Needless to say, we got up to FOB just after 11:15. We had already missed the John Green panel that we had tickets for were just trying to get to the YA panel with Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl, Lauren Kate and DJ MacHale. We ended up passing the signing area and since there wasn't a serious line yet, I decided to stay and wait.
There were a two people already waiting and somehow we got on the topic of John Green. The woman waiting told us that he was signing right then, so my husband took my books and ran off to get in line.
The line he waited in...Since I was third in line, I was able to see Lauren right away. She's always so nice and makes conversation. Lauren asked where I was from and if I'd been to FOB before. Turns out, this was the first time for both of us. She very graciously signed my copies of The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove and Fallen in Love
Meanwhile, I had met Ava while in line for Lauren. We made plans to meet up for Stephanie Perkins, Gayle Forman and Nina LaCour. I will come back to this.
After Lauren, I ran over to where my husband was in line for John Green. I was able to get there when he was about 10 people away. There was someone there to flap my books [which was already done]. That woman handed them to another woman who handed them to John. I was a bit bummed that I didn't bring TFiOS with me to have personalized, but I didn't think I'd even get to see him, so I couldn't be quite that upset.
When we got up to him, I told him that I wasn't sure what to say because I'm sure he had heard it all already. He agreed that he had, but that he always liked to hear it. So I told him that I only read TFiOS because everyone was talking about it, but that I loved it. He told me that he loved into hear when friends threaten to "punch you in the face if you don't read".
After John, I ran back to the YA section to get in line with Ava for The YA or Bust tour stop. I purposely didn't bring my books because I'm going to be at the stop in Huntington Beach. And maybe San Diego...
Anyhoo. Since I didn't have my books, I asked Gayle to sign her swag while explaining that I would be at the HB stop. And I got an awesome Team Adam pin.
And then it was time for Stephanie...
Ava went ahead and pointed me out, telling her that I'm one of her hugest fans [I will be getting her back for this]. I completely went to 11 on the fangirling and told her how I've been waiting so so so long to meet her. That I planned to go to AZ in May for her and that I tried to get Hubs to go to NC when Lola came out. She is the sweetest person ever. Especially since she dealt with my absolute flailing with smiles and nice words.
Now, while I was waiting for Stephanie, I told Nina that I will have books for her at the signing. And then she asked if I was "Stacee from Twitter". [Perhaps I didn't mention that I had a post-it on my chest like a name tag...]. I'm not sure if this "getting recognized" is a good thing or not... [I also got recognized by a woman who was at the Breathless Reads tour at the bookshop-which-will-not-be-named].
Either way, I got some cool stuff. And I walked away thinking I hadn't made TOO big of a hot mess of myself. Turns out, while waiting for valet, all three ladies walked by. Yes, I did run after them. Yes, I did ask for a picture. Yes, I was a total hot mess.
After the ladies, Ava said she was going to see about going to the other John Green signing hosted at Mrs. Nelson's. You had to buy a copy of one of his books to get a priority ticket. I offered to buy TFiOS to have personalized so Ava could get her autograph book signed. She then left to get in line.
Hubs and I walked around to kill time. Somehow we ended up at the LA Times stage during Tori Spelling. We stood under a lovely tree in a grassy area just hung out. Well, I hung out, Hubs pretended to be Tori answering questions. He even spoke in a high pitched voice for a bit.
Just after two, I went back to the YA panel signing area for Kendare Blake and Robin LaFevers and asked if I could get in line since they were still setting it all up. The guy asked if I knew there was a panel with the authors that was happening. I said yes, but that I'd rather wait for the signing. He was really cool and even let me stand under the tent.
Ava showed up shortly after and traded me my signed [and personalized!] copy of TFiOS for a copy of Anna Dressed in Blood that I bought her. We settled in and just chatted a bit. Nicole joined us right before the signing started.
Robin was first. I told her that I loved Grave Mercy and that I read it in one sitting and that it didn't feel like 500+ pages. She was surprised at that, said it must have been a long sitting. When I told her that it was only about 3 hours, she was even more surprised. I took a pin and thanked her.
As soon as I saw Kendare was going to be signing, I knew I was making her a priority. I absolutely loved Anna and I'm dying for Girl of Nightmares. And like a total idiot, I pretty much said that exact thing. *facepalm*
After chatting with Ava a bit more and waiting for Hubs to come back from seeing John Cusack, we left. And waited at valet for 30 minutes before I made a fool of myself.
All in all, Festival of Books was amazing. I know for next time that there's no need to pay for panel passes. And valet parking is a big maybe. But, I'm pretty sure we'll be going again...