Thanks to the Mejor Futuro/Better Future Scholarship, I am going to the American Libraries Association (ALA) Conference in Anaheim, CA in late June/early July. Can you tell that I'm excited? I get to go to California to meet YA authors and I don't have to pay for it! Hells yeah!
Library conferences and I go way back. To April 2007. Okay, so we don't exactly have a long and intimate history together but that Texas Library Association (TLA) Conference in San Antonio influenced my career tremendously. At that point, I was still indecisive about whether I wanted to be an academic or public librarian. I have quite the disposition for either, really. However, when I found myself buggering off to YA talks only, I knew I'd pretty much made my choice. I was a changed woman after that!
And why not? I met Scott Westerfeld!
And Justine Larbalestier!
And Rick Riordan!
And John Green!
And Stephenie Meyer!
In an instant there was no going back. I was a true blue YA junkie.
So I stood in line.
I bought books.
I talked to other librarians.
I bought more books.
And I stood in more lines.
I'm serious. Once I got the author fever, that's all I wanted to do. Meet writers. Talk to them. Get their autographs. I remember getting to the point where I didn't care who the author was. I just wanted that author lust in my veins!
At one point, I saw a short author line. It was for Cecil Castellucci. I'd never heard of her till then. Yes, I was a Castellucci virgin. Yes, I now see the error of my ways. Anyway, I paid $10 for a book by this writer who was a stranger to me, just so I could take a picture with her and get her autograph. Once I got to talk to her, I asked if she minded if I whipped out my camera for a two-shot. The wench said she was feeling sick and would rather not. By my account, she looked just fine. I was pissed that I, a struggling student, paid for some book with pink leopard print on the cover only to be lied to.
Ha ha. Well, there was no point in getting pissed off. And really, all is forgiven when you get to meet Stephenie Meyer. But I tell the Cecil Castellucci story for a reason. I mean, she can do whatever she wants to. And it kind of taught me a lesson. Don't buy books from divas-- I mean, writers that you know nothing about. Know who's who. Be a more informed librarian. And don't take anything personally. Writers are people too and that kind of meet and greet is exhausting. Yes, even if you're paying for their books. So yeah, no pictures of Cecil Castellucci here. And that's cool. She is going to be at ALA... and so are several other YA authors... If I get a pic with her, cool. If not, whatevs.
Because I've learned a valuable lesson. It's not about being author struck. It's about the *literature*. That said, here's a list of authors I don't know that much about but will take pictures of anyway. See YALSA's Young Adult Author Coffee Klatch.
Really, I was lucky at TLA. I have been told that TLA rocks so much because it's such a large conference-- since it's such a large state that brings in many attendees-- and it's worthwhile for the big names to stop by. I mean, Isabel Allende! Oh she made me weep. It was a very emotional moment, hearing her speak. My mother turned me on to Allende's work, and I know that mom would have been so overcome to see this picture of me and esta señora chilena llena de literatura y gracia.
Just imagine what it's going to be like to go to a national conference! I promise to not act like such a newbie. I will be all calm and cool and collected when I get to see John Green again as I totally rock an uber loud and homemade Nerdfighters shirt.