YALLFest 2012!

Well, after a 16 hour round trip drive, I have made it home from

Beautiful Park in Downtown Charleston

This was my first book festival, and I had such a blast!  I road tripped with Laura @ Owl Tell You About It and her BFF Jessica who is a high school English Teacher, and we just had a book party all weekend! 
YALLFest took place on Saturday, November 10th in the middle of Charleston, SC.  Can I just tell you….this city is BEAUTIFUL!  It is so quiet and quaint and stunningly beautiful and I so want to live there! 

Cassandra Clare signing!

So the conference itself opened up with a talk of literary friendships with none other than Cassandra Clare (Mortal Instruments) and Holly Black (Curse Workers)!  And holy cow, these two women are truly best friends!  They were just so cute and giggly!  The story of how they met?  Cassandra Clare showed up at Holly Black’s first book signing and told her that she had a great idea for a book and asked her to go get a hot cocoa.  They have been writing partners every since!

The one panel we were able to attend during the day was the YA Girl Band Panel, and honestly I am so glad that we got to attend this one, because it was TOTALLY ROCKIN’!  The speakers from left to right were Elizabeth Eulberg (author of The Lonely Hearts Club, which I am reviewing later this week), Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss), Alyson Noel (Immortals series), Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry), Jenny Han (The Summer I Turned Pretty), and Kathryn Williams (Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff that Made Me Famous)! What a rock star panel!  The moderator, who was the young adult librarian from the Charleston Public Library, asked some really great questions that led to some really interesting discussions and secret-sharing!  So, for your viewing pleasure, I will recap the highlights of what I learned about these women from this event!

Elizabeth Eulberg:  New Kids on the Block fanatic!  Writing is personal therapy.  She wrote a scene from The Lonely Hearts Club where she just pretended that she was telling off all of the boys in her life who screwed her over.  She prefers cupcakes as a motivator/encourager for her to keep writing!

Stephanie Perkins:  Wears tiaras when she vacuums.  Also, teenage Stephanie had a lot of car accidents, so she would tell herself to learn to drive better.  She only writes with pink pens.  “A balanced character is a real character is a flawed character.”  She likes to explore a different aspect of herself in each of her protagonists.  Her heart goes out to anyone who has had to deal with cyberbullying.  Nerdfighters UNITE!

Alyson Noel:  “Riley Blook is me at age 12 except I’m not dead.” “It’s really hard to honor who you are when the Kardasians are the pennicle of societal success.”  We shouldn’t be afraid to make a mistake.  That is what makes people real.  “Every book is an attempt [for me] to do [the teenage years] better.”

Simone Elkeles:  She named her big zits in college George.  “I’ve never done drugs or been drunk, but I act like it!”  What is one thing that you would tell your teenage self?  “The dog doesn’t always bark when your parents come home.”  “I meet my characters as I write them, and then I ask them: Why did you do that? Don’t say that, that’s mean!”

Jenny Han:  She loves to read characters that are flawed but not cautionary (authentic people).  “I like taking the worst part of my personality and amplifying them.”  She is most like Taylor from The Summer Series.  Advice for teenage self:  wear a bikini all the time, because you’ll never look better than you do now!

Kathryn Williams:  “I feel like the freshman at the senior prom.”  She loves to bake and to eat, and she really enjoyed writing a book that incorporates all of that passion.  She writes all of her novels in her bed.

And their advice for Inspiring Writers: 

Eulberg:  “Read as much as possible.”

Perkins:  “You learn to write by reading other writers.”

Noel:  “Don’t put pressure on yourself.”

Elkeles:  “Figure out why you are getting stuck.”

Han:  “Just enjoy the experience.”

Williams:  “Find your safe place to write.  Get into a pattern. “

The rest of the day consisted of standing in book signing lines and eating a lot of really great food!  Quesadillas, World-Famous Margaritas, Gelato, Pie, Donuts, and Coffee.  We also walked around downtown a bit and explored the beautiful city (mostly to walk off all of our eating)!  Here is my loot from the afternoon festivities!

 My pile of books I got signed!

“Live every day in wonder.”
–David Levithan


The day ended with the infamous Author Smackdown!  This was a competition along similar game play as Whose Line Is It Anyway?  The authors were split into genre groups and competed in story competitions.  The results?  A lot of mildly inappropriate, silly stories!  What a great ending to a wonderful day!

And guess what?  YALLFest 2013 will be November 9th, 2013.  Same time, same place.  Only maybe you could do it two-days, eh YALLFest?  Because there was a stack of books that came home unsigned because we just ran out of time.  And I would love to get to hear more authors speak AND get signatures, too!  =)

Well, that was my delightful YALLFest Trip! 

Love and QuikTrip Coffee,



2 thoughts on “YALLFest 2012!

  1. Jocelyn Rish says:

    YALLFest has been a blast both years, and I can't wait for next year. But it is tough to decide between listening to the panels and getting books signed. 😦 As a local, I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed your time in Charleston!

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