This past weekend I had one of the most unforgettable experiences ever at the Austin Book Fest, where 54 authors and over 1,000 readers got together and signed books, chatted, took pictures, etc…and it was just one mad, rad signing. From the moment I stepped into the ballroom where the event was hosted, I was in a daze. While I was waiting in one of the lines, I heard someone yell out ‘my dream is coming true’ and that statement absolutely echoes my own thoughts. Being able to meet these authors and other book friends, it’s just…GAH! Surreal is what it is

All the authors plus coordinators in attendance

The signing was organized by Vilma’s Book Blog and sponsored by Inkslinger PR. With a total of 54 authors (not including the couple of authors that had to drop out due to bad weather) slotted in a 4-hour signing frame, it was bound to be hectic. Fun, but hectic. The official signing didn’t begin until noon on Saturday, but since I was so worried about crowd traffic and stuff, I left my house and got to the hotel at 9 am and wow! There were over 100 people lined up at the front doors already –> O_O

So during that 3 hour gap when I wasn’t talking with other fellow book lovers in the line with me I spent reading The Contradiction of Solitude by A. Meredith Walters. Totally messed with my head (here’s my review) and it probably wasn’t a good idea to read a psychological thriller right before an epic signing, like my nerves weren’t shot already LOL! But on the bright side, those 3 hours passed by quickly because of that, and before I knew it I was walking through the front doors of the Texas ballroom where all the authors were. And from there, I was in a daze…truly. There was so many people and from left to right all I saw were blurred faces. The first line I went to was Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher’s line (they were signing at the same table) and even though I was one of the earlier ones to get there, I still waited about an hour before I reached them.

They were nice and funny! The day before, Tarryn was wearing a cheese-its bra (LOL!)

and on the day of the signing she wore lights around her outfit

After that I went to Renee Carlino’s table, and she was the sweetest lady!!

She also did an ABF-exclusive cover reveal of her upcoming book Before We Were Strangers and it is gorgeous!

Full blurb from Goodreads:

“During their senior year of college, in an NYU dorm tucked into the heart of the East Village, Grace and Matt struck up a friendship over Jeff Buckley, Pearl Jam, and the Ramones. She was going to be a world-class cellist and he was going to be a famous photographer, their paths destined to diverge after graduation.

Even after an afternoon pub crawl ended in their drunken, spontaneous wedding, their visions for the future never overlapped enough for them to be together. The summer after college, he left his “ex-wife” on good terms and went to Brazil to work for National Geographic. They vowed to stay in touch and see each other soon.

They never did.

Fifteen years later, back in New York City, Matt sees Grace as she boards the J train. They’re both different in a hundred ways, and yet they’re still the same. But just as they recognize each other, just as he understands what he left behind all those years ago, the train pulls away. His only recourse is to send a missed connections letter out in the world, and hope she remembers where to look.”

I also learned that her husband reads the early versions of her books first and then again after edits and so of course I had to get his signature too

And okay…from there, I honestly don’t remember where I went next. The next 3 hours was a combination of:

1. Waiting in lines
2. Carrying bags that got heavier by the hour (teehee)
3. Saying hello, getting in 5-minute talks with old & new book friends
4. Trying not to get dehydrated because of how hot it was in the ballroom

I’m sad I didn’t get to take more pictures but the ones I have saved on my phone are here:

Tammara Webber here! It was my 2nd time seeing her again, and she and her husband recognized me from before *drops dead* 

E.K. Blair here! I let her know how much Bang messed with my mind and her response? #SorryNotSorry LOL!

L.B. Simmons!!! I’m such a huge fan of her work, and was so glad to see her again. By the way if y’all haven’t read The Resurrection of Aubrey Miller yet, bump it up on your TBR!

I was waiting in Penny Reid’s line and looked to my left and saw this line. Wanna guess who it was for? Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher of course! Their line eventually went out the doors O_O

Penny Reid! She was SO funny in person too! We talked about her latest book The Hooker & the Hermit (which was a 5-star awesome read for me!!) and she said the biggest thing she got were readers saying ‘so this wasn’t a hooker book.’ FYI, ‘Hooker’ in her book refers to a rugby position

Monica Murphy! We were both hot and red-faced haha. Second time seeing her and somehow we talked about our shared love for Cora Carmack’s Rusk University series.
R.K. Lilley!! I seriously love this lady and her books, and it was also my 2nd time seeing her again. This time she’s sporting pink hair 
Sadly, this was the last of the pictures saved on my phone, but I did meet most of the other authors. The only ones I couldn’t get to that I would’ve loved to meet were Jennifer L. Armentrout (boo), Jay Crownover (double boo), and Kim Holden (triple boo). Their lines were insanely long all 4 hours of the signing and my blistered feet couldn’t stand anymore so I had to bow out.
I’m lucky that I live in a state where many signings occur and in the rare occasion that I can actually attend one, I will treasure those experiences and memories and never forget. Austin Book Fest was no exception. So well-organized for a frenzied 4-hour signing and while everyone was hot and spent most of the time waiting in lines, we were also happy. Shoutout: I almost forgot to mention that I met some BVR followers! So, so ecstatic about that and great to put a name to a face
Ah yes, can’t end this post without a giveaway right? Nothing too special here and while I did get some signed books just for giveaways, I’m saving those for the right time. What I will be giving away today is an Austin Book Fest Doodle from Christina (signed by her and other authors) and…
There was another reason I went to Colleen and Tarryn’s line first: I wanted to grab a copy of Confess before they ran out and I was so happy that I did get one! So a Confess for me, a Confess for you…
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