Texas Teen Book Festival features writer of hit show “The Office”

Asia Smith

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The Texas Teen Book Festival was held at St. Edward’s University, bringing in a lot of Austinites, Texans and people from out of state.

People started showing up as early as 6 a.m. this Saturday, though the event didn’t start until 10 a.m. By then, the line trailed along the Alumni Gym wall toward the back entrance of Ragsdale Center. It was at the front of this line that Mindy Kaling held a Q&A and signed books.

Kaling is known for her work on the critically acclaimed show “The Office” and her own show, “The Mindy Project.” She is also a successful comedian, producer, actor and author. Kaling’s fans flocked to the event to see her.

When the doors of the Alumni Gym opened, a sea of people flew inside, grabbing their copies of Kaling’s books and taking their place in line again, ready for Kaling to come out and start signing. The anticipation was palpable as everyone waited to meet Kaling. The crowd erupted into cheers when Kaling came out. She smiled and signed books while making small talk with people. Sadly, only the first 250 people in line were able to get books signed. To make up for this, however, there was a Q&A, which was more inclusive.

Next door to the Alumni Gym, the RCC held panels and contests, giving out free gifts and other related items to a select few of the crowd members. Meanwhile at the Q&A, Kaling spoke about two books she had published and her voice as a writer. She talked about her childhood, college, her experiences as a producer and creating her own show. Kaling also gave the audience a small peak into a new film that she would be participating in based on the novel, “A Wrinkle in Time.”

For the Q&A part of the panel, the various questions asked dealt with her character on “The Office,” her life as a child, opinions about Hollywood’s perception of actresses, success in a hard business and more.

Following Kaling’s panel, a game show started, quizzing audience members about young adult books and authors, while there were more book signings outside underneath tents. There was also a costume contest, where people could participate by dressing up as their favorite character from a book.

There were more panels dealing with book genres and more book signings from other young adult genre authors. Additionally, Munday Library held writing workshops for future authors and poets.

All in all, this year’s festival was a way to celebrate books and promote teen literacy. St. Edward’s was proud to host a stimulating and entertaining event for the public and students alike.