"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

VA Festival of the Book

I hadn't been to the Virginia area sans leaves on trees in ages. Not since the kids hit school. So traveling over Spring Break was a real treat. I could see houses through the trees and see bridges and water and things I hadn't seen in a while.

On Saturday, I left the kids with my parents and drove down to Charlottesville for the Virginia Festival of the Book. My panel wasn't until 2:00, so I first checked in with my fellow panel members Stacy Nyikos, Keri Mikulski, Barrie Summy, and Suzanne Morgan Williams. I love seeing these gals! They are bright and sunny and fun to be around.

Me, Keri Mikulski, Stacy Nyikos, Suzanne Morgan Williams, and Barrie Summy

I had plans to meet my very cool agent Laura Rennert for coffee at 10:30 which meant I could peek into the first panel at 10:00 for a bit. This panel featured Kathy Erskine, Fran Cannon Slayton (who is also one of Laura's clients), Sara Lewis Holmes (who I previously met when she came to our Austin SCBWI conference), Sue Corbett, and Irene Latham.

Kathy Erskine, Sue Corbett, Sara Lewis Holmes, Irene Latham, and Fran Cannon Slayton

Coffee with Laura Rennert was a blast. She told me nice things like how talented I was and stuff like that which of course made me smile.

Me and Laura Rennert

At noon, I went to a second panel which featured Laura Rennert, Deborah Heiligman, Bonnie Doerr, Emily Ecton, and Ruth Spiro. The panel was packed (standing room only) and was fabulous!

Our panel provided some fun in that we had no screen to project our PowerPoint presentation on, so we had to drape a white tablecloth over a trellis for viewing pleasure. Not the most ideal, but we had a great time. And a special thank you to Sara Lewis Holmes for moderating!

Our make-shift screen

Barrie, Suzy, Keri, Me, and Stacy before our panel

Afterward, at our signing, I met fellow blogger Sara McClung (who really does have nice feet even in person), James (aka Book Chic) who is just like his very cool vlogs, Susan F. Robertson of Wastepaper Prose who has a camera to stomp out all other cameras, and David Macinnis Gill whose book BLACK HOLE SUN I am totally looking forward to. I also met the only other "Powers of Matthew Star" fan in the world (okay, not quite). It's nice to know I'm not alone in my adoration of the show.

Barrie, David Macinnis Gill, and Me

James (Book Chic) and Me

James and Barrie

Barrie, Susan F. (Wastepaper Prose), and Me

The final panel featured David Macinnis Gill, Jennifer Hubbard, Amy Brecount White, and Paula Chase Hyman. It rocked, and all their books sound amazing.

The literary cocktail party followed at an old theater which featured fancy, fancy hors d'oeuvres and wine (no Cab, but they did have Merlot).

Stacy, Jenn Hubbard, Anne Marie Pace, and Sara Lewis Holmes

Irene and Bonnie Doerr

Barrie and Fran

After the party, Fran, Irene, Bonnie, Stacy, Suzy, Barrie, and I headed to a late dinner, though based on the portion sizes, it's arguable whether dinner in the right word. In the words of Barrie Summy, "This is a dinner for someone who has already eaten." (I have video footage of us laughing about the dinners, but it's a bit dark; I'll see what I can do.)

Suzy, Stacy, and Irene

My meal

Barrie's meal (along with three other people)

I loved the festival! It's was perfectly run, top notch, and a total great time!
Thank you!


Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

Aw, it all sounds like SO much fun. I wish I could've been there. (I mean, it's REALLY not fair that you've met my CP Sara before I have!) But thanks for sharing all the photos and stories so I can live vicariously through this. Glad you had fun!

Barrie said...

It was very very fun! p.s. I'm "stealing" some of your photos for my blog. Remember how I forgot my camera for part of the time!

Sara McClung ♥ said...

Your feet comment just almost made me spit water on my laptop!! It was awesome to meet you! *sticks tongue out at Shannon* ;-)

Seriously, your presentation was awesome--I loved your panel and I can't wait to read my new signed PJ Hoover novels!

Also, I see you're going to ALA in DC (which is like 15-20 minutes from me)! I don't know a ton about ALA yet, but the more I look into it, the more likely it is that I'll register. But either way, I'd love to grab a drink while you're in town! (If you have time, of course)

Natalie Aguirre said...

Your pictures of dinner are funny. Sounds like a great weekend.

Keri Mikulski said...

Had a great time too!!! :) :) So great meeting you in person and great pics. :) xoxo

BookChic said...

Awesome pics and recap! It was so awesome to finally meet you (and Barrie) and get my book signed. I loved your panel too, though I think we came in like halfway through your presentation, lol.

PJ Hoover said...

