One of the things we most anticipated at the Super Conference this past week was the chance to hear Canadian authors speak. I’ll admit, while Janet was eagerly anticipating the spotlight session with author Louise Penny, I was also looking forward to hearing nominated Forest of Reading authors talk about their experiences with the program. Both sessions took place at the same time, so we parted ways and found seats in our packed session rooms.
It’s funny how “regular” these people seem when you sit in a room with them. At my Forest session, the panel included picture book author/illustrator Rebecca Bender, charismatic author Jan Andrews, the funniest speaker of the morning–Kevin Sylvester, uber-famous juvenile fiction author Kenneth Oppel, Young Adult author extraordinaire Kelley Armstrong, French author Maxim Cyr and non-fiction author Cindy Watson.
They each talked about how they got started in the program, their experiences with writing and lots of stuff in between. The session was pretty full and everyone had a chance to ask questions at the end. It was also fun later on at the Expo running into Kelley Armstrong who was busy editing her latest manuscript in between signing books and bookmarks. (She’s learned to edit anywhere, she said, due to her insanely busy deadlines.)
After my session, I raced over to hear the last of Louise Penny’s talk. Janet had a great seat and enjoyed the talk VERY much. But we were both looking forward to seeing her up close after the session during the book signing. Janet, thinking ahead as usual, purchased one of her books the night before to avoid the lineups and was only about ten or so people from the start of the line. Ms. Penny was gracious and pleasant, taking time to speak with each person who was having a book signed. And while she couldn’t divulge any secrets about her upcoming books (darn!), we managed to get a great shot of Janet alongside her favourite author. (Yes, she probably could have left the conference right then, completely happy.)
But the thing we laughed about the most was my paparazzi skills later on. It seems that I always get the most flustered with visiting picture book authors (I am a children’s librarian, after all!). When we heard that one of my absolute favourite authors, Oliver Jeffers, was going to be there the next day to sign books, we made a special point of coming back to the Expo. Unfortunately, by the time we got there, they’d run out of books. Yes, we got to see him signing books, but it was a little disappointing. Never fear, however, Janet happened to notice him a while later looking at picture books at one of the displays. I grabbed my phone and snapped a quick shot. Yay! (No, I wasn’t stalking. Honest.) It was a great moment, nonetheless.
We came home happy we’d attended the sessions we wanted, and got a few extra moments of excitement by brushing with fame!