For those who are confused as to what’s going on, my name is Mari and I am one of the people Sophia, Lupe and Ella have kidnapped for a four week trial over the co-blogger position. I have to admit that I’m pretty nervous as I’m writing my first post for this blog. I really didn’t know what to post for the first week, and after taking some time on it, I’d figure you guys would like to know me better, but I’m not going to give you guys the ol’ cookie-cutter “get to know me better!” stuff. Instead, I’m going to tell you guys one of my favorite book-related memories that I deeply cherish.
There is an event known as the Miami Book Fair, and it’s held annually for, I believe, a weekend or two during November. The 2015 Miami Book Fair was held during my senior year of high school, and I had some friends who practically forcing me to google to see who would be going to the fair.
I don’t usually go to the fair. The last time I went was probably during a field trip when I was 5, and I barely remember anything of it. But, I might as well hop on to the bandwagon and take a peek at who’s going. Usually the authors whose works I read don’t go to the fair, but it was worth a shot.
So, I was scrolling through the list of authors who were going to be at the Book Fair, and one particular name immediately caught my attention. Victoria Aveyard. I had read her book The Red Queen and by the time I reached the near end (spoilers!), I wanted to throw my iPad across the classroom and scream (I didn’t do that though, don’t worry!).
After seeing that Victoria was going to be at the Book Fair, I practically made it my life’s mission to go see her. She was holding a panel with Ryan Graudin, who is the author of Wolf by Wolf (her books are still on my to-read list!), on a certain day. I told my parents that I had to go. There was many opportunities where they tried to change my mind, telling me that they’re tired or the Florida rain will bring worse traffic than usual, but I didn’t care if a meteor was hitting the Earth or if the sky was falling, I just had to go see her.
On the day of Victoria and Ryan’s scheduled panel, I got to the fair a few hours before the panel, walked around, hung around the HarperTeen booth and snagged some books. When the hours turned into minutes before the panel began, I heard that Victoria was going to do signings. Luckily, I had enough money to buy myself a copy of The Red Queen (I had the ebook not the physical) before going inside the theater where the panel was held.
Victoria and Ryan were already seated at their table. My heart was racing, my hands were shaking. I was full on suppressing a fangirl attack.
I made a beeline to reach a front row seat, and I listened intently to every question, every answer and every explanation said at that panel. This was the first time I ever go to a panel, let alone be a few feet away from one of my favorite authors.
After the panel, people (including me) were racing to get in line to get their books signed. When it was my turn in line, my brain was at an immediate shut down. Victoria signed my book (which is in preserved condition to this day) and I was lucky enough to tell her that the turning point of the book made me want to throw something and scream. She told me that she had experienced that while reading Game of Thrones and wanted to write something that will give her readers the same experience.
I asked if I could take a picture with her and she said sure. I could promise you that that picture was my profile picture on Facebook for a good year.
I’d post the picture but I think it’s too early for you to see my face. But regardless of that, it was truly an amazing day. Sure, it was a regular scheduled meet-and-greet. Sure, Victoria probably forgot about my name. But that’s all okay with me. I got to go to a panel and meet an author that I truly love and whose works I’ve actually read. For me, that experience is rare and memorable. I’d like to thank the Miami Book Fair team for scheduling that event and I’d like to thank Victoria Aveyard for showing up!
I apologize if this post isn’t your usual run-in-the-mill kind of stuff. I’d figure that you’d guys would like to know me from a different, more YA-reader-ish, perspective. I hope you guys enjoyed reading my story, and I look forward to writing posts for the next three weeks!