Tuesday, May 25, 2010

NYC & BEA: Teen Author Carnival

Last night I was part of the fabulous Teen Author Carnival! It really did have that electricity in the air like you feel on the midway of a real carnival as well as tons of candy!

And I was overwhelmed just like a little kid might be at the sight of so many big, scary looking rides and so many sweet treats. There were thirty authors there, many of whom make me feel like a total fangirl. And bloggers, I am just as much of a fan girl when it comes to you. It still seriously astounds me to hear when people love my book. I'm a huge fan of all the book bloggers. And I got just a tongue-tied around them as I did around Elizabeth Scott who was standing across from me, talking to someone I knew and I couldn't bring myself to introduce myself for fear I might start babbling incoherently.

I got the same way when bloggers came and said hi to me. I finally met Steph Su and Alea, for example and wanted to say more about how much their support meant to me, but I think with the noise of the conversation around us, I was probably barely comprehensible and didn't say nearly as much as I wanted to. And there were a couple people where I messed up which events I met them at before and was all, Umm, that was cool and.... So yeah, excuse the social awkwardness, my dear bloggers. It's because I'm incredibly starstruck by you, who read and review my books. But some of us took pics together and I hope you'll send them to me at stephanie at stephaniekuehnert dot com. My camera was acting up and making everything blurry (or my nervous hand was) so I didn't take as many as I should have. I wanted to take pics with everyone who came to talk to me and I have this little book that I like to have people sign when I sign things for them that I thought I'd forgotten but found my bag this morning. *headdesk* I'll have it for my Wednesday Books of Wonder event though and I promise to get my shyness out of my system.

Okay, enough about my failings. Let's get back to how awesome the Carnival was.

As soon as I walked in, I met my Teen Fiction Cafe sister, Linda Gerber. It was such a thrill to finally meet the Gerb in person!!!! I love love love her mysteries. And in true woman of mystery fashion, she took me and Amy Brecount White to see the basement of the Jefferson Market Library which used to be a dungeon! You can tell by the thickness of the walls.

Unfortunately I didn't get a picture with Linda and Amy in the Dungeon (d'oh!). I did meet and take a pic with Holly Cupala though, who lives in my dream city, Seattle and I hope to be neighbors with her someday. I am also super excited because I got a little sneak peek of her forthcoming book TELL ME A SECRET which looks amazing and she agreed to do a Women Who Rock Wednesday interview in the future, squee!!! So here is me and Holly.

When I was on the "Real Teenage Life" panel, I think I managed to string together some coherent thoughts and maybe even give some good answers on the topic of character development and why I write YA. Amy Brecount Whit, Barry Lyga (love being on panels with Barry, he's a blast), Courtney Sheinmel, Jon Skovoron, Lauren Oliver (she is sooooo beautiful it is almost intimidating and add in her incredible talent, totally intimidating), Melissa Walker (another TFC girl I finally got to meet, squee!), Ned Vizzinni, Sarah Darer Littman, and Sarah Mylnowski. Yeah, it is a shock I didn't get tongue-tied around these folks!

Here are some of the groups we spoke to. They asked amazing questions!

Here is half of our panel. That is the lovely Korianne at the far end, next to Sarah Darer Littman, Ned Vizzini, Melissa Walker, Jon Skorvon, and Lauren Oliver:
Here are Sarah Mylonowski, Barry Lyga and Amy Brecount White mid-conversation and totally blurry (sorry guys!)

Then we went downstairs and did the signing. The room was just buzzing with excitement and it made me so happy to see so many people in love with reading. I may be a shy bookish girl but I love being around my people, even though sometimes I can barely talk to express this!

Here's a view of the crowd:

And here I am with Devyn Burton. I wanted to get Mitali and Korianne to pose with me too, but with the combination of the chaos and my shyness....

