The keynote speaker was James Patterson, prolific author and uber-prolific collaborator with other writers. I was prepared to not like James Patterson--just a pre-conceived notion on my part. To my surprise, Patterson was charming, funny, wise and caring. His website ReadKiddoRead helps connect parents and kids with books. He has also pledged $1 million to independent books stores to help keep kids reading and is running a contest for college bound students. They can win gift certificates called College Book Bucks to spend at independent books stores. For more on James Patterson, check out his website
Publishers brought tons of ARCs to Texas and readers were scooping them up. At last count, I escaped with 142 books! Can't wait to start reviewing! Right now, I'm really excited about I Have a Bad Feeling About This by Jeff Strand.
After reading Strand's A Bad Day for Voodoo and finding it hilarious and uproariously, ridiculously hysterical, I am a Strand fan for life. I was lucky enough to meet Jeff last year in Fort Worth at TLA where he sat on a panel and talked to teens about funny books.
One event that was off the chain was Speed Dating with YA Authors. Participants sat at tables and 40 YA authors rotated to each table every seven minutes or so. I was lucky enough to sit with Jonathan Maberry, Jonathan Auxier, and Eoin Colfer. In the next post, I will post all my author photos and photos of all the free books I took home with me to share with you and my library.