(above, Omni koi)
Cyn and I are just back from Houston, where Cyn was a panelist at the first annual Greater Houston Teen Book Convention, held at Alief Taylor High School and in conjunction with Blue Willow Book Shop.
In addition to keynote speaker Sharon Draper, featured authors included Cynthia (Tantalize and Eternal), Beth Fantaskey (Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side and Jekel Loves Hyde), Marjetta Geerling (Fancy White Trash), Jon Skovron (Struts and Frets), Judson Roberts (The Strongbow Saga), Jimmy Gownley (Amelia Rules), George O'Connor (Olympians Rule), Terry Moore (Strangers in Paradise, Echo, Runaways), Gayle Forman (If I Stay, Sisters in Sanity and You Can't Get There from Here), The Fillbach Brothers (Maxwell Strangewell, Road Kill, Clone Wars), Elizabeth Eulberg (The Lonely Hearts Club), and Paula Morris (Ruined).
After a quick and pleasant drive up US71/I-10 (the wildflowers are spectacular this year), we checked in at the Omni Houston Westside, had dinner and enjoyed the koi pond. Then we were off to Blue Willow itself for a lovely reception (oddly, we had never been there before, although we'd met all the folks at Mid-South and other events). We then went back to the Omni for a late night snack and a drink with a couple of the other speakers.
Next morning, we were up early, but not too early, and headed over to Alief Taylor High School. There, the organizers had set up a great speakers' lounge off the library, where we could retreat, etc.
(Sharon poses with her water bottle)
Sharon Draper delivered a terrific keynote, which was followed by a really good lunch from Whichwich. Afterwords, were the two breakout sessions (from the choice of three). I went to the generic YA and the graphic novel sessions. Following that was the signings in the school cafeteria.
(The brand-spanking new Alief Taylor High School).
Thanks to everyone who came and thanks to the organizers, librarians, volunteers, and booksellers. See y'all next year!
Cyn's post is here.