Monday, September 12, 2011

PAYA 2011: The Turtle Is Mine

Alternative Titles for this Post: "Red Shoe...Nom Nom Nom" and "Just Say No to Delaware."

To recap: PAYA scheduled for August 27. Historic hurricane, being a big fan of YA and really wanting a signed copy of Sirenz, schedules itself to hit the same day. As a result, PAYA was moved up an hour so we could all skedaddle early and the Writing Workshop was cancelled.

I was sad about the workshop being cancelled.

Then again, any need to have my first pages critiqued was far outweighed by my desire not to get clobbered by a giant storm.

Once at PAYA, Aine and I descended upon the table where books were being sold, having been warned that supplies were already running low. Aine got the last two copies of Scott Tracey's Witch Eyes and gave one to me, because she's awesome.

First I was thrilled, then I felt guilty, because I'll be giving it away in a contest.

But I hope you all will be happy, because I'll be giving it away in a contest.

For myself, I got Dianne Salerni's We Hear the Dead and Ellen Jensen Abbott's Watersmeet. And check out how Ellen signed my book:

While Ellen signed, I chatted with her and the lovely Alissa Grosso, author of the YA Contemporary Popular. Ever since I read the plot summary, I haven't been able to get Popular out of my head, so you might want to check it out.

For my PAYA giveaway, I got the aforementioned Witch Eyes, Sirenz by dynamic duo Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman, The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk, and Leah Clifford's A Touch Mortal.

I spent a lot of time at Charlotte and Natalie's table, stealing their swag. They had some interesting things like a calling card from Hades and these cute Nekocat charms. What kept me coming back though were the little red shoes made out of chocolate. Mmmmm, swag.

Charlotte was also kind enough to speak to me about how Sirenz got published. Instead of querying agents first, Charlotte and Natalie went directly to the publishers. And though their publisher plucked them out of the slush pile, she highly recommended attending SCBWI's conferences to network with editors, pitch, and learn more about the craft. It should also be noted that they got rejected, a lot, before finally being picked up, so perserverance is key.

After the book signings, there was the raffle. I love raffles, and I'm really lucky, so I've won quite a few in the past. Mostly by buying mass quantities of raffle tickets. I generally find that if there are 100 raffle tickets stuffed in a box, and 99 of them belong to me, that I win. See, me=lucky. I approach publishing the same way, I make my own luck.

So there amidst all the wonderful books being raffled were two turtle necklaces. One had a silver turtle charm and a vivid blue metal chain. The other had a black chain and a pendant that contained a drawing of two turtles. They were somehow related to a book...but I don't remember which book because I was too busy figuring out how many raffle tickets I needed to buy.

You see, I wanted those turtle necklaces. I needed those turtle necklaces. My life was going to be incomplete unless I got those turtle necklaces. My precious turtle necklaces. It was like this, except with turtles instead of cake. So in the end, after crossing my fingers, and rubbing my lucky rabbit's foot (still attached to the rabbit...cruelty free!), and buying 20 raffle tickets, I did indeed win them. Woohoo, my lucky streak continues!

With signed books, and turtles, in tow, it was time to head home. Our usual route would take us through the fine state of Delaware. Delaware, which is kind of close to the ocean, and which was currently getting pounded by a hurricane. We didn't want to go to Delaware that day. After checking the weather reports and Doppler radar, we told the GPS to take us another route, away from Delaware and further inland. The *$@%#$ GPS, apparently in collusion with the hurricane, kept trying to take us to Delaware anyways and actually managed to lure us to the state for about two minutes before we turned around. Luckily, Aine has a great sense of direction and figured out the GPS' sneaky, hurricane-lovin' ways.

After beating the GPS into submission, we got home without incident. It was rainy, sometimes very rainy, but there was hardly any wind. If we had been living under a rock, not paying attention to the news, we'd have thought it was just a regular rainy day.

Next Up: My Crazy-Girl-Braved-a-Hurricane-for-Books Contest begins with a giveaway of Witch Eyes.

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