The stage: Convention center building–it has the most interesting escalators you’ve ever seen. Not because they’re strangely shaped or oddly placed, but because you know what lies at the top of them.
The cast: You. You are a young blogger, aspiring author, and YA addict. This is your first convention, and your marrow practically vibrates in your bones. You have on your person one The Raven Boys t-shirt, one pair of teal skinny jeans, one cart full of books, and one insatiable smile. These are your only assets.
The goal: Imbibe as many stories as possible. You have eight hours. Go.
Welcome to North Texas Teen Book Festival. 75 Authors + 1 day + You = Endless Stories.
You have embarked on the journey of a lifetime, and you won’t be able to breathe when it ends. That much is for certain. What is uncertain is whether you will be crushed by the weight of book purchases, or by overwhelming happiness.
Begin: You have a small band wrapped around your wrist. You’re being set up with a book that will hopefully be the love of your life. You can’t wait. But you must, because just ahead is the trading post–here you will acquire the new stories that you will get magic-ed (aka signed) over the next few hours. Choose wisely.
Success! You have acquired books. These will be your most valuable attribute. Among them lies THE WALLS AROUND US–rumor has it that only the people in this building have gotten their hands on it thus far. This place is magic indeed.
Friends appear. Into your hands comes another book–a matchmaker has paired you and you have yet to find out if you can be companions or not. This is fine: adventure is the point.
Quest: Knowledge. Should you choose to accept this quest, you will find yourself placed in a room amongst other travelers. You will all listen to Authors (aka magicians), and they will impart wisdom upon you. Complete this quest and earn status as a panel attendee Do you accept?
The day proceeds. Your head spins with the amount of knowledge these magicians possess. You are the type of person that simply thrives off of the emotion and energy produced by crowds of people. You couldn’t be happier.
A lull happens. You catch your breath. The magicians will soon appear to their admirers. Here you have the opportunity to organize your spoils and make some new friends. There are a lot of your kind standing in long lines at this point, a lot of young hearts racing with the thrill of adventure and the promise of magic.
Enter: magicians. You’re busy waiting for one of your favorites (a witch by the name Leigh Bardugo who has captured your heart and promptly broken it a few times with her stories) when you hear a commotion across the room. Fans of a different story than yours have just seen the face of its next installment. You couldn’t be happier for them.
You meet magician after magician, adding signatures to your arsenal. This one is your hero and you’re not sure you can stand in her presence very long without exploding into a better version of yourself and possibly making a mess of starlight and book pages while you’re at it.
These are your people, your favorite people. It’s overwhelming, the scope of this place. You will never get it out of your system. You will have to keep coming back.
NTTBF 2015 was a major experience for me and hundreds of other people. With NTTBF 2016 right around the corner, I’m getting more and more excited each day.
This post not enough for you? You as hyped as I am? I’ve made a playlist for that. I make a playlist for everything. [click image to listen]