Wednesday, April 18, 2012

YA Day

SM Anthony, me, and Katie
I'm a little behind the eight ball. It's been a few of weekends since the Biloxi, MS Books-A-Million YA Day I participated in with Katie Wood Ruffin. But I wanted to share a brief update of the event with you. I guess, in a way, it was my first public appearance.

The event was a fabulous experience and a fair success. Katie and I hung out in the bookstore from noon until four in the afternoon  handing out goodie bags with bookmarks, candy, and suggested reading lists drafted by each of us. We met some wonderful and excited readers and had a great time talking about our favorite books to anyone who would listen. The staff was amazing and lots of fun. I like to think I made some new friends in them as well as learned some tips to overcome my shyness.

We had awesome swag from the likes of Brodi Ashton, Kami Garcia, Jeri Smith-Ready, Sophie Littlefield, and Bekka Black (and a few more I'm sure I'm forgetting--but Katie can set me straight if I've missed anyone). Sophie and Bekka were gracious enough to send along signed copies of their books, making the door prizes that much more awesome, desirable, and exciting. We had some grateful and enthused young winners. I even included some Ninja Pea bookmarks into the swag bags which got a lot of oohs and ahhs. In all, we made contact and handed out one-hundred bags. (One-hundred readers and families that now know who our favorite authors and books are--a wondrous thing). We talked to so many preteens and teens who were readers. It's hard to believe statistics that claim young people don't read when you chat with so many who do. 

The best part was talking with so many young at heart readers like myself. Moms, college students, teachers, and even a thirty-something man and his wife who were huge Cassandra Clare fans. It's fantastic to know that YA books touch and are loved by so many others in the same way that they inform and engage me. It goes to show that it is a market that resonants with many -- one I love to write, read, and discuss.

And, of course, both of my peas dropped by the support me (and the bookstore) which I'm so grateful for. It was terrific fun and I enjoyed the experience. Many thanks to Katie for inviting me to join her in our YA Day adventure. And  a special shout out to the staff at the Biloxi guys were awesome!

Peas Out.