10. Not fumbling when I read from EMPTY during my panel discussion. I practiced beforehand like a good little author.
9. Only blanking out once during said panel discussion. I got nervous up there in front of all those people, and my brain found obscene pleasure in eviscerating what I was going to say. Like, poof. Here's how it went down, in blow-by-blow for you: I stared for a few seconds, swallowed my heart, cracked a lame joke at my own expense, asked for the question to be repeated, took a deep breath, and it allllll came back to me. Whoosh. That only happened once.
8. Having my agent (Sarah LaPolla), my editor (Annette Pollert), and the Vice President of Simon Pulse (Bethany Buck) all come to my panel was a wonderful show of support. I am a lucky author.
7. Being on a panel with five incredibly talented women who each brought such interesting points of view to the discussion.
Caela Carter (ME, HIM, THEM, and IT)
Eireann Corrigan (THE BELIEVING GAME)
Alissa Grosso (FEROCITY SUMMER)
Terra Elan McVoy (BEING FRIENDS WITH BOYS)
Jacquelyn Mitchard (WHAT WE SAW AT NIGHT)
6. Having the witty and kind and all-around-awesome Aaron Hartzler (RAPTURE PRACTICE) be our panel moderator. He asked well thought out questions and made everyone feel welcomed and comfortable.
5. Staying at the cool, boutique Cassa Hotel. I highly recommend it for the service, the outstanding breakfast menu, the sleek decor, and the outrageously comfortable bed.
4. Getting to see so many wonderful Apocalypsie friends throughout the weekend - E.C. Myers, Leanna Renee Hieber, Hilary Weisman Graham, Gina Damico, Tiffany Schmidt, Zoraida Cordova, and Kimberly Sabatini. What a tremendously lovely and supportive bunch.
3. Seeing and chatting with two of my favorite people on earth, A. S. King and Beth Kephart. They just make me smile with their genuineness.
2. Meeting up with two more of my favorite people on earth, Sarah LaPolla and Annette Pollert. Having them on my "author team", and getting to talk books and life with them over a soy cappuccino was a slice of heaven.
1. Talking one-on-one with THE Jacquelyn Mitchard after our panel ("talking" is a generous term here, it was more along the lines of me fangirling her and blabbering on and on about how much I still love THE DEEP END OF THE OCEAN). When I took a breath and let the woman speak, she said, "Oh, aren't you so sweet." I asked if she would mind signing my 1996 hardback that I brought with me. She didn't mind. She signed it: To Kate, my word sister. Kind of the best thing ever.
*Someone just tweeted a link to this article and photo. I'm quoted in the article and in the photo. Whoa.
On a different but VERY EXCITING note, CRACKED has won rounds 1, 2, and 3 of the YA March Madness competition. It has made it to the Elite Eight round!! To anyone who voted, thank you!
PLEASE keep voting. Click HERE to cast votes. CRACKED is the little book that could.