It’s no secret that Brandon Sanderson is one of my favorite modern authors, and I’ve been sort of obsessed with rereading all his books over the last few months. My friend Karen (Books and Chocolate) noticed this, and asked if I’d heard he was heading to San Antonio for an event called Library Palooza. I hadn’t. When I looked up the event, I saw that not only would Sanderson be there, but Leigh Bardugo and four other YA authors. Boom. Sold.
I was supposed to go to an event to meet Sanderson last year, in Boston. The meeting-Sanderson part thrilled me, but the idea of trying to drive my way to an unknown area on streets filled with ice and snow when I had anxiety so severe that I could barely sit in a car (much less drive) did not thrill me. When his Boston stop was canceled due to blizzards, I was both disappointed and relieved. Now, I’m so glad that I didn’t go last year, because this year, I got to head out to Library Palooza with my good friend Stephanie, who is also a huge Sanderson fan (plus a Bardugo fan).
The two of us headed out early, got in line early, and got seats near the front center of the auditorium. Eventually, the authors arrived. In addition to the two mentioned above, the panel included Michael Grant, April Henry, George O’Connor, and Kiera Cass. While I’ve never read anything by these four authors, I enjoyed everything they all had to say during the morning Q&A session. They were all so funny! I wish I had a recording of the whole thing.
After the Q&A, most of the rest of the day was split into “breakout sessions,” where each author got their own room to present however they wished. There were three breakout sessions during the day, and of course, Stephanie and I first went to Sanderson’s, then to Bardugo’s. Once again, I wish I could have these whole things recorded! These authors are so smart and funny and engaging.
My favorite part of the day, however, was the signing. You know, the part where I actually got to meet Brandon Sanderson. (Unfortunately, the line was too long to go to the back of Bardugo’s signing and wait, so I didn’t get to meet her personally…) Stephanie and I were fairly close to the front of Sanderson’s line (of course!). We’d both brought a handful of books – the limit was five – and I was just about out of my head by the time it was my turn. Stephanie took a picture while I talked with Sanderson. I’m not sure all the things I said – I was babbling – but I did get to ask him the question I’d been dying to ask: What is his Hogwarts house. He was signing when he answered: Slytherin! I was totally not expecting that to be the answer, and I let out this involuntary squeak of excitement (because hey, what’s a fellow Slytherin to do?). He misinterpreted the squeak at first, and started to say, “Now, don’t judge,” but looked up halfway through “judge” to see me with my hand raised for a high five. He high-fived me and said, “Oh, are you a Slytherin too?” Yes, Mr. Sanderson, I surely am, and I cannot tell you how happy knowing that you are, too. Even if you Hufflepuff in your books so very well.
Stephanie got her books signed after me, and I moved around to take a picture of her as well. Only Sanderson noticed that we were taking pictures this time, and looked up to pose at exactly the right moment. It was the perfect, perfect moment and the perfect, perfect picture, and totally captured how wonderful and exciting and happy the whole day had been. I really couldn’t have asked for anything better, and now, several of my Sanderson books are signed, including Words of Radiance, which says “Bridge Four!” across the title page. Woo-hoo!