02 August, 2013

Summer of YA Recap

Hi, everyone. Last week we attended the Summer of YA event hosted by B&N Americana in Glendale, CA. The event featured 11 YA authors - Andrew Smith, Elizabeth Ross, Lissa Price, Jessica Brody, Carol Tanzman, Stacey Jay, Allen Zadoff, Gretchen McNeil, Kathy McCullough, and Ann Stampler - in a speed dating type event where all of the attendants would get to visit and talk with each author.

We arrived pretty early and checked in. Since we reserved our (free) tickets online, our tickets were waiting for us along with a colored wristband. Everyone with the same color wristband would be in the same group and they would move together from author to author. While waiting, we ran into some really cool bloggers like Ashlyn and Stacey. Also at the even were our friends Crystal, Nicole, Kimberly, Aly and Katie. It was really fun hanging out with everyone while we waited for the event to start. 

B&N was set up on the second floor with a very large space for the event. As 2pm got closer, a bunch of the authors started to show up. A lot of them milled about chatting with people before the event began. Finally it was time to start and our first table was green (go green!), which included Andrew Smith, Allen Zadoff and Lissa Price. Below are a few tidbits from each author.

adnrew showing us the comics from her newest book
Andrew Smith (Stick, Winger) - Andrew talked about his new book Winger and how it is about a 14 year-old boy who is in 11th grade. This story draws from Andrew's own experiences since he was in 11th grade when he was 14 as well. The main characters also play rugby, which Andrew played in high school. There are drawn comics throughout Winger and Andrew said that he originally drew the comics himself. But his publisher asked if he would be agreeable to having the artwork redone but a professional artist. They gave him several artists and portfolios to choose from.  Andrew chose Sam Bosma who also did the back cover illustration (which is awesome).

Lissa Price (Starters) had some exciting news to share. Her book Starters is being featured right now on EW Shelf Life. If you go to this link you can see the cover to Enders and read the first few pages.Leave a comment and you'll be entered to win a prize.

Allen Zadoff (Boy Nobody) - I love talking to Allen Zadoff. He's always so funny and smart. Will you be my friend, Allen? Anyway - I asked Allen where the inspiration came when writing this spy assassin novel since his previous novels are all more contemporary novels about awkward teens. Allen said that this character had been rattling around his head for a little while and he knew that he had to write about him. He's very different from his other characters because, instead of being shy and awkward, Boy Nobody can fit in anywhere and is liked by everyone. This is part of a new trilogy by Allen. He could not reveal the name of the next book yet (we tried). But it looks great and I am really excited to read this one.

Gretchen McNeil (Possess, Ten) looked awesome in a retro cherry print dress. Gretchen's new book, 3:59 will be coming out this Sept. Gretchen is currently planning her wedding which will take place later this year and will be at The Last Bookstore in downtown LA. We squeed a bit about how awesome a bookstore wedding, is. Congratulations, Gretchen!

Stacey Jay (Juliet Immortal, Of Beauty and Beast) - I was really sad I missed out on Of Beauty and Beat at Comic-Con so I was glad that Stacee was coming to this event. I got my book signed, which was great. For the life of me I can't remember what I talked about with Stacey. She was really sweet though and I am looking forward to reading her book. 

sorry i didn't get a pic of you smiling, kathy.
my awkward picture powers strike again!
Kathy McCullough (Don't Expect Magic, Who Needs Magic) - I've met Kathy before and she's always a pleasure to speak with. Kathy told us that her novel, Don't Expect Magic, has been optioned for a television movie. She decided that she wanted to adapt it for the screen and talked to us about how different it was from writing the book. She says that she really had to separate herself from the book and not think of it as her own. She needed to see the value of the book but then write a script that would work for a movie. A lot of books are very internal and, in film, you need to show what the characters are feeling. She said that she could use used voice over but we all agreed that voice over usually sucks. So it was a challenge for her but one she is happy to do and hopefully it will work out and we'll see a TV movie soon.

Ann Stampler (Where It Began) - Ann Stampler is always fun to see. My co-blogger Alethea designed her website and Ann is just the sweetest. We talked about her upcoming novel, Afterparty, which is due in January. Ann had some fun posters that she signed for us and we talked about how gorgeous the cover for Afterparty is. Seriously, check it out if you haven't yet.

Elizabeth Ross (Belle Epoque) - Elizabeth is quite pregnant right now. We joked before the event started that it would be hilarious and crazy if she actually started to go into labor during the event. Don't worry - she didn't. We talked a bit about her newest book, Belle Epoque, and the research that she did for it. Elizabeth's next book is also a historical book set in 1940's Los Angeles. She says it will have a very noir feel, which I am excited about.

Sarah Skilton (Bruised) is an author that I have heard of but didn't know much about. Sarah was super awesome and was really good at pitching us her book. It's about a young woman who has a black belt in tae kwon do (super cool). However, during a local robbery, someone is killed and Sarah blames herself for not saving them. This one sounds super interesting and I am definitely planning on picking it up after speaking with Sarah. 

Jessica Brody (My Life Undecided, Unremembered) is always super fun and cool. Jessica told us that she is done with the second book in the Unremembered trilogy and is working on the third. We veered off the topic of books when I complimented Jessica's nails and she told me that Leigh Bardugo had introduced her to gel nails. :)

Carol Tanzman (dancergirl, Circle of Silence) told us that she is currently working on a new YA urban fantasy series. She liked the idea of having cool fantasy elements but also grounding it in the real world to make it more accessible. 

Phew! Thanks for sticking with me if you made it this far. All in all, I think the event was pretty great. It was really nice to be able to talk to each author in a smaller group setting. They were all super nice and didn't mind my fangirling. Thanks to B&N for putting on this event and for the authors that came out to it. I had a really fun time and I hope that there are more events like this in the future. If you'd like to see a few more photos, check out our Facebook album. Happy Friday, everyone!

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  1. So cool-thanks for the recap! I'm familiar with most of these authors but have read very few of their books at this point-need to get on that!

  2. you're not the only one. i am so behind on these author's books but am hoping to read a few of them before summer ends.

  3. They're all so good! I can't wait for the weekend... gonna try to knock out Winger in one sitting. I read 60 pages then stopped because of work stuff, but I really need to finish it!

  4. nice. i think i may start winger tonight.