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First book event? Bring a friend!

Earlier this month, the women of YA Highway got together for our first ever group book event in Shelton, WA. For me, and for Sumayyah Daud (author of 2014's Begin Again), it was an extra-special day--our first book event, period!

This photo makes my heart happy.

I'm not going to lie: I was quite nervous on the days leading up to the event. On my blog, I predicted blushing and mumbling on my part. Though I've done my fair share of public speaking, this was the first time I was ever going to speak about Starglass specifically. Would the audience ask questions I couldn't handle? Would I put my big ol' foot in my big ol' mouth?

Luckily, I didn't have to worry. With my ladies--Kristin Halbrook, Kirsten Hubbard, Kody Keplinger, and Veronica Roth, not to mention Sumayyah herself--by my side, I found the pressure much lifted. In some ways, the event felt like a simple extension of the past several days. We'd already been talking plenty about the books we were reading, about kick-ass girls, about the the emphasis on cute boys in YA and precisely what we thought about it. The more experienced authors gave us newbies plenty of warning about the questions that come up again and again. The event at the Shelton Library was yet another reminder of how important it is to have mentors. As John Green puts it, you need to find your Ilene; I couldn't possibly find any better Ilenes than the ones I have!

This one, too.

Sharing this experience with six other fantabulous writers did its work for taking off the pressure. It turned the event into a conversation, not a performance. It made the crowd--huge and active and lively!--a little less scary, too.

So much love!

So if you can swing it, I highly recommend dragging a cadre of friends along to your very first book event. Not only will it make the experience easier; it also makes it a whole lot more fun!
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  1. I love Shelton, WA! When my family lived in Kent for two years we used to spend weekends in Shelton at my grandparent's cabin.

    Wish I could have rowed myself from Friday Harbor to attend the event!

  2. Good advice, and I'm glad your first event went so well. :-)

  3. Where are your Essential Swoon Kits? Wasn't that a highlight, too? jk jk Glad ya'll had fun ♥


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