#NTTBF16

Oh, you know we love a book fest.

Last week, we went to the North Texas Teen Book Festival in Irving, TX (close to Dallas). It was a ton of fun! Unfortunately, Rachel wasn’t able to come because she was at a tech festival back in Louisiana. BUT we were super excited that our wonderful friend Faith came! She was very happy to plaid with us! 🙂

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We (of course) went to several panels featuring the one and only Ally Carter, who is still our favorite (of course.)

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We ate PB&Js. (A festival tradition.)

A bit of festival advice: take a picnic lunch! Sometimes concession lines are long (last year people waited in them for over an hour!), plus PB&J is yummier than nasty nachos.

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The line to get TO the signing line was crazy and insane! But NTTBF had a pretty good system down which really cut the crazies. Next time we’ll know to get closer to the front of the line for more time in the signing lines!

Also, shout out to all our awesome line buddies! We met lots of really awesome people while we stood in line, which was a great experience! Thank you all for talking books with us! We really enjoyed! (Also, we randomly met a girl—hi Sarah!—whose family goes to our church. Small world!)

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Jules took this time to catch up on some reading.

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Some of the authors we had sign our books:
Soman Chainani
Victoria Aveyard
Kristin Rae
Ally Carter

I feel like there were more (we split up a few times, so I don’t know who all saw who), but I just can’t remember. We didn’t get to all the authors we hoped to, but there’s always next time!

The amazing Ally Carter was amazing and recognized us (“I was wondering if y’all were here. Y’all have been quiet today!”) and told us SEKRETS and signed a million of our books. (Nine. She signed nine. The limit was three per person, which I’m sure she was appreciative of!) She really liked that I had all my favorite parts sticky noted. (Obviously there were a lot of sticky notes.) Also I kind of surprised her by pulling out a copy of Cheating at Solitaire, her first book. (If you haven’t heard of it, that’s because it’s an adult book and no longer in print.) We asked if we could take a pic with her and she said, “Only if you’re stealthy.” Thankfully, we learned stealth from the Gallagher Academy!

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I think we counted 37 books in my trunk.

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After the festival, we met up with Jules’s sister and ate some amazing Mexican food. A good rule for life: When in Texas, eat Mexican food! We always find random Mexican places to stop at and we’ve never had a bad experience yet. Before we left town, we pulled out some sparkling pear juice to drink on the drive home!

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On the way home, we stopped at Buc-ee’s. My first time! I was told there would be a slide. There was not a slide. For some reason, I had it in my head that it was basically a grown up’s Chuck E. Cheese. It wasn’t. It was a big convenient store. That’s it. BUT they had very nice bathrooms so it will definitely go on the list of places for potty stops.

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A big thank you to the NTTBF committee, the volunteers, our wonderful line buddies, and (of course!) the authors. NTTBF16 was a great festival we are sure to remember!

Week 5: Out of Sight, Out of Time

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This week we’re reading Out of Sight, Out of Time.

For funzies, we’re sharing some pics of the first time we met Ally Carter!

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When we heard she was going to be in Austin for the Austin Teen Book Festival (now the Texas Teen Book Festival), we couldn’t NOT go! So we:
-packed up the car after we got off work
-decorated the car
-left two hours late
-got lost on the way (“We were supposed to turn… an hour ago.”)
-got pulled over for driving without lights on (in my defense, I was driving a car I wasn’t used to and I’d JUST pulled out of the gas station. I would have noticed a few minutes later!)
-had a brief moment when *name redacted* tried to be more Bex-like. (“YOU ARE DRIVING ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD.”
-got caught up in traffic for the state festival
-and FINALLY made it to Austin at 2:00 in the morning.

The next morning, we donned our plaid skirts again.
austin3Since we were only going to see Ally Carter, we decided to skip the morning sessions and go to the Texas State Capitol. (This was our first festival, so we didn’t know how awesome ALL the panels were! Now we go to as many as we can!)

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That photo is my favorite of us. ^ So funny!

Then… the book festival! We spotted Ally Carter from afar before walking in and all of us just stopped.
“It’s her!” we squealed among ourselves.
“Go say hi,” my mom told us.
“We can’t just… go up to her!” So we didn’t, and just creepily stared at her until she went into the panel. Where we stared at her more. Jennifer Lynn Barnes was the moderator for the panel and told us all that Ally Carter had been Homecoming Queen and we’re like, yeah she’s totally a queen.

