Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Decatur Book Festival and a GIVEAWAY!!!

I know you all are only here because you saw the word GIVEAWAY in the title, and you really don't give a crap about the rest of this post. So if you want to be a lame person and skip all the AWESOME that is inside of this post, then you can scroll down to the bottom, because that's where I talk FREE SIGNED STUFF. But if you stick around for the rest of the post, that would be cool and awesome and you'll certainly be glad you did.

So I spent this Labor Day weekend in the charming town of Decatur, GA, which is sort of part of Atlanta, but sort of not. It was the 2010 Decatur Book Festival and HOLY CRAP YOU GUISE. It was awesome. There was enough fat kid food (fried candy bars, funnel cakes, gyros, sausages, corn dogs, and italian ice) to feed a large army, and more famous authors than you can shake a stick at. (But why would you want to shake a stick at famous authors? They are famous and write awesome books.)

Here are some of the people I met this weekend. (I have more pictures on my camera, but my battery is dead and I can't find my charger and plus my uploader cord thing is way on the other side of the house. So most of these pictures are stolen or from my phone, which isn't the greatest quality. But I digress.)

Here's me (in the green) with friends Crystal, Natalie, Anna, Leah, and Julie, and author-friends Rachel Hawkins and Nancy Werlin! I'm so excited I finally got to meet Rachel, after exchanging witty banter with her on Twitter for months. Have you read Hex Hall? It is awesome. Srsly. READ IT. Nancy Werlin was also wonderful. She and Rachel were in a panel together about Real Issues in an Unreal World. They talked about how teens like books with paranormal elements because they allow them the chance to escape and see themselves in these characters, even when their own lives are totally crazy.

I also got to sit in on a panel with David Levithan and Terra Elan McVoy (I KNOW! Cue hyperventilation). I loved this panel because it was much more a dialogue between the two authors than a moderated Q and A (though they did accept some questions from the audience at the end). Both Terra and David were just ADORBS, and they read from their books. When David read the "smiley face" in his IM scene in Will Grayson, Will Grayson, I wanted to die a little because it was so effing cute.

They talked about writing realistic romance scenes, and how both of them pulled from their real life but then added something extra. For example, David mentioned how the scene in Love is the Higher Law where two characters go on a date a few days after 9/11, but aren't sure if it's OK to be on a date or what the attacks have changed, is based on something that happened to him. Terra said that when she's actually kissing someone it might just be about OMGOMGOMG I'M GETTING KISSED!!! But that's not fun to read, so you have to go back and really think about what the kissing feels like. Both of them said that the truth in romance comes from writing not just the parts where the romance succeeds, but from writing the parts where it fails a little, too. (Which can be funny, but also sad.)

I also got to meet Carrie Ryan and Alyxandra Harvey, but sadly I have no pictures because we were wayyyyy in the back and I'm still shy/awkward about asking for pictures as I fangirl. (Probably because my camera is huge and embarrassing.) But the session was fun, and I learned that Alyx doesn't outline when she writes, and Carrie thinks that this can be an effective way to work, because if you as the writer  don't know what's coming up, you might keep your reader guessing, too.

Up next we have the awesome Noni Carter, who is only 19, and started her book, Good Fortune, when she was 2. OK, really she was 13. Seriously. She's currently a freshman at Harvard. She makes me want to cry because I am so unaccomplished. Next to her is Christina Diaz-Gonzalez, author of The Red Umbrella, a YA historical fiction about Operation Pedro Pan which I gobbled up in the 24 hours following the festival. I met Christina at SCBWI and she was sweet as pie, and it seems that she hasn't soured in the last month or so. Both of these debut authors are women to watch for.

That's Anna, Natalie, Crystal, and me (this time in blue! And I'm not super short, I was just apparently the only one who did the Sorority Squat) with Robin Benway, Jackson Pearce, and Michelle Zink)

I have to admit, though, that my absolute favorite panel was the one with Michelle Zink, Robin Benway, and Jackson Pearce. It was called "Sibling Rivalry of the Best and Worst Kind" and these ladies had me rolling. All of their books have been on my radar - and I've already read Audrey, Wait! and loved it - but nothing like meeting the authors in person and seeing how fantastic they are will get you to want to take the rest of your life off from work and just readreadread. Robin Benway did tell me I should quit my day job. (No, really, I swear she did.) Anyway, here is the advice that these ladies had to offer:

From Jackson Pearce: Do whatever you want to do. You can be a writer and people will pay you for it. You might have to eat Ramen for awhile, but you can make it happen.

