I know it's probably hard to think about summer with most of the country still wearing ski jackets and navigating snow drifts the size of an Imperial Walker, but here in Florida, we're already gearing up for the summer months that invariably bring tourists, cram the amusements parks beyond capacity, and cover every inch of sand on our beach.
I'm not complaining, though, because along with all this crazy comes my favorite thing of all: Book Festivals!
My summer is already filling up with fun festivals, including the University of Central Florida's Book Fest in April. I'm going to be doing some local summer workshops at schools, working one-on-one with students. The most exciting thing, though? I'm going to UtopYA, baby! I am so excited I could die. This is like the YA prom and the Oscars, with a good dose of Disney World all rolled into one. Held each year in Nashville, TN, the conference has grown from a lil ol' gathering of like-minded readers, writers, and fans, into THE event in the genre. Krystal Wade, publisher-sister and author of the Wilde's Fire series, along with the forthcoming Shattered Secrets, and I are rooming together. Which means, of course, we won't be getting any sleep at all. Red Bull, anyone? Long-time friend Stacey Wallace Benefiel, author of the Glimpse series and the New Adult contemporary Crossing, are going to meet in person for the first time ever! She's already warned me that we're not going to hug so much as tackle, so those in our vicinity, be warned! And there are so many more amazing writers I've worked with, as an editor, beta, or collaborator in an event. I'm looking forward to this more than... dare I admit it? More than Christmas. Yes, it's true.
I'll be signing books from 6-9 p.m. in the lobby of the Millenium Maxwell House Hotel on Friday, June 20, 2014. I'm in good company- literati like Sylvia Day (!!!) and Genifer Albin (Crewel World series) will both be there, along with Charlotte Abel, Kailin Gow, Tamara Rose Blodgett, Kristie Cook, and my publisher sista Sharron Riddle. And many, many more. The event is free to the public, some come by to get some books signed, or just to chat and snag some swag.
The UCF BookFest is held in Orlando on April 5th. It's free to the public and has something for everyone. Bestselling wriyers in genres as diverse as non-fiction, local history, YA, contemporary Romance, Thrillers, and more, are all going to be there doing panels and signings. There's even a separate area for children and teens, with fun events like scavenger hunts. I'll keep you posted as to where our booth will be as the information becomes more available.