Recap: The best book blogging event ever, or the Ontario Book Bloggers Meet-Up 2012!

November 5, 2012 / 6 Comments / Blogging Life, Book Events, Personal

What can I say that that title doesn’t say for itself? This was hands-down the most fun event ever for a newbie book blogger. I’ve never experienced that much excitement and squealing about books.

For me, the best part of the Ontario Blog Squad’s 2nd Annual Blogger Meet-Up was getting to put faces to the names of bloggers that I’ve been following for years. Yes, meeting the authors and the publishers was great, but getting to actually talk, IN PERSON with people who love YA and have read the same YAs as me? I CAN’T. EVEN.
The raffle table with SO MANY BOOKS!

The fun began before the event even started, as bloggers tweeted about getting to the event. I was inspired by both Michele from Just A Lil Lost and Giselle from Book Nerd to bring a suitcase. I am so glad I did, because as soon as I walked in, there were SO MANY BOOKS handed to me, and more we could win!

Me with Michele from Just A Lil’ Lost

The first person I recognized was Michele and we immediately hugged. She’s kind of been an inspiration to me as a blogger – we first corresponded on Twitter about going to FanExpo, and she was definitely the one who got me the most excited about Arrow and Stephen Amell.

Then I looked around confusedly, because there were so many people, and I couldn’t put faces to names. Luckily, I found Sonia from The Story Queen and Liz from Midnight Bloom Reads, both of whom I’d met at the Jenny Han/Siobhan Vivian signing last month. I sat down with them and we started squeeing about all of the books in our swag bags. Chelsea from YA Booklover Blog came to sit with us, too.

Terri from Read & Riot, Lesley Livingston, Jenn H from Lost in a
Great Book, and Chandra from Indigo Teen Blog

Emboldened by them, I started talking to some of the awesome bloggers around me, including Terri from Read & Riot, Rhiannon from Diary of a Bookworm, Jenn H. from Lost in a Great Book, and Chandra from the Indigo Teen Blog. I also started running around finding people to swap books with, including Ardo from A Wordsmith, who is also in the new Toronto chapter of the Forever Young Adult Book Club that I’m running!

I can’t tell you how it felt to be around so many people who felt the same as I do about reading, especially about YA and New Adult. It was exhilarating. I was on such a high. I turned around and there was Maureen McGowan, talking with me. I told her how much I loved her interview on Diana Peterfreund’s site, and it was awesome. We talked about her new book, Deviants, and how she and Diana have known each other for a long time and about writing in general. Maureen was so nice, and I pretty much felt like I could have talked with her for the entire event.

The festivities kicked off with Nicole from Nicole About Town introducing the event and the wonderful team at Ontario Blog Squad. It was so awesome seeing all of them up there.

The authors were introduced:
Brian Francis with publisher tweeters (don’t know who, please let me know!)
Susin Nielsen with Lindsey from Reeder Reads and Random House, and Amy from RazorbillCA
Allison Baggio with her table
Cinda Williams Chima
Maureen McGowan (check out her awesome hair)!
Giselle from Book Nerd Canada is to her left

We had lunch, which was delicious and huge and amazing. I had salad, a club sandwich and apple cobbler, but honestly, I barely remember the food. I spent a good part of lunch chatting with Chandra about how she got her current job blogging for Indigo, and how much we both believe in YA and the power of the book blogging community.

Then I started chatting with Michele about Arrow, and she told me that Jenn H actually knows Arrow star Stephen Amell’s mom! Jenn and I started gushing about Arrow and that was hilarious and fun. We’re totally going to do a live tweet of an episode. =p

I also met Lesley Livingston during lunch, who made me laugh harder than any author ever has. She’s brash, bold and hilarious. Thanks to Terri, I had a copy of Starling for her to sign – I started reading it on Monday thanks to Hurricane Sandy, but my copy was actually from the library, so it was great to have one there.

Turns out that Lesley was a high school cheerleader like myself, so there was a definite connection in our ability to, um, speak up in a crowd. She was amazing to meet, and I can’t wait to finish Starling now!

