Tag Archives: YA Authors

Fierce Reads

10 Oct


Before watching the presidential town hall last night, I went to the Fierce Reads tour at Powells.

Although I arrived early, I had to take a seat in the fifth row because so many fans were excited to see the four authors who would be talking. Although my view was obstructed, I could hear everything clearly.

img_0412 img_0413

The author that I and most audience members were most excited to see was Leigh Bardugo who was promoting her newest book, Crooked Kingdom,  the sequel to Six of Crows.


Kami Garcia, author of the Beautiful Creatures series, was promoting The Lovely Reckless.


There were two new authors to me, Emma Mills and Caleb Roehrig, who were promoting their mysteries This Adventure Ends  and Last Seen Leaving  respectively.

9781627799355 9781250085634_fc

Although I enjoyed listening to each of the authors talk, I only took notes on the parts where they offered writing advice for aspiring writers that I can take back to school. They were specifically asked for advice for young writers who might be considering NaNoWriMo, but I think most of it is relevant to writing at any time. Here is what I gleaned:

  • don’t be afraid to write badly
  • write 2000 words a day
  • have a plan, but banish the idea of perfection in a draft
  • if you get stuck, write what you are thinking at the time to break the paralysis between your head and your hands
  • when you get stuck
    • talk to your characters
    • verbalize the problem
    • with the point of view you are writing
    • step away from the problem (run, drive, get out of the house)
    • work/focus on something else
    • don’t go online
  • the more obsessed you become with solving a problem, the less likely you are to  solve it
  • talk to friends/critique partners – they may help spark a new idea

They all agreed that the first draft is just a baby step. My favorite line of the afternoon came from Kami Garcia who said, “Revising is the real thing”.



Serendipity with dolphins

3 Jul

In amongst the very famous authors at last Sunday’s YA Coffee Klatch were some lesser known authors. It doesn’t mean they were less skilled authors. When Ginny Rorby sat at our table and held up the novel she was promoting,


I blurted out, “That is sitting in my to read pile right now!” It was serendipitous.

Publisher’s Summary: Lily loves her half-brother, Adam, but she has always struggled with him, too. He’s definitely on the autism spectrum–though her step-father, Don, can barely bring himself to admit it–and caring for him has forced Lily to become as much mother as sister. All Lily wants is for her step-father to acknowledge that Adam has a real issue, that they need to find some kind of program that can help him. Then maybe she can have a life of her own.

Adam’s always loved dolphins, so when Don, an oncologist, hears about a young dolphin with cancer, he offers to help. He brings Lily and Adam along, and Adam and the dolphin–Nori–bond instantly.

But though Lily sees how much Adam loves Nori, she also sees that the dolphin shouldn’t spend the rest of her life in captivity, away from her family. Can Adam find real help somewhere else? And can Lily help Nori regain her freedom without betraying her family?

Ginny is also the author of Hurt Go Happy, which won a 2008 Schneider Family Book Award.


Publisher’s Summary:Thirteen-year-old Joey Willis is used to being left out of conversations. Though she’s been deaf since the age of six, Joey’s mother has never allowed her to learn sign language. She strains to read the lips of those around her, but often fails.

Everything changes when Joey meets Dr. Charles Mansell and his baby chimpanzee, Sukari. Her new friends use sign language to communicate, and Joey secretly begins to learn to sign. Spending time with Charlie and Sukari, Joey has never been happier. She even starts making friends at school for the first time. But as Joey’s world blooms with possibilities, Charlie’s and Sukari’s choices begin to narrow–until Sukari’s very survival is in doubt.

I highly recommend both!

#alaac15 – Day 4 – quiet, but amazing

29 Jun

Yesterday started off with the YALSA Coffee Klatch with YA Authors. I met up with some Beaverton colleagues and we sat at table 10 of about 50. This was another speed dating event, with authors rotating about every 10 minutes. We only got about 10 authors, but WOW, we got some good ones:

Mariko & Jillian Tamaki of This One Summer

Andrew Smith who was promoting The Alex Crow

Leigh Bardugo talking about  Six of Crows

Marissa Meyer talking about Winter

When it was over, I dashed out to get to Andrew Smith’s book signing & got a copy of his sequel to Winger,  entitled  Stand-off. The I went to watch the parade. I didn’t stay for the whole thing because I was too short to see much and then the crowd was starting to get to me. I don’t really enjoy crowds.

The real highlight of the day were the speeches at the Newbery Caldecott banquet. TEARS!!!!

Dan Santat, who won the Caldecott for The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimagnary Friend.


That man moved the crowd with his soul-baring honesty. If you have a chance to read or listen to his speech, please do so. I am teary-eyed now. I bet you will see yourself in what he has to say.

He was followed by Kwame Alexander,who won the Newbery for The Crossover.


He essentially gave a spoken word performance that was breathtakingly beautiful.

Today will be mundane after all that. My first stop is the on site post office where I will ship books home. I hope the line isn’t too long.

%d bloggers like this: