YAK Fest is seriously one of my favorite events – not only because it is such a blast to hang out with authors, librarians, book bloggers, and readers all weekend, but because this event never fails to open up more opportunities for me. I love the connections a festival creates with readers and industry folks alike – and I feel forever indebted to people like Lucy Kubo and Janet Adams for allowing me to be a part of such an experience two years in a row! I have to say that I really appreciated the unique perspectives represented on my panel, “This Is Not Normal Either!” I was with Andrea White, Greg Leitich Smith, and Tracy Deebs. Though I knew of their work ahead of time, I knew very little of the authors themselves before meeting them at YAK Fest. And, WOW, I felt so inspired as I listened to how each of them approach the writing process, the creativity they put into each book, and their methods of research. Fascinating!

And since it is impossible for me to ever recreate my total experience at YAK Fest 2013, I’ll just share my favorite pictures and people with you!

YES. I finally met Cynthia Leitich Smith!

You are never bored in a conversation with Charles Benoit! He rocks.

Some of the coolest cats around!! Stacy Wells, Julie Murphy, and Jenny Martin!

Lucy Kubo and I share a little love with Gollum.


This is a super talented poet/writer – Colin Gilbert! 🙂

Enjoyed chatting with Rosemary Clement Moore – what an infectious smile she has!

Cory, me, and Jessica! Sweetest friends!

Got to meet Shannon Greenland and Simone Elkeles on Friday night at the author dinner!

Pictured with an amazing support system- Cory Putman Oakes, Cynthia Leitich Smith, and Greg Leitich Smith!

Victoria Scott came up to me at the dinner Friday night, saying, “We all want to meet the girl with the cool hair.” And I seriously had no idea she was talking about ME at first – what a sweetie!!

Posing with Mary Lindsey who signed my SHATTERED SOULS book! 🙂

I love the Austin crew of authors! (left to right) Cory Putman Oakes, Jessica Lee Anderson, YAK, Me, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Greg Leitich Smith

Chatting with my fellow peeps on the “This Is Not Normal Either” panel – (left to right) Andrea White, Greg Leitich Smith, Tracy Deebs, Me.

Simone gives her Keynote Speech while the YAK sleeps on the chairs… Um.

I met writer Alexandra at YAK Fest last year – she came back for a hug and picture again this year!

My former librarian, Armenda! She is a huge reading (and YAK) supporter. I owe my involvement with YAK Fest to her for putting it on my radar!

Met some sweet girls (who also love to read and write) from Fossil Ridge!

Some of my favorite kiddos from church came to see me!

Cory and I pose at our book signing table!

Simone Elkeles signs my copy of PERFECT CHEMISTRY.