Tablemates and Hufflepuffs Sonia from The Story Queen
and Chelsea from YA Booklover with me, the Ravenclaw

My awesome tablemates and I started talking about contemporary YA and our favorite romances. Sonia was the only one who loved Lola and the Boy Next Door more than Anna and the French Kiss, although we all agreed that those two are sort of the height of contemporary YA. We talked about Sarah Dessen – total table divide on that one – Liz and I are not real fans, but Chelsea loves her – and I am the only person who loved The Selection. All of them told me to read Code Name Verity immediately – on my list, girls, I swear!

After that, there were some trivia questions, and our section got a few books. I met Susin Nielsen and talked with her about how bloggers are changing book reviewing, and then I met Elizabeth Miles, Allison Baggio and Michael Francis in a really quick succession that ended way too soon.

There was a huge raffle for the books on the table after that. Everyone gathered around as Michele and former book blogger Wendy drew the tickets.

As the event drew to a close and people started gathering their things, Lesley Livingston stood up and thanked us all for inviting authors like her to our parties. She said that writing is a pretty solitary act, so it’s really nice to be able to meet and talk to the people who read her books. She was funny and charming, and I pretty much wanted to be her at this point. =p


Maureen McGowan is definitely one of the coolest authors ever

As people were leaving, I found Maureen one more time to chat and we spoke a little more about writing, as well as Deviants – she’s got an awesome Deviants Kindle sticker that I totally coveted. She was so honest and generous in chatting with me, and I really appreciated the advice she gave me.

Me with another awesome tablemate and blogger,
Liz from Midnight Bloom Reads

I managed to catch Liz for one more photo before leaving. After talking with her over lunch, I would say that she is definitely one of the most articulate teens I’ve ever met. She talks just like she writes, which is pretty amazing.

I caught Lindsay from Reeder Reads and Random House just before I was leaving, as well as Razorbill blogger Amy Nicks to say hello. I used to intern at Random House in the publicity section, and my day job is in communications, so it was great to meet them and put faces to the names I’m always tweeting!

I had an amazing time meeting all of the wonderful bloggers and authors that I did. I’m so excited by the people I met and how ecstatic we all were just to be reading and reviewing together. Book blogging felt a bit competitive to me when I first started, as I wondered how I could compete with so many of the amazing blogs that are already out there. After yesterday, I really feel like we’re all a team, working together with authors and publishers to find and read great books and to get others to read as well. It’s a heady feeling, and I so appreciate the support and encouragement I received from so many bloggers, authors and publishers yesterday. I couldn’t come down from the high for three hours after I got home!
I took one last photo before I left with my very heavy suitcase:
Ontario Blog Squad!

Thank you so much to these ladies who made the event happen. I’m amazed and honored by the discussions I had, and the wonderful people I met. If you’re a new book blogger, this is definitely the event for you. I can’t wait to meet everyone again next year (or sooner!).

Thank you!

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6 responses to “Recap: The best book blogging event ever, or the Ontario Book Bloggers Meet-Up 2012!

    • Thanks! And thanks for stopping by, Chrystal. I'm really loving reading everyone else's recaps, I feel like everyone had a different experience and different things they were excited for!

    • I agree… I'm going through the posts now and everyone had completely different yet exciting experiences. I love it. And all of the pictures are amazing… I forgot that i had my camera until the end what I was packing my wheely bag. LOL

  1. Fantastic recap Tiffany! And it was SO SO SO nice to meet you 🙂 I'm glad you had a great time 😀
    Hehe I loved that I just pointed to you and to Jenn and said "Arrow. Go." lol

    Be sure to stop by the Ontario Blog Squad page tomorrow when the recap goes up to link up your recap to it! 🙂

    • Thanks, Michele – means so much coming from you.

      I watched Wed's Arrow last night and I'm freaking out over the ending. Can't wait until next week, gah!

      I will definitely link up tomorrow. =)

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