Jenni is a Utah book blogger who blogs at Jenni Elyse. As you'll see, she's very active in the Utah Books community. Follow her on Twitter, Goodreads, and Instagram. Without further ado, here's Jenni:
I’m so excited to guest post on the Utah Books blog for Utah Book Month today. I love the literary community we have here. It’s so awesome and so much fun! I’m especially excited to talk about my adventures with Utah authors, some of my favorite people. Imagine a time when Twilight was just getting popular—just before Eclipse and the first movie came out. I read Twilight and fell in love with reading, but I also fell in love with this series. I joined the Twilight Lexicon and met some amazing people, many who live in Utah like I do. After we corresponded via the interwebs for several months and realized no one was a serial killer, we decided to get together for dinner to meet each other in person. That was nearly seven years ago. Since that time, these amazing ladies have been some of my very best friends. We no longer obsess over Twilight, but we still obsess over books. We especially love to Support Local Talented Authors, hence our group name—SLTA.
We’ve had the opportunity to meet and party with many local authors and celebrate their awesome books! The first author we ever hosted was Ally Condie, about a year before Matched came out. We celebrated her book Freshman for President. Because of this party, we established a relationship with her and were able to celebrate Matched, Crossed, and Reached when they all came out too.
Since that first party with Ally, we’ve had the opportunity to party with Sydney Salter, Bree Despain, Shannon Hale, Brodi Ashton, Julianne Donaldson, Sara B. Larson, and Amy Harmon.
At each of our parties, we make usually have book-themed decorations, serve book-themed dinner and desserts, play book-themed games, and do a Q&A with the author. We make it point to make that author feel special and like they’re the most awesome person in the world for that night. Afterward, the author will usually sign our books and then we present the author with a gift bag.
Each time we’ve partied with these authors, I’ve been amazed at how down-to-earth they are. I’ve loved getting to know them and learning fun facts about them and their stories. It gives me a much more personal connection to them and their books.