I went to BookCon this year! This was the first time I went to a convention that wasn’t New York Comic Con, and also the first time I went to a convention as an attendee instead of being a part of the crew, so it was a really exciting experience for me.
I went to four panels in the smaller panel halls and walked around the show floor. There were separate lines where you could get wristbands to see the larger panels, like Mindy Kaling and Nick Offerman, but those were a little bit crazy, and I decided that instead of stressing out, I would go see some of the smaller panels where I would definitely be able to get in without any funny wristband business.
The first panel of the day was called BFFs Forever with Sarah Dessen, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Han. I’ll admit, the primary reason I went to this panel was because I really really wanted to see Felicia Day’s panel after it, but boy was I glad I went! These three amazing ladies are clearly very close, and the focus of the panel was about platonic relationships between women. I have been saying to anyone who will listen to me for years how I wish there was more of a focus on platonic relationships in media, because the majority of the relationships one has in real life are completely platonic. These women echoed my feelings exactly! They talked about how friendships are really so much more influential, especially in teenage/young adult years, than romantic relationships. Then in the Q&A afterwards, they discussed how being Young Adult authors has allowed them to take risks and share stories about crashing high school proms while at literary conventions!
Next was Felicia Day‘s panel moderated by Jill Pantozzi. I love and look up to both of these women, so I was incredibly excited. They were discussing Felicia’s book, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost), but they covered a lot! One of the things that really stuck out to me was that Felicia was saying she wrote the book because, even though she finds it extremely weird to talk about herself, she hopes that by openly discussing some of the darker things in her past it can help other people to realize that they are not alone.
I work in the entertainment industry for my day job, so Felicia has always been a personal source of inspiration. She is someone I look to for confirmation that it’s okay to do different things, the connecting thread on my resume doesn’t have to be specific like post-production or acting, it can simply be “things I like.” Because of that, I really loved hearing her side of Hollywood, and it certainly makes it easier knowing that she also had trouble dealing with the fact that “you’re useless until you’re incredibly valuable” which is certainly something I’ve experienced as well. The big takeaway point was to embrace your weirdness! What makes you weird makes you unique, and is actually your greatest strength. Felicia also shared a tip about creativity: creating for other people lifts the burden because the focus is on what other people can take away from it.
At that point I took a break and walked around the show floor, got some grub, and briefly checked out the autographing area before realizing that it was way too busy for me to bother with it. (Also, Felicia’s line was full. I have priorities.)
After that I headed back to the panel rooms for a talk about the film adaptation of Me and Earl and The Dying Girl. I haven’t read the book, but I have a younger sister who has recently been reading John Green, so I thought I would check this out to see if I should recommend it to her. It looks really, really funny! They showed a trailer and 4 clips! The two main actors were there, along with the director and author. It was actually a really enjoyable panel because you could see that they all actually got along well and were genuinely excited about the project.
After that was the Welcome To Night Vale panel. I’ve been listening to the podcast for years, so I’ve been excited about their book since they announced it. Cecil Baldwin was there (with his angel voice) to read a section of the novel, and Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor were there to talk about the writing process, which was super interesting. It was moderated by Meg Bashwiner, who is the voice of Deb in the podcast, and she and Cecil shared their stories of how they both got involved. This panel was great because everyone there were fans of the podcast, so in the Q&A portion a lot of the questions were about what we all hoped to see in the book, and questions about the characters.
All in all, it was an amazing con and a great first experience going as an attendee! Listen to Hadas and I speak about our experience below! They’re also giving away some goodies until July 20th. Enter here.