I hope I'm able to come back again another year and be much more outgoing and daring. This year I almost felt like I just wanted to observe the gloriousness of all these YA book lovers and awesome YA authors together! I will definitely remember to have my book for everyone to sign and I'll also probably bring something other than lemonheads. I was trying to be vegan friendly, but as chocolate clearly goes over best, I will bring vegan chocolate :)

After the event, I went out to dinner with Marie, the Jefferson Market YA librarian who helped organize the TAC and is another facebook friend I was dying to meet in person (She is such a sweetheart and helped me navigate the subway. I wish we lived near each other because we'd make excellent friends I think!), Jolene Siana (the author friend of mine who I am working with on a soon-to-be more action packed blog/website Paper Cuts Zine), and Melissa Walker (who is so fashionable and fun and sweet and I was totally being a fangirl on the inside). Here we are after our feast of Indian food.

I think Jolene got some better pictures and like I said, if you were at the TAC and have more photos, please send them my way to post because my camera was too blurry and I was too excited to remember to take photos with everyone.

But this is the photo that sums up how honored, I was to be a part of Teen Author Carnival. Mitali came and wrote this on my name sign:

Seriously I almost cried. Thank you so much Devyn, Korianne, Mitali, and all the other bloggers involved (and Marie and the librarians!) for hosting such a stellar event. I hope I can come back again!

Now I'm off to have lunch with a friend from high school and then I'm checking out the Class of 2K10 at Books of Wonder tonight.

If I get home early enough I will try to blog again and post some pictures from that, but um.... I have to get up at 6 am tomorrow. 6 am is not a time I usually see unless I'm just going to bed so.... And tomorrow is jampacked for me.

I head to BEA early to catch the Children's Authors Breakfast. Then at 11 am, I am on a panel about crossing over between YA and Adult with Melissa Marr, Michele Jaffe, and Jennifer Donnelly on the Midtown Stage. (It's only for BEA attendees, but if you are attending, please come and see us.) Then lunch and a bunch of author signings and panels that more than likely I will not be able to cram in (but I will try to hit everything, dammit!)

Then it is my turn to rock Books of Wonder! I'm appearing with a bunch of other fabulous authors at the Suspense, Magic & Romance for Teens and Tweens Event! Read all of the details here and come to meet us from 6 to 8 pm tomorrow (Weds May 26) at 18 W. 18th St!

Afterwards I'll have to head home to bed so I can get up and do it all again. Thursday starts with another breakfast (Jon Stewart is the Master of Ceremonies, hubby will kill me if I miss it!) and then another bunch of signings and trolling for free books :)

Yep, this is one of those times that being an author is sooooooooooo much fun!


Marie said...

It was so great meeting you too! We would totally be friends if we lived closer:D Also- I look like Roseanne Barr in that picture.

Steph Su said...

I was so totally excited to finally meet you that that's probably why it felt so awkward for me too!! So yeah, I know the feeling. I wish I were better talking in person but I'm not so I'll just make up for it online with lots and lots of love and admiration for you. I'm really, really, really glad we got to meet--even though we didn't end up talking very long! (I'll work on that next time, I promise, now that I know you were feeling intimidated too, haha!)

Robby said...

Look at all of you beautiful people!

Amy Lukavics said...

My friend Kody got to sit next to you while you guys signed stuff. SO AWESOME! I hope you have so much fun at BEA. I hope I get to go next year!!!

Oh and PS your bangs are rad.

Melissa Walker said...

It was SO Great to meet you in person! Loved having dinner and getting to know you more. See you at BoW!

April said...

Nice meeting you the other night! And if you're looking for great tea and vegan food while in NYC you should check this place out: www.teany.com

Bee said...

Wow, I wish I was there! And I love your hair.

And that note..WOW


holly cupala said...

I would love to be your neighbor, too, Stephanie! I was very excited to finally meet you in person - I've admired you for quite some time.

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

Marie, you are my new BFF and you do not look like Roseanne Barr!

Steph, so funny we were both intimidated. I think it's just the nature of being a book person, we are introverted. But you rock and it was so fun to meet you!

Robby and Bee, it was so much fun, which you guys could have been there too!

Amy, It was awesome meeting Kody. And thanks for the bangs compliment!

Melissa, I loved hanging with you. Good to get to know you!

April, I loved meeting you too and cannot wait til your film comes out! Thanks for the NYC vegan food and tea recommendation. Next time for sure!

Holly, you are too sweet and I really do hope we are neighbors someday!