I was lucky enough to find out about one of my favorite YA authors coming to town through what many would consider a surprising place. It wasn't publicized on any of the author tour lists, not on the publisher's website, or any other well known site. This author, like many, maintain their own website, but trying to keep up with all the authors' sites can be overwhelming, if not impossible (depending on your range of tastes and number of favorites). I only found out about this tour because Scott Westerfeld (@ScottWesterfeld) is on Twitter and was discussing his upcoming tour for Behemoth. Twitter's purpose isn't the same as other social networks like Facebook. Facebook is excellent for staying in contact with friends and family, while Twitter is more aimed toward accessing large amounts of information in small doses and growing your professional network.
During the course of his tour, Mr. Westerfeld isn't visiting large book store or chains, but small local bookstores. I had never heard of the Blue Willow Bookshop before, but fell in love with it while I was there. The staff is very friendly, very knowledgeable about books, and obvious bibliophiles. They had two school groups there for this author signing, and have all the visiting authors sign their wall. The students were the first to get their books signed. Mr. Westerfeld's book signing was only one of several author visits scheduled last week. Rick Riordan was scheduled for the following day. I wish I lived closer, or had a similar store on my side of town. They do special orders, and even offered to ship me a copy of Behemoth since they had run out before I arrived.
Sadly, we missed Mr. Westerfeld talking about his book and what inspired him to become a writer. Between a doctor's appointment that was delayed a couple of times and Houston traffic, we arrived late. He was very gracious while signing his books. He was also very friendly, and patient with the kids (even the ones that hadn't read any of his books yet, like mine). I am starting Behemoth later today, the girl started reading the Uglies that evening. She is loving the book, can't stop reading it even in class (wags finger at daughter in motherly disapproval). My daughter and I have now met two authors, not counting my husband that is, I plan to meet more. It is very interesting to meet the person that penned the words of a book you have read. They often do not look like you imagined them, or even like their publicity photos. You also see a different side to their personality than you see in their writing.
Enjoy whatever book has your attention currently, if you aren't, grab a new one. There are a shocking number of them available.