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Then came the infamous photobombing. Then we met authors! Ally Carter’s line was crazy long (as always), so my mom and aunt held our spot in line so we could meet other authors.

We met:

Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Ally’s bestie, who told us that she named some of our favorite characters)
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John Corey Whaley (who grew up in a city near ours!)
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Dan Krokos (We told him he needed to watch Doctor Who)
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Will Richter (The story behind the photo: someone called him and, since he was busy signing books, he handed the phone to Jules and said, “Talk to him for a minute.”)
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Marissa Meyer and Eliot Schrefer (A year later we contacted Marissa for an interview and she remembered us.)
atbf3We also met a lot more! And we bought some books that we ended up LOVING!
atbf8We were sad to leave, but knew we wouldn’t miss ATBF13. We’ve been every year since!
(Those super tall guys in the background are Lex Thomas–authors of Quarantine.)

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Question of the Day: If you could meet any author, who would it be and why?
Gallagher Girl readathon logo hosted by thegirlsinplaidskirts.com

North Texas Teen Book Festival Recap

Let’s just get this out there: Julianne and I agreed that NTTBF was one of the best festivals we’ve ever attended.

Tons of incredible authors, countless panels to choose from, and we managed to win a signing line pass which helped us to hit up all the authors on our list without lots of waiting! (Though we still hung around until all the authors left.)

We started out our day with caffeine. Because we woke up at 5 AM. So obviously caffeine was necessary.

caffeine please NTTBF

Panel 1: Boarding Pass

I started out at the Boarding Pass panel with Adi Alsaid, Ally Carter, Elizabeth Eulberg, Stephanie Perkins, and Jennifer E. Smith (moderated by Sarah Enni). This is when I fell in love with Elizabeth Eulberg—she had me laughing the entire time. (Funnily enough, Jules had read her book the night before the festival and gushed about it on the way.)

Highlights and notes:

-“Boys are stupid. Especially in high school. Boys are dumb. And they don’t get better with age.” -Elizabeth Eulberg

-“Fellows, a cupcake and I’m yours.” -Elizabeth Eulberg

-“I SHIP THEM!” -Ally Carter

-Basically everyone wants to marry Stephanie Perkins husband. Boarding Pass panel at NTTBF15 with Adi Alsaid, Ally Carter, Elizabeth Eulberg, Stephanie Perkins, Jennifer E. Smith, moderated by Sarah Enni

Panel 2: Unlikely Place for Love

The second panel I went to was with Leigh Bardugo (also hilarious!), Julie Kagawa (I’ve been pronouncing her last name wrong…), April Genevieve Tucholke, and Rachel Vincent, moderated by Naomi Bates.
Highlights and notes:
-Sherry Thomas: “I’ve sworn a blood oath to never write a love triangle.” *audience cheers* Leigh Bardugo: “Y’all say that but then y’all go out and buy The Selection.”
-“Your characters have to cause each other’s pain, stand in each other’s way, and be each other’s worse enemies for a while.” -Sherry Thomas
-“Evil is often charismatic.” -Sherry Thomas
-What sub-genre do you consider your book? Leigh Bardugo: “Awesome.”
 -“I just read The Fault in Our Stars… in the airport… which was a mistake.” -Julie Kagawa
– Do you just wake up and decide to write a book that destroys someone’s life? Sherry Thomas: “No. It takes 6 drafts to do that.”
Unlikely Place for Love panel with Leigh Bardugo, Julie Kagawa, April Genevieve Tucholke, Rachel Vincent, moderated by Naomi Bates NTTBF
Panel 3: 867-5309
This panel consisted solely of Jens! Jenny Han, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Jennifer E. Smith, Jennifer Ziegler, and Jen Bigheart. Jennifer Lynn Barnes gave an awesome recap on her tumblr. (Using our photo!) 🙂
Jen Panel with Jenny Han, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Jennifer E. Smith, Jennifer Ziegler, and Jen Bigheart NTTBF
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Unfortunately that was the last panel I went to, because we ate lunch during the next session, and the last few panels were full! (But Jules somehow managed to get into Book Boyfriends 101!) So I hung out with Xander until book signings.
We were super grateful Jules just happened to bring stuff to make peanut butter banana sandwiches because the concession lines were worse than the signing lines!

peanut butter banana sandwiches for lunch nttbfBook Signings!