It was so much fun, Shannon! We'll have to meet at some other event in the future! And Sara was way cool :)

Steal away, Barrie! I posted them all (except the one where I looked really weird).

It was great to meet you, too, Sara! And thank you! Yes on ALA! Um, where do you live? I'll be in Alexandria for a month in June/July. Let's definitely sync up.

PJ Hoover said...

Dinner was hilarious, Natalie. I cried I laughed so hard!

I was so happy to meet you, Keri! But we never got a formal goodbye :( Of course, that means we'll have to see each other again!

So great to meet you, too, James! Let's plan on meeting at BEA!

Sara said...

Loved moderating the panel! I felt like I was sneaking into a really cool class. :)

I'm trying to pull together a post about it, and hope it's okay to use your picture of the panel because I foolishly didn't take one of you guys.

See you at ALA!

PJ Hoover said...

Use away! And yes, see you at ALA!

BookChic said...

I'm also contemplating going to ALA too maybe, lol. If not, since you'll be in Alexandria for a month, we could meet up for lunch or something there. I can visit my parents and also see you too! :D

And definitely BEA- I'll need meal buddies! We can reconnect in May and work something out. :)

Kelly said...

I love all the pictures you posted, PJ! Thanks for sharing your wonderful event with us! It's so fun to see all the authors congregating, learning from one another and just enjoying each other!

T. Anne said...

I loved the pictures! How cool that you got to meet other bloggers!!! So jealous. I'm glad you had a good time.

Elana Johnson said...

Holy brown cows! What a fun time. Look at all those amazing people with their amazing smiles. Thanks for sharing, PJ.

PJ Hoover said...

Perfect, James! And you should consider ALA. It's so close and so big!

Thanks, Kelly! I love hanging with other authors. They're the best group of people!

Thanks, T. Anne! I try to be good about taking pictures :)

You always make me smile, Elana! And Holy Brown Cows did it. Thanks!

beth said...

Wow! It looks like you had a blast! I'm so envious!!!! :)

PJ Hoover said...

Oooh, next year you should go, Beth!

David Macinnis Gill said...

Dude, they so did not cook your dinner.

PJ Hoover said...

I think they forgot to make the dinner, David. You should have joined us :)

Vonna said...

The panel lineup sounds fantastic. Thanks for sharing all this fun stuff.

Vivian said...

Your meal looks fantastic. Plus all the fun photos! Thanks so much for sharing this great day.

Tahereh said...

wow looks like so much fun!!!! thanks for sharing :D:D

David Macinnis Gill said...

I would've loved to join everyone for the reception and dinner, but I had to get on the road. Those darned kids.

Carrie Harris said...

This sounds like a very fun (and diet friendly) trip! So envious!

Miriam S. Forster said...

I'm so glad you had a good time PJ! The pictures are hilarious, and it sounds like an awesome event.

Welcome back!

MG Higgins said...

PJ, you seem to have so much fun at the conferences you attend. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us.

PJ Hoover said...

You're welcome, Vonna! It was an amazing group of authors, and I was thrilled to be included.

My meal was delicious, Vivian. The Margarita on the side was nice too! Hope all is great!

Thanks, Tahereh! And thanks for visiting!

PJ Hoover said...

Yes, kids have that power, David. My parents were lucky enough to be taking care of mine :)

So diet friendly, Carrie. Sadly. I needed more snacks.

Thanks, Miriam! I loved going and have such fun capturing photos of the event.

I have the best time at conferences, MG. It's just so much fun to talk shop all day long.

Heather Zundel said...

Oh PJ, that looks like so much fun. And the FOOD!!! (Yes, I'm a serious food junkie). Did it taste as good as it looks? *salivating*

PJ Hoover said...

My food tasted fabulous, Heather! I loved it (though I would have wanted more :) ).
Take care!

TerryLynnJohnson said...

Second best thing to being there is reading about it here. Great stuff.

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks, Terry! Second best thing to dog sledding is reading about it :)

Kelly H-Y said...

Oh my goodness ... what a trip! What a festival! Truly ... it sounds amazing! Your panel would have been a DREAM to listen to (love the make-shift screen!) ... all the panels sounded fantastic! So glad you had a great trip!

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks, Kelly! You are so sweet! I'd have loved for you to be there!

Bonnie J. Doerr said...

Hey PJ, I'm in Allentown, PA where I presented with my editor. But we haven't had near the fun our Charlottesville gang had. Stuck in the conference hotel all the while.I'm hoping that wild dinner evening never made it to Youtube. Too dark, right? Looking forward to another fun time in the future.
Thanks for the great post.

PJ Hoover said...

Way too dark, Bonnie, which is such a shame. And we did have a blast, didn't we! It was great meeting you!