I’ve been going to RWA conferences for several years. It’s been kind of amazing to progress through hopeful, to represented, to published author. This year, I got to sign at the big literacy signing that’s held at the conference every year, as well as at my publisher’s signing for attendees. I swear, I smiled so much this weekend, my cheeks are still achy!
Okay, first things first. Something you should know about me. I have this weird propensity for slow travel. I don’t like flying. I’m not scared of it–I flew to BEA in May. I just hate it. It stresses me out. So, whenever I have somewhere to go by myself, I always think: how can I get there without flying? Usually that means driving or taking a train. Amtrak doesn’t go from West to South very easily though, so getting to Atlanta would have taken 6 days. Each way. Too long!
Long story short, I took a Greyhound bus from Reno to Atlanta. Overall, it wasn’t bad. The seats were comfy, with just a couple of short-term exceptions, I had my little row of two seats to myself. The scenery was outrageously amazing. I was a little afraid it would be hot and sticky in the bus, but it was nice and cool. I also met some truly fascinating people. Weird thing: long distance on the bus is kind of like hibernation. You aren’t doing anything, so you don’t get too hungry–and you sleep. A lot. Not great thing: the food available to bus travelers is atrocious. Gas station food for two and a half days straight anyone? I didn’t think so. Also the stations during bus changes were chaotic. My final analysis is that I’d take the bus again, but maybe not across country.
So many incredible things went on during this year’s conference. The big literacy signing was out of this world. My book has been out for two weeks, and there are hundreds of well known, well loved authors at the signing. I wasn’t expecting much more than the joy of being in the midst of it, but I ended up talking to lots of people about Viral Nation. One woman got all excited because she was reading Viral Nation right then! Another one told me that her friend in Ireland is a fan. Wow.
The Berkley signing for conference attendees was also so much fun! I gave away all my books and met some amazing people. I am officially addicted.
I had dinner one night with Marni Bates (Awkward, Invisible) and we decided to take a cab to the local Barnes and Nobel, because someone had told us they’d seen Viral Nation there. And there it was! What a fantastic feeling. We signed our stock and had some fun with a guy who got into taking pics for us.
Also — I had the most perfect Sushi dinner with my friends Tracy Clark and Jason Roer–and also Jay Asher, Ally Carter, and Carrie Ryan. That dinner is one of the highlights of my life so far.
And then, Goodreads sent out it’s July YA Newsletter, and named Viral Nation as a Mover and Shaker. My little book is a Mover and a Shaker, ya’ll. Thank you guys for helping make that happen.