We were thrilled to use our signing line priority pass to skip most of the lines. (We waited in short lines and jumped the long ones.) Check out the lovely authors we met! (Unfortunately I didn’t get photos with/of all of them!)

Elizabeth Eulberg

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Ally Carter: look how she personalized Jules’s book! She gave us high fives when she realized who we were and told us the hilarious story of how she walked around a fancy hotel once with her dress stuck in her panty hose.

jb and julianne with ally carter nttbfJulianne and her signed Ally Carter book nttbf

Jennifer Lynn Barnes: Isn’t she the cutest thing ever? I picked up Killer Instinct at the festival and am currently rereading The Naturals before I start it! (The Naturals is even better the second time around! It’s fun to see how things play out when you already know who the killer is!)

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Stephanie Perkins: We adored her dress. jb and stephanie perkins nttbfOther authors I met: Tera Lynn Childs, Julie Kagawa, Sarah Mlynowski, Rachel Vincent, Leigh Bardugo (who gave me some Grisha swag!), A. G. Howard. We also stopped by to see Julie Murphy (who signed posters for us, but unfortunately I lost mine) and John Corey Whaley (Jules had him sign her ARC of Where Things Come Back).

We had a FANTASTIC time at the North Texas Teen Book Festival. I’m already ready for NTTBF16!

(The photo below is the books I took with me. Not including the books I bought or Rachel and Jules’ books. We estimated that there were about 40 books in the car!)

book stack for NTTBF

NTTBF15 Excitement and (a super late) TTBF14 Recap

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend!

This week we are super excited because we’re going to the North Texas Teen Book Festival on Saturday! Some of our favorite authors will be there: Ally Carter, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Julie Kagawa, Sarah Mlynowski, Leigh Bardugo. There will be 53 authors!

After we cleaned out our computers the other day, I came across these photos from the Texas Teen Book Festival last year that we forgot to share!

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We randomly stopped at a cotton mill on the way to take photos and the owner came out and gave us a tour!PB&J

We brought sandwich stuff and made PB&Js on the back of the car at a gas station! (Cinderella blankie totally necessary.)James Dashner keynote speaker Texas Teen Book Festival 14 TTBF14

James Dashner did the closing ceremony.signing line for James Dashner of The Maze Runner

THIS was the signing line for James Dashner. It was ridiculous. You can hardly even see the little tents the authors were in! Dashner was awesome and stayed until everyone got their book signed. (Tip for book events: go with friends! You can switch who stands in line while the others visit shorter lines! Or, better yet, take friends or parents who don’t care to meet authors and use them as line placeholders!)meeting James Dashner of The Maze Runner

Julianne made us super cute tote bags with quotes from Code Name Verity. We take them to book events and get authors to sign them! Here, James Dashner is signing Rachel’s bag.meeting James Dashner of The Maze Runner

And Julianne too!full trunk, Code Name Verity bag

What do you mean too much stuff?The girls in plaid skirts have too much luggage

Funny story: We were in the elevator with all our stuff and this elderly man said he’d wait for the next one. “That’s all for one night, isn’t it?” he asked as the doors closed. We just giggled. (Because yes, that was only for one night and three girls.)
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PC to Xander. Or Xander’s Mommy. I can’t remember who took this pic!the girls in plaid skirts and Xander from forever bookish  texas teen book festival ttbf14Us with Xander! (We filmed a vlog with him recapping TTBF so go watch it!)
the girls in plaid skirts at the bat bridge in austin texas

Rachel wanted to cross Visit the bat bridge in Austin off her bucket list, so we did just that! This was literally the ONLY photo out of like 60 that isn’t blurry. I also have 45 minutes of video of us rambling about bats and books which I need to edit (and shorten… a lot) and post!The girls in plaid skirts try on hatsNot sure what store this was, but we thought we looked pretty adorbs, right?

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Have you been to any book events or signings? Will you be going to NTTBF? If so, let us know in the comments or on twitter! (@thegirlsinplaid)

JB from thegirlsinplaidskirts.com, plaid skirt, pink rainboots

Swap From the Swamp: Texas Teen Book Festival!

