Saturday, February 13, 2016

Mad Tea Party Recap!

We had an amazing time, didn't we?!

50 teens showed up for the program, and about 20 came in costume as characters from Alice in Wonderland. Frank Beddor and his protege, Eric Laster, gave a couple of wonderful visual presentations (once we worked out some technology nightmares), as well as engaging with the audience about their writing process (Frank is a planner and an outliner, while Eric never knows what's coming next and writes spontaneously) and chatting about their books. Frank took individual photos with each teen who wore a costume. Eric's book isn't out yet, but he brought bound copies of the first six chapters and asked the teens to give him feedback, while Frank brought ARCs of his new book for everyone, and enlisted them as Beta readers. Everyone was thrilled to say yes!

Our six volunteers came at 5:00 and helped us decorate the entire auditorium with hearts, cards, and candy. Frank had sent us posters as well of artwork from his graphic novel series, Hatter M, which we hung. The kids also helped us set up the food and beverages, which were devoured in short order, as usual, including our amazing Alice cake. A big thank you to Georgiana, Hailey, Anika, Sabina, Alex, and Christopher! And also to Rani, our favorite college guy, who hung in there with the technology nightmare and gave his best assistance, as well as helping big-time with clean-up.

Partly because of the AV issues, we didn't get out of there until 10:00 p.m.--after receiving Frank's ARC, all the teens naturally wanted to get his autograph, and we didn't have the heart (pardon the pun) to tell more than half of them that they had to go home without it. Since he was game to stay (what a nice guy!), we and the volunteers cleaned up while Frank autographed. The library closed at 9 p.m., we brought all the parents who were waiting to give their kids a ride home into the auditorium, and everyone cheerfully hung out until it was over.

The rest of the photos from the evening taken by Melissa are now up on the Facebook page. The photos that John took will be up there soon.

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