Photo Diary from the RT Booklovers Convention 2015: The YA Edition by Kami Garcia - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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Photo Diary from the RT Booklovers Convention 2015: The YA Edition by Kami Garcia

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Photo Diary

from the RT Booklovers Convention 2015: The YA Edition

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The RT Booklovers Convention is one of my favorite annual book events. The combination of parties, panels, young adult events, Teen Day, and hundreds of romance writers all in one place brings out the reader and fangirl in me. So when Carol Stacy, publisher of RT Book Reviews magazine and executive of the RT Booklovers Convention, and Melissa Marr, author and former captain of the convention’s YA Track asked me to take over as YA Track captain, I jumped at the chance.

I thought it would involve organizing a few panels, making some spreadsheets, and emailing a couple dozen young adult authors. I can handle it, I told myself.

After 12 panels, 364+ e-mails, and working with over 100 YA authors, I’m here to give you the highlights and share what happens when I got more than a little help from my RT, reader, blogger, and author friends.

Decked out in my Elsa prom dress to cohost “The Wheel of Romance” event. Pictured: YA Author Kami Garcia

Decked out in my Elsa prom dress to cohost “The Wheel of Romance” event. Pictured: YA Author Kami Garcia

★ ☆ ★ SLUMBER PARTIES, READER PANELS & AWARDS CEREMONIES ★ ☆ ★
(aka Reasons I Didn’t Get Any Sleep) 

I missed the YA Slumber Party hosted by Lea Nolan, but over 165 readers attended, and YA authors Victoria Scott and Gretchen McNeil reported that it was 100% fuzzy slipper fun.

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From Left: Victoria Scott and Gretchen McNeil at the YA Slumber Party

Fuzzy Slippers!

Fuzzy Slippers!

Burning Questions

At the “Burning Questions” panel, 20 YA authors teamed with readers to brave Lightning Round questions and a card game with romance-themed answers. Author Brigid Kemmerer dubbed “Sasquatch Love” the ultimate answer card. Only one guy attended the panel—Aussie actor Adam Bramich, who is playing Cage York in the adaptation of Abbi Glines’ novel While It Lasts. 

Other authors who burned it up included: Jodi MeadowsTessa Gratton, Sara Raasch, Lindsey Cummings, Natalie Parker, Sona Charaipotra, Michelle Madow, L.H. Nicole, Ophelia London, B.L. Marsh, Marianne Mancusi, Christina Lauren, Kresley Cole, Tara Hudson, Diana Peterfreund, and Susan Dennard.

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From Left: Brigid Kemmerer, Aussie book blogger Natasha (Natasha Is a Book Junkie), Abbi Glines and Aussie actor Adam Bramich

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From Left: Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings who write together as Christina Lauren and a Reader

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From Left: Kresley Cole and Diana Peterfreund get bunny ears from a reader.

You’re Never Too Old” to Love YA Lit

Author hosts Colleen Houck and Stacey Kade doled out serious YA trivia to over 30 authors and their reader teams, in the “You’re Never Too Old” panel, proving you don’t have to be a teen to love YA lit. Kiera Cass, Brodi Ashton, Rachel Caine, Jennifer L. Armentrout, Vicki Leigh, and Susane Colasanti led teams with names like DystopiaMythologyAliens, and Vampires, along with authors Ann Aguirre, Sarah Fine, J.A. Souders, Lydia Kang, Sophie Jordan, Jeanette Battista, Bree Despain, Victoria Scott, Liz Czukas

Kimberly Derting, Tonya Kuper, Tamara Ireland Stone, Gretchen McNeil, Rachel Harris, Page Morgan, Amalie Howard, Tracey Deebs, Cynthia Hand, Claudia Gray, Erica O’Rourke, Aprilynne Pike, J.R. Johanasson, Erica Cameron, Jenna Black, and Kristen Simmons.

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Clockwise from top left: Brodi Ashton, Stacey Kade and Colleen Houck, Rachel Caine’s assistant Sarah Weiss and Rachel Caine, Kiera Cass and book blogger Heidi Zweitel, Vicky Leigh and Victoria Scott with a Table of Readers

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Sophie Jordan and Claudia Gray strike a pose.