It’s that time again… Swap From the Swamp!

This weekend, The Girls in Plaid Skirts will be heading down to the Texas Teen Book Festival, and we were super excited to find out Xander is going to be there too! Check out why he’s so excited about it, and head over to his blog to see why we can’t wait for this weekend!

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Hello Girls in Plaid Skirts and everyone who’s reading!

I am going to be attending the Texas Teen Book Festival on Saturday and since we are all going, we thought we would make a list of exciting things we can’t wait for!

1. AUTHORSSSSS. SO many incredible authors are attending this year and I can not wait to meet them all. From James Dashner, to Ransom Riggs to Gayle Forman. It’s going to be crazy.

2. Signed books. I don’t know about you, but I LOVE signed books. I am going to need a Uhaul to take all the books I am going to get signed.

3. Meeting people. I am BEYOND excited to meet you guys :-), and some other bloggers that I know are going to be there.

4. Being around bookish people. It gives off good vibes. It’s awesome being with people who are interested in the same things you like, and being able to talk about BOOKS. ALL THE BOOKS.

5. Attending panels. I love hearing about what fun things authors talk about. Yup. #notconfusingatall

6. Helping out. I am part of the Teen Press Corps (who liveblogs the event) and I am going to be running around like a chicken with my head cut off. It’s going to be awesome though!

7. YA! SO many people coming to one event under one roof is bound to be amazing. It shows you that youngin’s DO READ and it shows you the magnitude of the people who love reading. Yay literacy! *pumps fist*

Check out The Girls in Plaid Skirts list over on my blog!

Xander

Xander | Forever Bookish | My Bookworm Blog

A Bookish Weekend

This past Saturday was filled with books as JB and I (Rachel) hit up all the different book events. We started the afternoon off by attending the closing hours of a local college’s Book Bazaar. The gym was filled with tables that had quickly dwindling stacks of books. We took advantage of the half-off hours! Following that, we went to go see what was going on at the newly opened 2nd and Charles’ grand opening. We were impressed with their organization, wide variety, and good deals! We are delighted with this addition to the community. Things would have only been more wonderful if Julianne could have joined us!!

 

Centenary Book Bazaar

Centenary Book Bazaar

Centenary Book Bazaar

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Book haul from Centenary Book Bazaar and 2nd & Charles

Vintage Books with Inscription

Interview: Marissa Meyer (Our Second One!)

Having questions that haven’t been asked a million times is important to a quality interview.  If you don’t want it to be a waste of both your time and theirs (and your readers), do your research.  If you found it in someone else’s interview, there is no need to ask it (unless you want to expand on the question/issue, in which case, do more research).  That being said, it was a challenge to come up with new questions for Marissa that we hadn’t asked her before, but I think we did pretty good.

Last time we interviewed Mrs. Meyer, we asked “If you were a cupcake, what kind would you be?”  And perhaps you saw my creation of The Marissa Cupcake during our Lunar Chronicles celebration.  Per request of Marissa, a parcel of such cupcakes accompanied our interview. Also accompanying us was Caroline, who has only just started Scarlet, and thus we couldn’t give away any Cress spoilers during the interview. You might also see some answers from Jesse, Marissa’s husband, who willingly played along when we asked him questions.

Also, how adorable is Marissa? We absolutely LOVE her dress. “I’m wearing almost plaid!” she told us.

Plaid Girls and Marissa Meyer

JB: Are there male escort droids?

Marissa Meyer: Yes.

JB: We wanted to verify that. For reasons. [That would be Cress spoilers.]

MM: Yes, there are, actually. Iko runs into one when she’s in the warehouse and there’s a moment that he kind of reminds her of Prince Kai, so she tries to flirt with him and he’s totally just… a robot.

JB: Ahh, yes! That’s in Cress. Now that you mention it, I remember that.

Rachel: We can’t spoil, but yeah.

MM: Yeah, this is going to be a really hard interview.

Rachel: Tarkan, the guy you based Wolf off of, do you actually listen to him?

MM: I’ve actually only heard one song. Somebody sent me a song of his maybe six months ago because in the song he does a weird little howl thing, and I was like, this is so weird. But I had never actually heard him before that. I’d just seen his picture, and that’s him. That’s what Wolf looks like.

