Photo Essay: A.S. King at Vancouver Community Library

Photo Essay: A.S. King at Vancouver Community Library

Laura and I braved the pouring rain and hellacious traffic on the bridge spanning the Oregon-Washington border to see one of our favorite authors, A.S. King, speak at the Fort Vancouver Public Library’s Teen Writing Awards.

It was an extremely cool event, and we learned a ton about the author, her writing process and the very interesting life she’s led. Here are some photos from the event.

Laura looking pretty adorable with her sassy hat, football-themed handbag and copy of Please Ignore Vera Dietz.

“Everybody Sees the Ants”-themed cupcakes. Aren’t they adorable?

Uhhhhhh… wait a second! These ants are plastic! (Apparently, a library employee was warning people that the ants were inedible.)

Yay! Prizes for the teen writing contest—the local library has been doing this for 14 years. And they always bring a nationally-known writer to give a keynote for the award ceremony. Isn’t that incredibly cool?

Nope, it’s still not cold and wet enough for Laura to wear real shoes. Western New Yorkers are hardcore.

I, on the other hand, wore proper footwear. ;)

The very enthusiastic librarian emcee.

A.S. King

A.S. King - I did not know that she’d lived self-sufficiently on a farm in Ireland for many years. I was more excited about this news than a normal person would be, but it’s so unusual to meet other Americans who’ve lived in Ireland that I get absolutely giddy when I encounter someone who has.

{Laura taking a photo.} Amy spoke about her long road to becoming a writer, which was always her dream, but she didn’t believe she could make it happen for herself for a long time.


Fun fact: The Pigman was Amy’s favorite book as a teenager.

Amy spoke about the power of education to help you realize your dreams—I hope the teens were listening, because that’s something most adults don’t say. Usually it’s education = job, not education = tools to fulfill dreams.

Amy with one of the teen writing contest winners. This young lady wants to become a forest ranger—which was Amy’s major at her first college (she ultimately went to art school and studied photography).

Audience Q&A. It was remarkable what interesting questions the young people asked—many were more insightful than you usually hear asked by adults at these sorts of events. I was incredibly impressed about how many kids talked about their writing practice like it was no big deal.

During the Q&A, we learned that seven publishers bid on Please Ignore Vera Dietz. Two wanted to remove Vera’s dad’s flow charts. Naturally, Laura and I audibly gasped in sufficiently dramatic fashion upon learning this. The horror! The flow charts are key to the story!

There were also door-prizes. We did not win.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone as excited about anything as the librarian was about Scrabble Cheez-its. My closet germaphobe is kind of freaking out about this concept.

And, of course, the book signing. We had to chat about Ireland (and the fact that there are no Irish books with happy endings and why), Twitter and how Laura and I became friends partly because of Please Ignore Vera Dietz.Laura & her (now signed) copy of Please Ignore Vera Dietz. {I had a weird hair situation happening, so no photos of moi & my book.}Thank you Amy and the Vancouver Community Library for an awesome event!

If you’re in the Portland area, A.S. King is also having a signing at Powell’s Cedar Hills on Monday, October 22. The library also said that they’ll be uploading a podcast of the keynote, it will definitely be worth a listen—keep your eyes out on the FVRL website for that.  

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