I had no idea there was such thing as YALLfest until my husband I started researching to find ones that are close to my hometown. (No luck on that by the way.) This was happening on November 2. That night I decided that I really wanted to go, even though it is an 11 hour drive. My husband decided it was too big of a trip on to short notice so he said he wasn’t going. So I decided to ask my AMAZING sister if she would like to take the random road trip with me. (Keep in mind that she doesn’t really read these types of books.) She said YES! So by Monday afternoon I had booked us a hotel and mapped out our trip.
(This is the aforementioned AMAZING SISTER)
I had to go pick my sister up in Kentucky on the way their so I had left about 10:30 Friday morning. With the pit stops and whatnot, we ended up at our hotel in North Charleston, SC at about 10:30 pm. That was way too long of a trip. We went through a couple tunnles which was pretty neat. We also drove through the mountains but it was dark by then. We got great pictures on the way home though.
We just chilled at the hotel for the night but were up bright and early to eat breakfast and take the 20 minute drive to Charleston for the book festival. The book festival was held at Blue Bicycle Books. A cute little used book shop in the middle of town. The authors were set up in the shop, a café next door, a small courtyard (which was super cute), and in a large tent set up next to the book shop.
There were 50 authors there and they were all doing panels and autographs. Since this was my first time at a book festival and my first chance to get books signed by authors, I decided to forgo the panels and just get the autographs. I was able to get every book but two signed! (One I will explain in a minute.) I talked to all the authors, handed out some business cards, and was able to pick up some swag. I also purchased a t-shirt that I was able to get all the autographs on!
(Rachel Cohn & David Levithan)
(Tahereh Mafi & Ransom Riggs)
Check out the video to see all the books I was able to get autographed.
The only autograph I wasn’t able to get that I really wanted was Ransom Riggs. He came down with a bout of food poisoning and had to cancel his signing at the last minute. (Literally last minute, we were all standing in line!). We ended up with a couple free YALLfest totes and a promise that we could come back and get a signed bookplate.
We did come back but unfortunately we were told that they wouldn’t be in until 1pm the next day. We planned to be back on the road well before then. The lovely people at the bookstore said they would gladly mail us one though! I am still waiting on that… We did a little bit of shopping then headed back to the hotel for the night.
Once again, we were up bright and early to head home. This was the longest drive ever. Only because I knew my husband and children were waiting for me at home. I really wanted to sleep in my own bed too.
If you ever get the chance to go to YALLfest I highly recommend it! This was its third year running and it has apparently gotten better every year. I can’t wait to go back next year!