★ ☆ ★ A WIN FOR YA ★ ☆ ★

On Friday night, the RT Book Reviews Awards Ceremony reigned supreme. Author Meg Cabot was a keynote speaker at the awards, and YA powerhouse Stephanie Perkins won “Reviewers’ Choice Best Young Adult Contemporary Novel” for Isla and the Happily Ever After.

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Meg Cabot and Stephanie Perkins

 

★ ☆ ★ LEARNING FROM THE PROS ★ ☆ ★

The YA Track authors will be the first to ones tell you that writing for teens doesn’t make their novels any less sophisticated than those written for adults. The adults who flocked to the YA panels must agree.

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From Left: Brendan Reichs moderated the panel “From Magic to Gadgets to Alternate Worlds: A YA Fantasy Primer for Writers,” featuring Ann Aguirre, Andrea Cremer, Marie Lu, Scott Westerfeld, and Tamora Pierce.

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From Left: Scott Westerfeld, Me (Kami Garcia) and Tamora Pierce

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From Left: Andrea Cremer moderated “Happily Ever After”— a fresh take on a romance genre panel, featuring YA superstars Kiera Cass, C.C. Hunter, Stephanie Perkins, Gena Showalter, and Rachel Vincent.

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From Left: Lissa Price moderated the “Welcome to the Dark Side: YA Thrillers and Romantic Suspense” panel with authors Susan Ee, Brendan Reichs, Kimberly Derting, Me (Kami Garcia) and Melissa Marr.

Side Note: The “Dark Side” Panel was right after the Wheel of Romance event so I didn’t have time to change. As a general rule, I don’t wear my feather boa to suspense panels.

 

★ ☆ ★ TEEN DAY ★ ☆ ★

The Book Fair signing on Saturday is the Godzilla of signings—over 600 authors in one enormous ballroom.

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From Left: My writing partner Margaret Stohl and I (Kami Garcia) celebrating the early release of Dangerous Deception for the RT Book Fair.

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From Left: Mother and son Kathy Reichs and Brendan Reichs write the Virals Series together. Kathy also writes the Temperance Brennan novels for adults.

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Alyson Noel and Lauren Oliver

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Susan Ee and Becca Fitzpatrick at their first RT Book Fair

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Richelle Mead signs for a reader.

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From Left: Aprilynne Pike, Lissa Price, Sara Raasch, and Victoria Scott

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Amalie Howard and Tara Hudson

 

★ ☆ ★ LET THE GAMES BEGIN ★ ☆ ★

It was standing room only at the Teen Day panels and games. New offerings included YA Family Feud, the Match Game, “Humble Beginnings”— where YA Authors shared the best of their worst teen writing, and a “Strong Heroines” panel. But the “Writing Tips” and Speed Reading panels still drew crowds.

Family Feud – YA Style

As an ode to the Family Feud of the 1970s, I bought host Brendan Reichs a photorealistic ’70s T-shirt to wear—complete with leather vest and gold chains. Brendan wasn’t feeling it, so Kiera Cass rocked it instead.

Kiera Cass rocking the man shirt at Family Feud.

Kiera Cass rocking the man shirt at Family Feud.

From Left: My Feud family—Becca Fitzpatrick, Stephanie Perkins, Kami Garcia, Christina Hobbs (of Christina Lauren), Abbi Glines, and Jennifer L. Armentrout.

From Left: My Feud family—Becca Fitzpatrick, Stephanie Perkins, Kami Garcia, Christina Hobbs (of Christina Lauren), Abbi Glines, and Jennifer L. Armentrout.

 

The Match Game: YA Edition

Gretchen McNeil hosted the Match Game on Teen Day with panelists/contestants Ann Aguirre, Brodi Ashton, Susane Colasanti, Andrea Cremer, Kady Cross, Colleen Houck, C.C. Hunter, Marie Lu, Jodi Meadows, Lissa Price, Brendan Reichs, Kristen Simmons, and Rachel Vincent. I particularly loved Ann Aguirre’s unicorn hat.

Top Row from Left: Lissa Price, Rachel Vincent, Rebecca Donovan, Jodi Meadows; Middle Row from Left: Ann Aguirre, Marie Lu, Colleen Houck, Susane Colasanti, C.C. Hunter, Brendan Reichs; Bottom Row from Left: Ann Aguirre, Colleen Houck, C.C. Hunter, Gretchen McNeil, Tamara Ireland Stone.

