Sunday, October 14, 2012

Wordstock 2012

The Wordstock Chair
Yesterday I attended the Wordstock Festival at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon. Wordstock is an annual event where authors, agencies, small presses, and other such people of the literary arts gather. I attended only the first day of the festival, today being the second, though I did get both of the books I brought yesterday signed - but more on that later.

Convention Floor
I arrived first thing and was one of the first people to start milling about the various booths, the majority of them local businesses from around the Pacific Northwest. After an hour of chatting and accumulating  multiple handouts, I went to my first panel with authors April Henry and Jeanne Ryan. I did a review of April's book Girl, Stolen a while back, and was very interested in hearing her talk about her writing process, as I writer myself I soaked up everything I could.

Right afterwards I went to see a panel with Storm Large (that's her real name) and Bettye Lavette. Both are singers, Storm being something of a local legend, and they had memoirs out. The panel turned out to be more of Storm Large interviewing Bettye Lavette about her book, and while I don't generally read memoirs, hers sounded very intriguing: growing up in Detroit and having a hit song at sixteen, knowing legends like Aretha Franklin, but never achieving a lasting measure of fame herself until recently. That event was one of the better attended ones of the day I saw.

Living In A Fantasy World
David Levithan's signature
After grabbing lunch at Red Robin where police officers were waiting tables to raise money for the Special Olympics, I came back to see one of the talks I was most excited about. It was called Living In A Fantasy World, and was made up of Alex Adams, Kevin Emerson, David Levithan, and Lissa Price talking about writing fantasy and dystopia (two of my preferred genres). The picture at right is supposed to be of them, but being armed only with my iPhone, I didn't get the best pictures. David Levithan acted as the moderator for the panel, but when the audience Q and A kicked in he answered some of the questions as well. I had to wait another hour though, before I could get David to sign my copy of Every Day since he had to run off to another talk right away, but when I finally met him he was super nice and complimented hat which really made my day.

The last talk I saw that day was with Lish McBride, author of Hold Me Closer, Necromancer and Necromancing the Stone, and Tonya Hurley, author of Ghost Girl and the Blessed Trilogy. I had gotten Hold Me Closer, Necromancer for Christmas last year and had brought my copy along for the signing, but had never heard of Tonya Hurley or any of her books before, so I was really glad I was able to find out more about her. By the name it ended and I was in line for the signing it was almost five o'clock. I had been hoping to meet some fellow bloggers but so far I hadn't found any. But as I was waiting in line I heard the women right in front and behind me start talking about reading and having a shelf full of ARCs, which isn't slang that most people just walking down the street would know about. When I asked it turned out I was talking to none other than Sara of Novel Novice, and Mel of Novels, News, and Notes from your Northwest Neighbors, and A Shot in the Arm. It was completely wonderful meeting those ladies, and I am hoping to start getting out to the author signings around town more often to meet up.

Left to Right: Mel, Sara, and Me.
Bottom line, if you have never been to Wordstock, I highly encourage you try to get there one of these years, it is a truly spectacular event!

1 comment:

  1. Omg, that is too funny. I JUST got back from Wordstock! It was fun. I saw Lish McBride in a panel about trends in YA Paranormal, and she read from some of her Necromancing the Stone, and I really I liked what she read. I'll have to check out that series for sure. I thought you were from Portland because of the "pdx" in your blog url, and now I know for sure!


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