I had been hearing for years that the YA Author Coffee Klatch was fantastic, so this time I decided to pony up the cash and see for myself and I was not disappointed!
For those of you not familiar with this supremely awesome event, it works a lot like speed dating. Librarians and YA author groupies park themselves at tables in a big room, and authors move from table to table every time the whistle blows, which was about every five minutes. With nearly 40 authors in attendance, it was impossible to meet everyone, but the authors that I did meet were all incredibly gracious, funny, and charming. At our table, we talked with Michael Grant, Maggie Stiefvater, Garth Nix, Daniel Handler, Wendelin Van Draanen, Jenny Hubbard, Craig Silvey, and Daniel Kraus.
While five minutes might seem like a long time, it went by very quickly and the authors always had to move on before they had answered all our questions. Some of the authors used the time to discuss their work or their latest book, while others just free-formed the discussion; Michael Grant got a big laugh when he said, “Well, what should we talk about?” I confess that I completely hijacked Daniel Handler when he got to our table in order to discuss the finer points of the accordion, but I suspect we could have listened to him talk about microeconomics and still been completely happy.
At the end of the program, all the authors lined up for photographs, which I would have gotten, but I was literally shoved out of the way by an overly-enthusiastic attendee. Despite the occupational hazards, I will definitely be going back next year. At $25 a ticket, it was not only an amazing experience to meet so many wonderful authors but an absolute bargain! Thanks to those at YALSA for hosting this event and to all of the authors who gave their time to answer our endless questions.
— Summer Hayes, currently reading The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (and loving it!)