From Michelle Zink: Finish something. Writers are consummate starters, but actually finishing a project - from first draft through to revision - is better than any quick-start writing exercise there is. Don't let that new idea pull you in. Finish something.

From Robin Benway: Live. The experiences you will have by just being out in the world will make you a better writer.

OK, and now the part that you all actually care about! The giveaway! YAY!!!

Alright, so I'm a bad blogger. I teased last Friday and also at one point on Twitter that I would have a signed copy of Clockwork Angel to give away. And I totally thought that I would. I bought the book in advance, got all excited to have such an awesome prize to give out, only to find out that Cassandra Clare would only be able to sign books if you purchase her most recent title at the festival. The decision, handed down to her on high, is explained logically on her LiveJournal, so I'm not mad or bitter or anything, just sad that I didn't know in advance. Because I didn't plan to spend an extra $20, so sadly I didn't have it in the budget to make that prize happen.

BUT!!!! I have other awesome prizes to give away, so no one should be sad.

What's up for grabs, you ask??

A signed hardcover of SISTERS RED by Jackson Pearce*
A signed hardcover of AUDREY, WAIT! by Robin Benway

Dang. Those are some awesome prizes!!! I have more but I'm saving it for my blogversary, which is coming up in October! (Yeah. I'm a prize-hoarder. I'm weird like that.)

There will be two winners. You can choose if you want to enter to win one or both, so if you already have one or the other you can totally still enter. And you don't have to be a blog follower to enter, but you will get extra entries for being one, as outlined on my ridiculous entry form. And I'll like you more. Plus my blog is awesome.

Click here to fill out the entry-thingie! Contest closes on Friday, September 17. If you want to tweet about it, feel free (but not obligated), to use this convenient Twitter-sized tweet:

Win signed hardcovers of Sisters Red and Audrey, Wait! in an awesome contest from @HeatherTrese! http://bit.ly/akke1G 

Winner will be announced on either Saturday the 18th or maybe in the 19th's Sunday Funday edition - for extra fun! (OK I think it's past my bedtime here.)

*(OK, I should tell you that there is a small, tiny amount of tearing on the first 10 pages of this book. It's just like a little slit, about an inch, at the bottom. It's not my fault, it was totally like that when I bought it, but of course I didn't notice it until I got to Atlanta, which of course was too late to ship it back. So I got it signed anyway. But honestly, it's still a signed copy of an awesome book. For free. So it's not that bad.)


  1. I'm cracking up at the Sorority Squat. (You know I do it. Every time.)

    You know I have a major girlcrush on Robin Benway. She's so freaking awesome. I'm really jealous of all of this.

  2. That sounds like an awesome conference. Loved the advice about romance. I'll definitely keep that in mind. :D

  3. Sounds like a good time. Thanks for sharing. :)

    Also, thanks for the contest!


  4. Jess, I'm pretty sure the Sorority Squat is in our blood. Maybe more so for you because you're freakishly tall. And I mean that in the nicest, most loving way possible.

    Also Robin Benway is awesome and she rocks my face off.

  5. Okay, I love it that you got to go to this because you're awesome and deserve it. But, waaaaaaaa, I wish I could've gone too. What an amazing weekend!!! But you are so sweet to have a giveaway and to share your experience with us. What a wonderful group of people to meet and see.

    And I already won a book from you, so I'd feel like a jerk entering another :P

  6. Dude, Carol, that was like 9 months ago. You should totally enter. I won't tell anyone. :)

  7. I am so jealous that all of you were able to make it! SO jealous!

  8. sounds like you had an AMAZING time and I'm totally jealous <3

  9. OMG, wasn't DBF amazing??? (wow, too many abbreviations in that sentence). I'm having a blast finding and reading everyone's blog posts about it...that Sibling Rivalry panel was amazing, as was the Realistic Romance one. Fortunately, I hadn't bought a copy of Clockwork Angel yet, and I understand why publishers/etc have to have policies like that, but it still seems unfair to all those awesome hardcore fans who go out and get the book on its release date. You went to Cassie Clare's Q&A, though, right?


Loved it? Hated it? Either way, I want to hear what you thought!

Copyright 2009

See Heather Write
. Powered by Blogger
Blogger Templates created by Deluxe Templates
Wordpress by Wpthemesfree