Tuesday, September 15, 2009

NC Literary Festival

Wow!  Let me just say again, wow!  I had a total blast at the North Carolina Literary Festival this past weekend.  It was the first festival I'd ever been to (that I could remember) much less spoken at, so I was definitely nervous for the weeks leading up to it.  This spawned some panicked "what do I do!?!" emails to friends who were thankfully quite calming and helpful.  One even suggested I check out YouTube videos of other authors speaking at festivals and this was awesome advice.  So I watched a bunch of authors at the  National Book Festival in DC and it was so much fun (and I learned a lot!).  One of those authors was RL Stine and I payed particular attention to him because he was the one taking the stage right before me (!!).

Let me pause here and say that when I was a teen, I had two go-to authors.  These are the ones that every time I went to the store or library I went straight for their latest -- these are the authors who really helped foster my love of reading (and taught me to speed read because I refused to sleep until I got to the end of the book!).  One of those authors was RL Stine so the fact that I'd not only be in the same town, but also be taking the stage after him was flabbergasting.

So I arrive in Chapel Hill, check into the Carolina Inn (they hand you a fresh-baked choc chip cookie on check-in - huzzah!).  And who do I see (other than Anna Deavere Smith who I recognized as the national security advisor on the west wing) but RL Stine!  He comes walking in and I hyperventilate a bit.  But I'm cool and collected and go to the media room to print out my schedule cause I'd forgotten it.  But then walking back to my room he's standing alone at the elevator.

And yeah, I was totally THAT girl.  I said "I'm sorry, are you RL Stine?"  And he turned surprised and said, "Yes, how did you know?" and that's about when I turned into a puddle of fan-girl mess.  Seriously, I babbled about how I was taking the stage after him and I was a reader because of him and am a huge fan and he's like a rockstar to me, etc etc.  He asks the title of my book and I tell him and he says "Oh yeah!" and had heard of it.  OMG!   The elevator comes twice and he stays to chat and finally I let him go and I return to my room where I collapse on the bed in fangirl bliss.

Until the hotel brought around truffles and sparkling water -- seriously awesome hotel!  I head down to the author reception and have a brief moment of panic because I clearly know no one, but I meet some seriously awesome people like Jenna Black, Virginia Kantra, and John Claude Bemis and have a chat with Sarah Dessen (more fangirl swooning).  That night's keynote was given by Anna Deavere Smith and it was amazing and thought-provoking and just wow.

The next morning I hung out in the author hospitality room meeting people and chatting and stressing.  RL Stine was there again and gave me advice and then it was time for me to go on!  I sort of blank out when I talk so I have no idea how that went.  I was mostly happy that most of the 6-8 year olds cleared out to get RL Stine's autograph (I had no idea what I'd talk about to them!) and I had a chance to meet a few readers before my talk -- totally totally amazing.  And then it was over, I signed some books and met some great people and that's all she wrote!

All in all it was a totally exciting weekend!  And hopefully having done that will make me a little less nervous for the future :)  Apparently, according to The Gourmez, my talk was good!  Yay!

And I met RL Stine who is totally my hero.  Totally totally awesome!  Next time I'll take my camera :)


Unknown said...

So envious! It sounds like great fun--and how cool about meeting RL Stine?!

Chris {frecklemama} said...

WOAH! That's wonderful!

Rebecca Knight said...

EEEK!! I LOVED R.L. Stine as a kid and read all the Fear Street and Goosebumps novels. I can't believe you met him, and how dare you not bring a camera? ;)

I think the best part is definitely that he'd heard of your book. I think I would have died. Congrats!

Laura said...

My husband and I enjoyed your session. We have a friend who is a zombie enthusiast, so we had to listen and report back to him. We can't wait to check out the books and hear more from you.

Erica Ridley said...

Wow you met RL Stine, how cool is that??? Go Carrie!!!

Tyhitia Green said...

Cool, Carrie. You met Mr. Stine and had a blast! Are you going back next year? :-D Sorry I missed ya. :-/