldn't be more excited to have her here!

Dinner! Not pictured are Jen, Joy, and Jenny

Friday is what I call The Crazy Day. Publishers don't want to take books back with them, so they either give them away or sell them for cheap. I got a few things but didn't feel like throwing elbows this year. I spent the rest of the day volunteering (this time with Gerald McDermottt, a picture book author). So I know you're wondering what books I got, right?

Mine and Jen's books. Sheesh.

My Books

I didn't get as many books as last year, and that was my intention. Last year I was all grabby-hands and I still have things I got that I haven't read. This year I tried to take my time and only get things I knew I'd enjoy reading. It was also a lot easier on my back. ;) And yes, I do have doubles of a few things. I'll be giving them away either her or on Literary Lonestars.

I cannot put into words my love for TLA. I mean, sure, there's lots of free books, but it's amazing to be around people who share your obsession love for books. I'm so thankful that I have such great friends in the YA community, both bloggers and authors. I have always felt very welcome, and for that I am grateful. A big thank you to my roomies for making the week both eventful and hilarious.

I've also decided that I'll be at ALA in New Orleans in late June. Will you be there? Let me know!

PS- I have to share this picture because I can't stop laughing. Even though the conference was last week, I just today looked at my pictures. I had to heavily crop the picture of me with Carrie Ryan because of a photo bomber. See if you can find her.

I don't now if she is purposefully photo-bombing or if she flipped out when she saw Carrie Ryan, either way I am still giggling over it.


  1. Looks like you had a great time! I love that girls look in the last photo! LOL! I will be at ALA in New Orleans so I will see you there!! =D

  2. I had so much fun with you guys! This makes me smile!!! 62 more days until ALA!!!

  3. Wow, looks like you had so much fun! I don't know anything about TLA or ALA. Is it only for librarians and bloggers..or can readers attend? Is it just a place to meet the authors and get my books signed or is there more stuff going on?

  4. Rosa- Anyone can attend! You can pay $25 for an exhibit pass and it will get you into the exhibit hall. There are author signings as well as publisher booths where you can buy books and where they also hand out free advance reader copies. TLA is in Houston next year, not sure what part of Texas you're in. :)

  5. It looks like you guys had an absolute blast. I'll be going to ALA this summer in New Orleans, which will be my first book convention, so I'm literally bouncing in my seat with anticipation. Looking forward to seeing you there!

  6. Cool, I live in Houston! I'm thinking of going to ALA. It's a nice excuse to take a trip to New Orleans. :) Are we allowed to bring books from home to get signed? Thanks for all the info!

  7. Rosa- You are! At least, you are to TLA so I'm assuming you are to ALA as well. Hope to see you there!