RECAP: Travels and Touring

So it has been a hot second.

I’ve been generally awful about updating this blog, because I’ve been flying to different places, writing and revising, and also being a brand new dad (shout out to my dude Henry). It’s been a lot of fun! Here are some of the highlights since Nyxia released on September 12th this year:

  • School visits. At last count, I’ve visited 23 different schools in the past two and a half months. Special shoutout to my alma mater, Lufkin Road Middle School, for snagging 145 copies. Never seen students so excited to dive into their next read!
  • New York Comic-Con- It’s always good to be in the big city, and especially so when all of your favorite fantasy and science fiction characters can be found ordering mochas in nearby coffee shops. Had the distinct pleasure of paneling with some brilliant YA authors, but also ran into fellow debuts, Julie Dao and Tochi Onyebuchi, in the Penguin Random House Booth
  • Southern Festival of Books, Nashville, TN – So I’m going to fanboy for a second over the fact that I met Catherynne Valente! Her Fairyland series inspired my middle grade novels, and it was such a delight to grab dinner with her and a bunch of other authors. Also, it was really cool to see how tight the YA community is as a whole. Really saw folks supporting each other, attending one another’s panels, etc. The panel I shared with S.J. Kincaid was packed, and just a lot of fun!

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  • Oklahoma City Teen Book Con – So… I was kind of digging Oklahoma City. Our festival was actually in a neighboring town, Guthrie, that had one of the most absurd Masonic temples I’ve ever seen. Really enjoyed the carpool ride with authors (the closest thing we have to a middle school bus experience) and bumping shoulders with some amazing folks. I had the pleasure of meeting Maggie Stiefvater for the first time, as well as saying hey to one of my agent’s first clients, Ally Carter! The high schoolers here were thrilled to be there, too, and that kind of buzz was great for a first time venue.
  • Colorado Teen Book Con – Not to be outdone, the Denver area absolutely rocked it out. Friday night was a drinks meet and greet with local readers and adults. I may have spilled my drink on SJ Kincaid within 5 minutes of my arrival. Enjoyed talking with Kiersten White about “books we were meant” to write, and what a difference that makes. The actual festival took place on Saturday and I was stunned by the flock of teens roaming from panel to panel. Once again, I was with SJ Kincaid talking science fiction, but this time I had the pleasure of meeting fellow debut Emily Suvada, as well as bestselling author Veronica Rossi! It was such a fun panel, but the day was truly capped off by Maggie Stiefvater’s bagpipe performance. Just saying. The other highlight was getting together with my agent, Kristin Nelson, who is based in Denver. She got to meet Henry and have dinner with Katie and I, because the two of them joined me to stay at the Crawford Hotel in Union Station!

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  • YALLFest – Last but never, ever least… YALLFest. I just can’t explain what an amazing time I had here. It didn’t feel like a single minute was wasted on this particular weekend. I was on panels with Jason Segel, Veronica Roth, Alexandra Bracken, Kirstin Miller, Stephanie Garber, and Tomi Adeyemi?! Other events had me chatting it up with Nic Stone and Jeff Zentner and Nicola Yoon and E Lockhart. At every turn, I had the pleasure of speaking with some of my most beloved authors. Jesse Andrews will permanently call me Trent… That’s just a thing now. A huge tip of the hat to Brendan Reichs and the volunteers and organizers who made everything happen. It was such an incredible weekend, and I found my tank as a creator filled up by conversations with authors about craft or the industry or our favorite foods. Continue to look back on it and feel like it happened to someone else in some other lifetime. Blessed beyond belief.

 

All that to say, I have had a brilliant few months. And it’s only been made all the more enjoyable by coming home to Katie, Henry, and Luna between each event. I love what I do and I can’t wait to keep this momentum going into next year. Cheers!

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