Oh, The LA Times Festival of Books. It’s one of my favorite book festivals ever. The panels are great. The authors are awesome. The green room is overflowing with the coolest authors and sparkliest conversations. As an Angeleno, it was always a goal of mine to be a part of it, and so every year that I am I pinch myself with glee. (thanks LA Times and Maret Orliss for making a little lady’s dream come true!)
It began on Friday night at the LA Times building for the awards ceremony. The LA Times building is a bit like going to the Daily Planet. It’s gorgeous and there is a big globe on the floor of the front lobby. Prizes were won, but nothing beat Terry Pratchett’s video acceptace speech for Best YA Book. Not because of what he said. I have no idea what he said. But because of his awesomely huge cat who stole the show. Oh cats. You are such funny creatures.
Afterwards there was a fine shindig. One of the most exciting things was getting to meet almost all of the other contributers to the LA Times serial novel experimet in storytelling that I was a part of “Money Walks.” My chapter was near the beginning (no. 5) and I created a character called Bunny Hortense from the baton that Tod Goldberg threw me and it was so cool to watch the great authors who went after me take Bunny and run with her. I learned so much about story telling from what they did. I loved the whole story, but I really loved Jerry Stahl’s chapter with Bunny because it was so pervy. You can read the whole story here.
I hung out with Carolyn Kellogg. When she wasn’t working to get a Jacket Copy blog post up, I scouted the soiree with James Ellroy. At the party it was the gliterati of the LA literati. And as usual, James Ellroy makes me laugh and laugh. He always tells me to clean up my language from “likes” and “yeahs” and “wows.” Friday he told me to stop using the word awesome all the time. But I couldn’t help it. Everything was so AWESOME!!!
Saturday I carpooled with Chris Daley who was covering some of the panels. We headed to the green room for much need coffee and nosh and there I ran into my fellow panelists, including the I’m-always-up-for-trouble Lauren Myracle.
The panel she was on was the one thatl I moderated on YA and it was also with Robin Benway, Lisa Yee and Deb Caletti. The panel was just like eavesdropping on us all talking over chai lattes or high tea and what made the panel even more fun was that I knew all the panelists, except for Deb. But Deb’s editor was one of my BFF’s in Jr. High School, so I just knew she was going to be kindred. She was! I loved her newest book Secret Life of Prince Charming which is about a girl trying to grapple with her dad (who very obviously has Narcissitic Personality Disorder) while also trying to make good choices in relationships with boys. It was heartbreaking, beautiful and informative. I highly recommend it. I recommend the other panelists books as well, Peace, Love and Baby Ducks. Absolutely, Maybe and Audrey, Wait! Get reading!
Then I signed at Book Soup. Which was great enough, but what was more awesome (sorry, James Ellroy! I can’t help myself!) was that I signed after Kristin Chenoweth. You know. GALINDA! She has a new book out called A Little Wicked. So since she was signing I got to meet her and tell her how I just wrote my latest novel (That’s Rose Sees Red coming out 2010. I’m in revisions right now!) with the soundtrack to Wicked on repeat. (no lie) Also, we are exactly the same height. We both have unique speaking voices. But while she may be more gilttery, I have more purple.
Then it was my delight to meet up with David J. Schwartz who was in town for the Nebulas. We hightailed it to the author green room for some nosh and talk and then I walked him to his Mysterious Galaxy signing. He drew me a wonder woman stick figure in my copy of Superpowers. Yay! (so great meeting you for reals )
And the evening did not stop there! No! Carolyn and I headed over to Venice to the beautiful books for the Granta party. It was another glitterati litterati evening. But pretty swell. I had a great time talking with Denise Hamilton, Cara Black, and Richard Nash to name a very few. I also bought a book, as was our duty at the party. It seemed that every book I wanted to buy was over $100, curse my excellent taste. But i finally settled on a book called The Adventures of Remi (or Sans Famille by Hector Malot) which starts with the best line ever. “I was born a foundling.” I am now going to insert that into my next YA novel. The one after Rose Sees Red. Mark my words.
Then it was Sunday. I went to Carolyn’s excellent humor panel, which literally was the funniest panel I have ever been to. It was Tod Goldberg, Ben Greenman, Seth Greenberg. Every single thing about it was hysterical. Carolyn’s next panel with Jerry Stahl, Patrick Dewitt (such a cool guy, cant wait to read Abulations“) and Wells Towers was perhaps not as hysterical, but it was just as great. Chris summed it up here. But i liked it when Wells Towers, in talking about revision said: that some people say that revision is cleaning up after the party; some say it is the party. He then said he had realized that, in fact, there is no party.
I then caught the SE Hinton panel. Which was a little bit of a let down. But boy, I sure did love those books when I was growing up. I wrote about the panel for Jacket Copy.
Then it was kir royales with friends as we toasted to another fantastic festival of books. I can’t wait for next year!