Julianne: What is World War IV about?

MM: Over resources and land territories. I haven’t thought it out so I don’t know the specifics, but the general idea is that there were some countries that were very very resource rich, and by that point, so far in the future, other countries had depleted their resources and this war broke out because they thought they weren’t sharing the world equally, which then led to the conglomeration.

Rachel: What’s your method of naming? Your names are so detailed. Do you say, I want it to mean this; here’s all the words that mean this?

MM: Sort of. If it’s a fairy tale character, then I can be like, you know, Cinder… Cinderella, and those are easy. Like with Carswell Thorne, I would go to my favorite resource—babynamesworld.com—so I’ll go and I’ll search for all names that have this meaning. So I’d search for things like “thief” or “criminal” and of course nobody names their kids that. And so in a random, “Why don’t I just do a search for Cress?” then Carswell popped up and it literally translates to “grows at the watercress pond.” And I was like that’s so romantic! Because he grows when he’s with her! It just fit. So I use babynamesworld a lot if I’m struggling, and I keep searching for different meanings until I find something that works.

JB: Have you ever met a famous person?

MM: Does Veronica Roth count? I’ve met her and done panels with her. I’m trying to think if I’ve ever met any celebrities. Oh, you know what? When we were at Comic Con last year we were staying at the same hotel as all the Game of Thrones people, so in the lobby we saw Jon Snow  and we saw Tyrion. Oh! And then totally randomly, but two of the guys from How I Met Your Mother were there, but not the one that I love. I forget his name. What is his name? The dancer guy. Anyway. And then Jesse, my husband, has such an enormous crush on Ygritte from Game of Thrones, and we saw her when we were down in the bar getting a drink after Comic Con, and so he got to go take a picture with her, and it was like the wallpaper on his phone. It might still be the wallpaper on his phone. But it was really cute. In the picture he has such a boyish grin.

Julianne: Do you have a muse? Like something you go back to when you’re at a wall? When you have writers’ block, what do you do?

MM: I have a Lunar Chronicles playlist that I will listen to on repeat. But I don’t have an object or anything like that. Well, I have my Harry Potter wand that lives on my desk. I don’t know how inspirational it is. It’s just cool to have it there. But usually when I’m stuck, I have different writing techniques that I use when I’m really stuck. My favorite one is to give myself really really tiny goals, so that if I’m really stuck, I’m like, “I know I can write a sentence.” So then I write a sentence, and if that’s all I accomplish that day, then at least it’s something. But usually getting started is the hardest part, and then that sentence turns into a second sentence and it just starts to snowball. But really really small, stupid goals that I know I’m capable of doing tend to work for me.

Rachel: Do you have a favorite constellation?

MM: I do not have a favorite constellation. The only one I can recognize is the Big Dipper.

JB: We were wondering if the capital of Luna, Artemisia, was named after a constellation.

Rachel: It sounds constellation-y

MM: It does sound constellation-y. I don’t think it is. Artemisia is named after Artemis. But there might be an Artemis constellation. I don’t know. But Artemis was one of the Greek gods of the moon.

Julianne: What’s your ringtone?

MM: The Harry Potter theme song.

Julianne: Do you have any hidden talents? That you feel like sharing, anyway.

MM: (to her husband, Jesse) Do I have any hidden talents?

Jesse: You can stand on your head and chug beer. That’s pretty cool.

MM: No.

Jesse: That’s not you?

MM: No, that was your other girlfriend. But, um… not really.

Julianne: You’re just cool all over?

MM: I just I write. Writing has always been the talent that I focused on. I went through periods where like, I made a quilt. But I don’t still make quilts. And I tried crocheting, but never got the hang of it.

Rachel: I try lots of things and then give up.

MM: Yeah, me too.

Rachel: You’ve talked a lot about mythology. Norse. Would you consider that? Because Greek and Roman is done a lot.

JB: Basically we want you to write mythology.

MM: Let me take some notes! I don’t know much about Norse mythology. I know a little about the Valkyrie. But I don’t know a lot about it. But I definitely would. I would do anything it if came to me.

Julianne: Well, a question for the husband: what’s it like being married to a famous person?

