My plan was to hang out with any bloggers who might be in attendance this first night. It so happens that my BEA roommate - Monica @ The Bibliophilic Book Blog (that's me and Monica to the right) - was there with her husband to see the Zombies vs. Unicorns panel.
Now here's the thing ... this is not a book I would ever pick up. In fact, the only author from this panel whose books I've read is Holly Black, and I only read The Spiderwick Chronicles because Kiddo wanted to. So I wasn't particularly excited about this panel and I didn't think I'd really enjoy myself. BOY WAS I WRONG!
I knew things were a bit odd when someone started handing out zombie-themed poetry to anyone in the audience who was on the side of Team Zombie. To counteract this, Holly Black began tossing out packets of glitter to anyone siding with Team Unicorn.
To the left you'll see Holly Black in action, tossing a packet of glitter ... which proceeded to smack me right in the chest just as I snapped the picture. HILARIOUS. Holly was laughing when I told her that I'd be tweeting that picture!
The panel began with introductions of the opposing sides. Team Zombie consisted of Carrie Ryan (The Forest of Hands and Teeth), Scott Westerfeld (The Uglies trilogy, Leviathan,) and Justine Larbalestier (Liar).
Battling for Team Unicorn were Kathleen Duey (The Unicorn's Secret), Diana Peterfreund (Rampant), and Holly Black (author of more things than I can mention).
The next twenty minutes were filled with a back-and-forth debate about the relative merits of zombies vs. unicorns, with each panelist having three minutes to share their points. Here's a picture of Scott Westerfeld totally slamming unicorns by reading an excerpt from some horribly lame book about unicorns in estrus. I kid you not. He finished his segment by reading from World War Z - quite the contrast to be sure!
Diana Peterfreund countered with the point that unicorns aren't always cute and cuddly, citing her own book as proof (it has killer unicorns of all things!). Holly Black admitted that unicorns are often symbols of hope and joy and closed down the debate with a rousing cry of "What's wrong with hope?! What's wrong with joy?!" ... to the immense pleasure of the Team Unicorn fans in the audience, who responded with loud clapping and whooping.
I had such a good time at this panel! Never would I have expected to laugh so hard or cheer so loudly. If you have a chance to see any of these authors promoting this book you really ought to check them out - it will definitely be worth your time.
I couldn't stick around to see which team won the debate but later on Twitter I asked Monica who won. Here's her response:
bibliophilicboo @Age30Books stupid unicorn :(
YAY! I'm so excited that Team Unicorn won! I'm not even really a unicorn fan (other than Peter S. Beagle's classic, The Last Unicorn) but I thought that team was fantastic during the panel. Oh, and if you ARE particularly attached to either Team Unicorn or Team Zombie, my lovely blogger buddy Shannon @ Chick Loves Lit has t-shirts for sale on her site in support of both teams!
Anyway, I had to leave early because I was having dinner with two other bloggers: Nicole @ Linus's Blanket and Allie @ Hist-FicChick. They came all the way from New York City for the Festival (and to do some sightseeing). We had dinner in Baltimore's Inner Harbor at The Rusty Scupper. The view of the harbor at night was gorgeous and we all enjoyed the food and wine.
Allie, Nicole, and me after dinner
The following day (Saturday) was the National Book Festival in DC. I couldn't go to that Festival but I did head into the city to meet a group of bloggers for dinner that evening. A huge thank you to Swapna @ S. Krishna's Books for organizing this!
Sonderbooks, Swapna @ S. Krishna's Books, Julie @ Booking Mama, Meg @ Write Meg! and her boyfriend Spencer
I had such a wonderful time hanging out with bloggers on Friday and Saturday. Seriously - if you ever have a chance to attend a blogger get-together, do everything in your power to be there! Book bloggers ROCK and you will definitely want to rock along with them.
By the way, my husband is truly a saint - he volunteered to keep Kiddo busy all weekend and shuttle him to his hockey game so that I could attend all these events. THANK YOU HONEY!
This brings us to Sunday, the date of my two panels at the Baltimore Book Festival. But that will be an entirely new post, hopefully coming soon ...