YALLfest || The Completely Disasterous Quest To Meet Leigh Bardugo

If you are on my mainly Young Adult centered blog, and don't know what YALLfest is.... well I am rather surprised. Nevertheless, sinc...

If you are on my mainly Young Adult centered blog, and don't know what YALLfest is.... well I am rather surprised. Nevertheless, since you don't know what it is (possibly) I shall educate you! And gladly! Because YALLfest is friggin fantastic. It's a "free" event in Charleston, South Carolina, where about 40 or more authors of the Young Adult genre gather around to do signings and panels.  It's a huge festival that takes place in the fall, in the south. Therefore we get YALLfest.

Now I put free in parenthesis because while you can just walk in and get your book signed, there is some travel involved, and you sometimes have to buy wristbands or tickets to get into the panels. If you're just wanting to meet your favorite author, like me, it is free (plus travel because I DON'T LIVE IN CHARLESTON a;lsdfj).

I used to live in Charleston for a very long time, and it wasn't until I MOVED AWAY that I heard of YALLfest. I am a dumbo. Anywho, since I've moved far away, I've developed a love for the Young Adult genre and an interest in YALLfest. It has been my greatest desire all year to go and see my favorite alive author- Leigh Bardugo.


SHE IS A BAD-ASS BEAUTY!
Leigh Bardugo is an American young adult and fantasy author. She wrote the New York Times Bestselling Grisha Trilogy, the first book of which is Shadow and Bone. Bardugo was born in Jerusalem but grew up in Los Angeles and attended Yale University.

I kind of really love her books... my reviews for her stories are here: 

Literally the day before YALLfest kicked off, I FOUND OUT THAT MY MOM AND SISTER WERE GOING TO CHARLESTON TO SEE A FRIEND! 

SO OF COURSE I WAS LIKE


And my mom got all reality on me and pointed out that, "You'll sleep on a couch in a house where young baby's will probably cry throughout the night (my brother and his wife have two very little children) and you'll have to wake up at six on Friday AND Saturday, and me and your sister already have plans so we might not be able to fit your thing in."

I had long days of doing other people's things in the hot Charleston sun on my horizon.

BUT THE POSSIBILITY OF BEING ABLE TO SQUEEZE IN MY THING WAS PROBABLE.

SO I SIGNED UP TO GO 

AND TOOT TOOT AT SEVEN IN THE MORNING WE WERE OFF


It was a very hot, long drive, and I got carsick often, but a 3 o'clock meet up with my favorite alive author was within my grasp. So I held on to that shining hope.

After seeing my nieces, dropping my sister off to her thing, and sitting in Charleston traffic, I FINALLY GOT DOWNTOWN. IT WAS 3 O'CLOCK! WE WERE RIGHT ON TIME! I shoved mom  up the library stairs and lo and BEHOLD

WE MADE IT TO THE LITERAL BACK OF THE LINE.


HERE IS THE WALL


AND ALL THE PEOPLE BETWEEN ME AND LEIGH BARDUGO! 

It was a daunting line. It stretched across the library floor, through a lobby, down a hall, and around the inside perimeter of a small auditorium. According to the schedule, Leigh would only be there for an hour.

Fifteen minutes in, we made it across the library floor. The line moved pretty quickly, but that's only because half the people were in line to see the author next to Leigh Bardugo. 

BUT THEN WE HIT A LONG WAIT IN THE LOBBY!

We were in that lobby for half an hour. Not moving. Going nowhere. Dread was eating up my stomach. I saw some youtubers I recognized, and I was in awe and my mom was like, "Go talk to them. Ask for a picture!"

I was struck with pure fright and was like, "Mom, no, be cool." So we stayed in line and didn't meet the youtubers (Jesse The Reader, Maureen, and that girl who has the cool dark lipstick (Tome? something...). I really wish I'd gone and said hi to them.

While also standing in line, I looked back and saw a friend of one of my best friend's. And I didn't have my glasses on, so I vaguely knew her face and was trying to focus. Hopefully she didn't see me creepily glaring at her from across the lobby O_O


And there was a payphone! Who sees those anymore?? I felt like I'd found Waldo or something.

SO ANYWAYS!

We make it into the auditorium. It's nearly four o'clock. She's almost gone. The YALLfest crew came and closed the doors, but we were on the inside. I had my Six of Crows copy, and I was in the line that would get to see Leigh. Everyone outside the doors got shut out. I was in the clear.


She's the blonde tuft, in the picture, angelically glowing off in the distance. 

We made it to about twenty people away from her...

When the clock struck four.

Leigh had to leave. My mom had to go meet her friend. THIS WAS MY ONLY CHANCE! I WAS SO CLOSE TO HER AND SHE HAD TO LEAVE AND I HAD TO LEAVE!

My mom was like, "NO! YOU CAME ALL THIS WAY! THE LEAST YOU CAN DO IS SAY HI!"

But mom had the crazy eyes. She looked like a mom about to battle. I was instantly consumed with sorrow and fear. Mom COULDN'T go up to Leigh with the crazy eyes! I WOULD BE HUMILIATED IF LEIGH ONLY KNEW OF ME BECAUSE A CRAZY WOMAN DRAGGED ME UP THERE AND INSISTED, "MEET MY DAUGHTER!"

I grabbed my mother and assured her, "It's fine. It's fine. I'll see her another time. It'll be okay. Just don't go up there and make her meet me. That's mortifying."

Mom had places to go, so we trudged down the library stairs and headed to our car. She kindly offered to take me to the bookstore hosting the event, but once we got there, it turned out the books were like, $22, and I didn't have that kind of money.

So we walked the long sidewalk back to our car, bookless, autographless, tired, and hungry, and dissapointed.


Epic Reads? More like Epic Fail.

One day, I'll get to meet Leigh Bardugo and she'll sign my stories, and I can ask her questions about Nikolai.

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