Top Row from Left: Lissa Price, Rachel Vincent, Rebecca Donovan, Jodi Meadows; Middle Row from Left: Ann Aguirre, Marie Lu, Colleen Houck, Susane Colasanti, C.C. Hunter, Brendan Reichs; Bottom Row from Left: Ann Aguirre, Colleen Houck, C.C. Hunter, Gretchen McNeil, Tamara Ireland Stone.

 

★ ☆ ★ “HUMBLE BEGINNINGS” PANEL ★ ☆ ★

Authors didn’t hold back when moderator Scott Westerfeld asked them to dig up the worst of their juvenilia for the “Humble Beginnings” panel on Teen Day. Bree Despain read excerpts from her teen diary while authors Sara Raasch and Kasie West dramatized young Bree’s heartbreak for the audience. The photomontage of the authors as teens was unforgettable—from Westerfeld in his David Bowie sweatshirt, to a moody teen Justine Larbalestier to Victoria Scott in electric blue pleather pants. 

Clockwise from top left: Victoria Scott, Susan Dennard, Rachel Hawthorne, Bree Despain, Kasie West, Sara Raasch, Lindsay Cummings, Justine Larbalestier, and Sona Charaipotra at “Humble Beginnings” Panel.

Clockwise from top left: Victoria Scott, Susan Dennard, Rachel Hawthorne, Bree Despain, Kasie West, Sara Raasch, Lindsay Cummings, Justine Larbalestier, and Sona Charaipotra at “Humble Beginnings” Panel.

 

★ ☆ ★ SWAGTASTIC TEEN DAY PARTIES ★ ☆ ★

No YA event is complete without a party and swag, and the Teen Day parties didn’t disappoint. The Fierce Reads Pizza Party included photo ops, author signings, fierce bags of free books, and pizza. Epic Reads and Penguin Teen cohosted the Teen Day Party—with games, food, a photo booth, and Teen Day bags full of books and swag. It was like YA Christmas!

Giveaway bags at the Fierce Reads Pizza Party on Teen Day.

Giveaway bags at the Fierce Reads Pizza Party on Teen Day.

Bag of swag left for a lucky reader to find at RT using Instagram clues.

Bag of swag left for a lucky reader to find at RT using Instagram clues.

From Left: Richelle Mead and Kimberly Derting help teens figure out the answers to YA trivia questions.

From Left: Richelle Mead and Kimberly Derting help teens figure out the answers to YA trivia questions.

Teens loading up in the Swag Room at the Teen Day Party.

Teens loading up in the Swag Room at the Teen Day Party.

A happy teen with her Teen Day Bag!

A happy teen with her Teen Day Bag!

From Left: Rachel Vincent, Kiera Cass, Jeanette Battista, Sophie Jordan, and Kimberly Derting acting goofy in the Teen Day Party photo booth.

From Left: Rachel Vincent, Kiera Cass, Jeanette Battista, Sophie Jordan, and Kimberly Derting acting goofy in the Teen Day Party photo booth.

 

Huge thanks to founder of RT Book Reviews and the RT Booklovers Convention Kathryn Falk and to Kenneth Rubin, president of RT Book Reviewsfor supporting the industry for over 30 years. Big hugs and special thanks to: Trent Hart, JoCarol Jones, Elisa VernaElissa Pertuzzi; Epic Reads, Penguin Teen, Fierce Reads, Katie Bartow of Mundie Moms; Heidi Zweitel, the YA authors who participated in the YA Track, the book bloggers who promoted it, and ALL THE READERS who attended the events and Teen Day!  

From Left: Stephanie Perkins, book blogger Heidi Zweitel, who helped out this year, book blogger & YA Track Assistant Katie Bartow, and Andrea Cremer.

From Left: Stephanie Perkins, book blogger Heidi Zweitel, who helped out this year, book blogger & YA Track Assistant Katie Bartow, and Andrea Cremer.

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About Kami

kami garciaKami Garcia is the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures & Dangerous Creatures novels and author of UNBREAKABLE and UNMARKED in the Legion Series. Her forthcoming YA contemporary romance, THE LOVELY RECKLESS releases fall 2016, from ImprintKami is very superstitious and when she isn’t writing, she can usually be found watching disaster movies or Supernatural. She lives in Maryland with her family, and their dogs Spike and Oz (named after characters from the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

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One Comment:


  1. Livia said:

    Thanks for sharing Kami’s photo diary. Every body looked like they were having fun. =)

    Reply

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