Ambassador of Books ~ Book Club Madam ~ Blogger Gal

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Zombies, Unicorns, and In-Real-Life Bloggers

Friday night kicked of the 15th Annual Baltimore Book Festival. Oh how I wish all of my blog readers could have been there with me this weekend!

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:

Monica Schroeder 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!

 above, starting at the left: Celeste @ The Baltimore Bibliophile, Cecelia @ Adventures of Cecelia Bedelia, Candace @ Beth Fish Reads, Deborah @ Books, Movies, and Chinese Food, and me

above, starting at the left: Sondra @ 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 ...

24 comments:

Julie P. said...

It was a fantastic weekend! You were amazing as a moderator in both panels and I thank you for coordinating everything!

Andi said...

I love this! I'm going to the TX Book Festival in a few weeks (just posted about it), and they're having this panel there, too. Will definitely be in attendance!

Trish said...

Wow wow wow! Seems like the east coast is the place to be! :) Like Andi I'll be heading to the Texas Book Festival next month and it'll be my first festival and the first time to meet other bloggers (minus Lisa in South Dakota who I've met twice).

Suey said...

Looks like a blast indeed. I'm hoping to see Scott Westerfeld in my own neck of the woods next month. Can't wait.

April (BooksandWine) said...

I am so jealous! I wish I could have driven down (stupid work events!). Looks like you had a blast, and yay look there is Monica!

Great job with your panel. :-)

Heather J. said...

Julie P. – Thank YOU for coming down to MD – it was great to see you and I loved learning more about your book clubs!

Andi – Oh you will have SUCH a GOOD TIME! And definitely be ready to laugh during this panel. :)

Trish – If only you lived closer! But the TBF sounds like a great event as well. Is Amanda @ The Zen Leaf near there as well? For some reason that’s ringing a bell …

Suey – I’m so glad you’ll get to see him – he was pretty funny on this panel, esp. with the “unicorns in estrus” segment. Strange and creepy, but funny!

April – Definitely plan for it next time! The YA panel is always on Friday night, and the Festival is always the last weekend in September. I’d love to see you down here in MD.

Care said...

What a great turn out for bloggers! I don't yet know abt any organized meetups planned for Boston but I need to start planning.

Alyce said...

I'm not into unicorns or zombies, but that event sounds like it was a lot of fun (and I would have been team unicorns for sure). :)

softdrink said...

The zombie/unicorn panel sounds hilarious!

Amanda said...

Wow! I'm so glad you posted this because I wasn't even considering going to this panel at the Texas Book Fest! Now I'm definitely going to make sure I"m there with Andi!!! This sounds like so much fun!

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Oh this is soooo awesome! I wish I could have ben there you all look like you had a blast! I dont know if I would have been team Zombie or Team Unicorn but I would have loved to have heard them debate it out. :)

Christina said...

Great recap, though I have to say...Team Zombie! Lol the authors were just a much fun to talk to after the panel when they were signing as they were during it!

The Tome Traveller said...

I cannot believe I missed it! It looks like it was fantastic!!

Heather J. said...

Care – One of these years I’ll make it up to a Boston event … my brother-in-law does live there after all!
Alyce – It WAS a lot of fun even for non-fans like me. :)
Softdrink – It really was!

Amanda – I hope you get a chance to go to the one at the Texas Festival – it will definitely make you laugh.

Sheila – Wish you could have joined us – you’d have had so much fun. But your event is coming up soon too, and then I’ll get to be jealous of the great time you all have!

Christina – NOOOOO! Team Unicorn!!! :) It’s too bad I couldn’t have stayed around to chat with the authors – I’d really have loved to say hi to Holly Black.

The Tome Traveller – Maybe next year?

irisonbooks said...

This does explain a bit more about all the unicorn/zombie madness going on on blogs. It sounds like you had a really good time!

Heather J. said...

irisonbooks - Yeah, I didn't "get it" for quite a while until I realized there was actually a book called Zombies vs. Unicorns. And although I don't plan to read it, the panel was a BLAST!

Shanyn said...

Thanks for linking to my little shop :) Glad you finally got a picture of Monica and got to hang out with her!

Heather J. said...

Shanyn - Monica was wearing one of your Team Zombie shirts so of course I HAD to mention your shop! :) Too bad I didn't think to take a pic of Monica's shirt ...

Cyndel said...

I was at your book blogging panel! I hung around a bit to meet you, but decided I looked like a creeper just hanging out, so I left. It was good though!

Heather J. said...

Cyndel - Oh no! I wish you would have introduced yourself - I was looking forward to meeting you. :( But I'm glad you enjoyed the panel - I hope you got something useful out of it!

Michelle said...

A good time had by all! So sorry I wasn't able to spend any time at the estivals this year :( Looks like oyu all made up for it though!

Heather J. said...

Michelle - I missed you this year! :(

Beth F said...

Yay for your husband for taking over the reins while you were gone. I might consider doing the entire festival one of these years. So much to do and see.

Heather J. said...

Beth F - I hope you are able to make it one year - it would be a great weekend!

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