Jesse: You’ll have to ask Marissa that. (All the girls giggle.) You know, it’s pretty neat. On this book tour, it’s kind of changed a little bit. There’s a lot more excitement from her fans. They’re shaking and they’re so happy and excited. It’s a lot of fun. So it’s cool. And I’m able to go with her on book tour and I don’t have to be at home doing hard construction labor stuff, so I enjoy it. I love it.

MM: He’s really nice to have around, too.

All of us: AWWWWWW!!!

MM: (laughing) Mushy! Gross!

Julianne: I have to ask one more. What is one of your favorites or really memorable fan moments?

MM: There’s been a lot. But I think my favorite was at the Texas Librarian Association last year. They did this author speed dating type thing, so all the librarians were at these tables of ten, and then the authors would spend ten minutes at each table and then move around to the next table. So the second table that I go to there are nine librarians and then one of them had brought her eleven year old daughter. So I sit down next to this girl, and she looks at me, and looks at my name tag, and looks at me again, and then just falls over and starts hugging me. And it was so cute! At first I’m like, what’s going on? Why are you hugging me? And then when she pulled away she was in tears. She was so excited. It was really really adorable. And at that point Scarlet had just come out. Or may be there were Cress ARCs? I don’t remember. So after the thing was over I took her over to my publisher’s booth and they had one copy of the book left, so I was able to get her a copy of the book. That was a good moment.

A huge thank you to Marissa (and Jesse, too!) for allowing us to interview! (Even though she possibly only said yes because we bribed her with cupcakes.) If you haven’t read our first interview with her, you can check it out here.

Road Trip: Montgomery County Book Festival

Roadtrip with The Girls in Plaid Skirts is synonymous with one word…

adventure

Rae and JB, along with a lovely accomplice, Caroline, rose bright and early, packed up the car (luggage, books, comms & portscreens, plaid skirts, cupcakes, blankets, pillows, snacks, the “Justin Case”, atlas, all check), the only thing missing was me. Like the trooper that I am, I had overslept. (It had been a very crazy week and my sleep schedule had gone haywire.) But soon we were on our way. We didn’t get very far before I realized that, in my haste, I had left my purse in my car. Meaning I had no money and no driver’s license. Cue facepalm. But being that I was among the dearest of friends, I was assured I would not go hungry. (Thanks girls, you’re the best! and I owe yall. Like for real lol…) So we journeyed on.

We continued to journey until, in the middle of reading aloud the special Thorne story in the back of Cress*, when Rachel realized that she forgot to mention that turn we were supposed to make about an hour back… So out came atlas and the phones, because our predicament was two-fold: first was “Where are we?” the next “How do we get there from here?”  Thank heavens for technology!  Soon we were once again on our way.  After a little time, a lot of laughter, lunch, and only one potty break  (I know right??) we arrived safely at the

book festival

Book Festival! And with just enough time to do a little book shopping before Marissa Meyer’s panel!  Naturally we were excited to see her again, but especially excited because after the panel we had an interview!!! On the same panel were notable authors, P.J. Hoover of Solsitce, and Lindsey Cummings of The Murder Complex.   

After the panel we were given a table in the Authors Only room for our interview, where we waited, with cupcakes and questions at the ready.  (I would like to take a moment to note that coming up with questions that aren’t old hat is hard sometimes… more on that and the cupcakes later.) At last she appeared!! And looking quite smashing, no?

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We had our slightly giddy cordialities before getting to the actual ‘interview’ part 🙂 Joining her on Cress Tour was her husband, who seems just wonderful. He enjoyed the cupcakes very much.  Because the lovely Mrs. Meyer was the keynote speaker, we wrapped up our interview so she would have some prep time.  She had delightfully fitting topic for her keynote: The Art of the Story, during which she graced us with the telling of three classic version fairy tales!  Notes on the Keynote are soon to follow!  

Marissa’s reaction to the cupcakes came a little later, via twitter:

Holy Peanut Butter Batman!

🙂

Although we had but a short time, it was a good time.  And it was followed by really really good food!  Local Mexican place, El Bosque… omgoodnessyall.  Everything was amazing and not expensive, my favorite combination!

Back at the hotel, we challenged ourselves with a little late night riddling via thisisnottom.  (the perplexing process to access a shrouded novella, compliments of John Green).  We made it to level 6.

