YAK Fest 2013 – A Recap

Posted January 21, 2013


The Young Adult Keller Book Fest (“YAK” Fest) was wonderful! Here is the story of my weekend, in pictures!



To begin with, here was my crazy hair! I heard yaks really like pink . . .











We had a great road trip from Austin to Fort Worth. Due to a perfect storm of   traffic jams, we got stuck in Waco for longer than any of us would have thought possible. But the excellent company made up for the delay! Here we are from left to right: Jessica Lee Anderson, Lori Aurelia Williams, Greg Leitich Smith, Cynthia Leitich Smith, and yours truly.






The first order of business was the author’s dinner at The Book Carriage (an adorable indie bookstore in Roanoke). While there, I met up with the fantastic Krissi Dallas. I love her even though her hair is cooler than mine!








Jen Bigheart was there, so you know it was a party! (Jen was moderating the Vampire Smackdown Panel).








The perpetually awesome Cynthia Leitich Smith! Check out those arm muscles!

(In the background, you can kind of see Simone Elkeles, our illustrious keynote speaker and all-around nice gal. I’m sorry to say that this was the only picture of Simone I managed to get over the entire weekend!)









The next morning, it was YAK Fest time! There was even a yak in front of Keller High School to welcome us.








Of course, we all had to take pictures with the yak . . . Cynthia, Greg, Jessica and I managed to corner him later in the library.








Look at all of the people who came out to see us!









After Simone’s keynote address (which was so hysterically funny I forget to take a single picture of it), we broke up into our panels. I was on the THIS IS NOT NORMAL panel. From left to right: Rosemary Clement-Moore, me, Victoria Scott and Mary Lindsey).







Here we are again, this time with our moderator, the wonderful Jenny Martin (whose debut YA will be published by Dial/Penguin in 2014, by the way, so keep this lovely lady on your radar!)








We had great audiences for all four of our panel sessions, but this first one was my favorite. Aren’t they cute?









Between sessions, we hung out in the library. Here’s our “car crew” along with Jason Henderson.









At the end of the day, we signed books. And tee-shirts, and posters and notebooks. I even signed one girl’s arm! I got to sit next to Krissi Dallas! I just love her, even though her hair was STILL cooler than mine . . .










IMG_6885 It was a great day! Thank you to all of the lovely librarians, volunteers, students and authors who made it so amazing. Extra special thanks to Lucy Smith Kubo (pictured here) who was the brains and heart behind the whole operation. Hugs, Lucy! Now, go take a nap!!


Next up for me: The Montgomery Country Book Festival on February 2. I will try to do a lead-up post next week, but in the meantime you can check out their website HERE.


Until next time – peace out!



Posted in News and Events


  1. Krissi Dallas

    January 21, 2013 at 12:48 pm


    WHATEVER!!! Pink hair ALWAYS trumps black and white hair!! I’m so jealous, because if I could have had pink highlights, I would have… (then we could have a REAL battle of the hair). :) You’re adorable – sooooo thankful for you and always love getting to hang out with you! XOXOXO

    • CPO

      January 21, 2013 at 1:32 pm


      I disagree! Your hair was AWESOME! Next time, we should totally coordinate. What are your thoughts on blue? :-)

      Love you too!

  2. Jen Bigheart

    January 23, 2013 at 3:46 pm


    It was a FUN two days!! Our pic is totes cute, too! 😉

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