There's a lot of great things about living in Austin. The queso! The margaritas! The lack of winter! The acceptance of jorts as formal wear! And on Saturday, I got to enjoy another one of the perks: the Austin Teen Book Festival. Presented by the Austin Public Library Friends Foundation, it's an all day event that brings YA authors from around the country to meet and talk with teenage readers and, uh, the occasional adult swimfan. Such as yrs truly.
The night before the festival, FYA was lucky enough to present a screening of Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist at our local badass theater, the Alamo Drafthouse. And get this: DAVID LEVITHAN WAS THERE! And he watched the movie with us! And then he answered questions! Because he's the best guy ever!
I was honored to introduce the film and moderate the Q&A, but I was so busy BEING EXCITED that I didn't get any pictures or video. I didn't even take notes, because I didn't want David to think I was texting while I was sitting next to him on the stage. So you'll just have to trust me when I say that he is absolutely marvelous and super nice. And also, he thinks it's hilarious that the yellow Yugo ended up being such a pain for the filmmakers (they had to find, buy and paint three of them) when it all started as a joke between him and Rachel Cohn.
Also, he said that no one has approached him or John Green to make a film adaptation for Will Grayson, Will Grayson, which is like WHAT THE WHAT. Who wouldn't want to make a movie in which we could see Tiny Cooper IN LIVING COLOR? David did mention that there's some interest in Dash & Lily, so that's cool, but COME ON, HOLLYWOOD, GET IT TOGETHER. We need to see Tiny Cooper, and we need to see him NOW.
The next day at the festival, David answered a question about the movie, so you can watch this and pretend like it's from our screening:
The panel was called "Real Life Is Messy" and consisted of the following authors: David Levithan, Coe Booth, John Corey Whaley, Melissa Walker, Geoff Herbach, with Varian Johnson moderating. It was definitely my favorite panel of the day, and not just because I want to be besties with David. All of the authors were funny and warm (particularly Coe Booth), and even though it was their third panel session of the day, they seemed glad to be there.
They also addressed the Twilight effect (video here) and the popularity of The Hunger Games (video here), and through it all, they did nothing to dispel my desire to make it rain BFF charms all over that conference room. It's a strange feeling when you know you're spazzing out more than the 15-year-old girl sitting next to you. JK, I FEEL THAT WAY ALL OF THE TIME.
Due to some sound issues, I didn't get video of any other panels, but it was AWESOME to see the huge crowd of teens there. I know this is crazy, but YA isn't just for adults, you guys.
In honor of keynote speaker Scott Westerfeld, the theme of the festival was steampunk. Check out this creature straight out of Leviathan!
Ok, seriously, how adorable is it to see a teenage girl posing with something OUT OF A BOOK? Not a Justin Bieber cut-out, but a book. I know I sound like an old lady here but VIVA LITERATURE.
Some people even dressed up!
The only thing that prevented this from turning full on RenFest was a lack of turkey legs and a sense of decency.
I was glad to see so many actual YAs at the festival, but I was also glad to be an A, especially when it came to lunch time, aka MARGARITA BREAK. I met up with some fellow Austin FYA Book Club members as well as a few ladies who were in town from San Antonio (and members of the FYA Book Club there!). We ate, we drank and we spazzed about books as only well-trained YAngelists can.
It was a fabulous day to be an FYAer and live in Austin, TX. In fact, I think we should start our own YAngelist Convention, complete with author panels, dance parties and champ can & queso concession stands. HOLLA! We'll start working on it, and you start visualizing yourself here:
Yeah, you got the easy end of the deal. SEE Y'ALL SOON...