The next day, after the oh so important breakfast, we headed off to the Johnson Space Center, aka

NASA’s

MISSION CONTROL

There we poked around the cockpit of a shuttle (our Cress was rather excited)…

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…played inside a booster funnel (miss Scarlet was having a little too much fun)… 20140218-130609.jpg

…touched space (via the transitive property of existance)…20140218-130747.jpg

… got a look through the most awesome moonroof ever…20140218-130757.jpg

…and took a saunter down the spaceship catwalk!catwalk

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In short (or long lol)  a grand time was had by all and when the night came, we slept, each in our own beds, with visions of Lunar adventures dancing in our heads.

till next time…

Julianne

* The Bonus story can be found in the Target editions

#ATBF13

We had a blast at the Austen Teen Book Festival!

We had a blast at the Austin Teen Book Festival

This past Saturday could not have gotten here soon enough and went by too quickly. We had been looking forward to ATBF13 with much anticipation! It meant a break from work, writing lesson plans, slaving over school assignments, and a chance to completely nerd out! We were even more excited that we got to attend not only as fans this year, but also as volunteers, and we also had the opportunity to represent our blog. It was exciting experience!

We woke up early Saturday and donned our plaid skirts. Planning classy plaid outfits is a lot of fun! Then we made our way down to the Austin convention center. Finding parking was tricky. Getting to the center early meant lots of swag to choose from, and guess what? We even picked up some swag for our awesome readers, so make sure to check back next week for an ATBF swag bag giveaway! We quickly made our way to the volunteer table to pick up our MEDIA BADGES! I don’t think anything can make a person feel cooler than a badge! After that we went to the opening keynote where we listened to an inspiring talk from Maggie Stiefvater (Did you know fear and imagination come from the same place?).

From there we went to our first panel, and it was here we met with our first fellow blogger friend, Alex. It was exciting to finally put a face with a name. Later, we also got to meet the adorable Arial! After the panel we went to mingle and look at more booths, and it was here we ran into our very own local librarians. It was so cool to find someone from our hometown (which is a six-hour drive from Austin), and JB was offered a job!

However, I must say the biggest highlight of the day was interviewing Marissa Meyer! We chatted about the Lunar Chronicles, her inspirations, and the upcoming Cress! I’m happy to say, according to her… I look like Rapunzel in her novel. Nothing could have made a Rapunzel fanatic like me happier!

After the interview, we split our ways as we went to our volunteer postitions. As the festival wrapped up, we had the splendid opportunity to take a group picture with Julie Murphy. She invited us to her launch party for Side Effects May Vary, which we are eagerly looking forward to.

The festival came to an end, and we were hungry and worn out, so we ate the delicious Curra’s Grill. Then Julianne asked JB and me the cryptic question, “So, which of you is willing to let the other go first?” Confused, we were unsure of how to respond, and she told us she would explain later. Once we were back to the hotel, Julianne asked the question again. Still confused, I asked if this was a test. (I guess that is why I am the Liz of the group!)

Julianne reached down in her bag and pulled out an ARC copy of ….. wait for it….. Cress! Marissa Meyer had requested that the Girls in Plaid have one of the two ARC copies she had with her. It was a wonderful way to end an already amazing day! Needless to say, ATBF13 was unforgettable and we are looking forward to attending next year!

– Liz (aka Rachel)

IMPORTANT NEWS BREAK!

Hello world,

It seems there is this interesting bookish gathering commonly referred to as ATBF (Austin Teen Book Festival, for those not in the know–or in Texas) coming up in a few days. In regards to this gathering, The Girls in Plaid Skirts would like to announce an exciting opportunity we have been given.

Are you ready for this?

Are you SURE you are ready for this?

WE WILL BE INTERVIEWING MARISSA MEYER!!

She is author of Cinder and Scarlet, and if you have not read them-you should! (Take it from somone who just finished Cinder 10 minutes ago! –Rach)

Isn’t that cool?! We meet her last year at ATBF12 and were very happy she was returning. We are even happier she that she agreed to an interview! So, PLEASE stay tuned for more news on the interview and to see how it goes!

Thank you, you may now go back to your lives.

-Liz (aka Rachel) coming to you live from The Girls in Plaid Skirts!

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