Wednesday, April 30, 2014

AuthorsRMyRkstars: Stephanie Perkins, Victoria Schwab, Marissa Meyer and more!

February 1st 2014

Megan Shephard and Jessica Spotswood

Ellen Oh, Victoria Schwab, Megan Shephard, Stephanie Perkins and Jessica Spotswood came to the Bethesda Library in the beginning of February. It was quite the mixture of genres and styles. From mainly romance novels like those of Stephanie Perkins, to ancient Korean warriors like Ellen Oh, to retellings of classic novels like Megan Shephard, it was a great selection of authors no matter what you like to read.

Stephanie Perkins, Victoria Schwab, Ellen Oh
I have heard of all these ladies' novels but had only read Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. I am on a book buying hiatus while I try to read the all the ones I already have, so I was determined not to buy anything unless it sounded wonderful and I had to have it signed!

Megan's thinking face
I was weak, however, once Victoria Schwab talked about her love for darkness in books. I knew I had to get The Archived (also it has an awesome cover). Dead people housed like books at a library? Disturbing and intriguing. Here is my post (totally out of order) where I met Victoria for the second time at NoVa Teen Book Festival if you are interested.

Anyway, I knew Stephanie Perkins would have the longest line so I hopped right up to that one! She was so sweet, complimenting my fox shirt and showing me her fox necklace. During the panel portion, she talked about how she wrote Lola and the Boy Next Door for ten years then wrote Anna and the French Kiss which got published first. I told her I've been writing the same thing for 5 years and she said maybe I should set it aside and work on something new until I was inspired again.

When we went to take the picture, Stephanie had to lean over the table since she was in the middle and there was no way to get behind her. She leaned over, I put the book up and BAM. Smacked her right in the face with it. -_- Good going Markella. Author abuse.

Although I didn't get their books, I still got a picture with Megan Shephard and Jessica Spotswood. I vow to read their books one day! 

Victoria was very nice and we had a good conversation about wanting to read darker YA. Victoria and I are actually about the same age (she might be a year or so older) which surprised me because I always think of authors as older than I am. I need to stop thinking like that since I am now on the WRONG SIDE of 25.

Last I went to talk to Ellen Oh. She asked if I come to these events often. I said I did. She said she recognized me from other things. I was surprised cause I don't think I've seen her in person before. Maybe she was just making small talk. It was still a nice thought that an author would recognize me. 

February 12 2014

I saw Marissa Meyer in Bethesda last year when she was promoting Scarlet. This post here recaps that time. This time she was promoting Cress with a special guest, the narrator of the audiobook Rebecca Soler! Let me tell you, the narrator was awesome. The amount of voices she could do and they way they captured each character was great. (Sorry not talking about Marissa much because I covered a lot of what she said in my first post.)

Rebecca talked about the most difficult scene in the book to do and she said there is a conference call with a ton of different countries in Cress and she had to do different accents for each character. She also said her favorite character voice to do is Iko, Cinder's android friend. 

I made sure to tell Marissa happy birthday since she had come to the area around the same time last year and we had a birthday dinner with her. 

Here's a video of the narrator I stole from someone else. Enjoy!

Next up!

Day Days Tour: Tahereh Mafi, Veronica Rossi, Kiersten White and Sophie Jordan

Jenny Han

Thursday, April 17, 2014

How A Library Changed My Life: For National Library Week

Before the age of 14-15, I don't think I read a book for fun once in my entire life.

My New York City library card is unusable TO THIS VERY DAY because I never returned the books on Native Americans I took out in the fifth grade. Not that I cared at the time. I remember kids talking about Harry Potter during a book report and I thought is he a gardener? (I also didn't pay much attention to my classmates). My family were TV people, not book people.

When I moved to Ohio to start High School, I met a girl who would be become my best friend; her name was Brittani. Brittani's mom was a librarian at the Warren Trumbull Public Library and had asked Brittani to join the Teen Advisory Board (TAB) to which, as any good friend would do, she then dragged me to. Once a month, we did things like write letters to soldiers to accompany the books we picked to send them and discuss books we read recently and liked. 

My old library

I never had anything to say in the meetings because A. I didn't read for fun and B. I don't talk easily in groups of strangers.

However, I do remember two teenage boys regulars who were so enthusiastic and vocal about the fantasy novels they had read (and possibly Dungeons and Dragons too). Their little seen, highly unacceptable public display of love for all things geek was something I couldn't understand or fathom expressing myself. At the same time, I was jealous of how they had this thing in their lives that made them so excited and happy they didn't care what others thought. I didn't have anything like that in mine. I wanted to see if I too could find that in books.

So after a meeting where we talked about fantasy novels specifically, I went to the Young Adult and Adult sections and looked through the mixed genre books, trying to find something that interested me. This was about 2003 so the YA section is not what it is now. Lots of Young Adult books were mixed in the Adult section. The Young Adult section was filled with the Babysitter's Club and dull covers from the 1960's. Neither really appealed to me. 

I just grabbed a bunch a books at random that looked interesting. I remember only one called Mother Ocean, Daughter Sea.

Mother Ocean, Daughter Sea

I never did read Mother Ocean, Daughter Sea. I don't remember what exactly I did read that made me come back for more but soon I was taking 10-15 books home every week, reading maybe 2-4 that interested me and returning the rest. I remember walking to the library in the summer heat a few times a week and staying up to 4-5 in the morning to finish a book.

I still do these things to this day. Well, except the walking part. I can drive now. And the staying up all night. I can't take a messed up sleep schedule anymore (that makes me feel old to admit).

So what am I trying to say? I'm trying to say the library made me the person I am today. That if it hadn't been for that Teen Advisory Board or my friend's librarian mother, my life would be different. Would I have started reading for fun? Would I have found my love of Young Adult? Would I known what it was like to have something you can squeal to others about even if they'll think you're a nerd or uncool? I'm not sure and that makes me sad. It makes me sad that if libraries close, other shy lonely kids won't be able to find what I did.

As an adult, I still read Young Adult. I spend weeknights reading until I'm too tired to keep my eyes open. Or working on my book blog. Or writing my own novel. I spend weekends at book events or my YA book club. Reading is a part of my life and who I am.

So thank you so much libraries and librarians for giving this girl something in life that feels like her own and makes her happy.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Who will be at National Book Festival 2014? Ask and you shall receive

The list of authors for the National Book Festival 2014 has just been released! The Festival will be at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center (not the mall!) on August 30, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. If you don't know, the National Book Festival is a HUGE event with author talks, signings and a host of other things to do. It's usually only in the day time but this year they have extended their hours to 10 p.m. The theme is Stay Up With A Good Book so the later hours are fitting. Also, it is kid friendly!

If you are a YA lover like I am, I don't see anything to freak out about just yet but it's still months away and I'm sure they will be adding authors until then. 

First, check out my recap of last year's festival where I got to meet Veronica Roth!

Anyway, here are some YA/ MG authors to look forward too (the ones I looked up anyway):

The one name I recognized!

Kendare Blare author of the Anna Series and Goddess War Series

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1)Girl of Nightmares (Anna, #2)13246736Mortal Gods (Goddess War, #2)

Others that I thought YA lovers would be interested in: 

Kate DiCamillo author of Because of Winn Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux and more

Because of Winn-DixieThe Tale of Despereaux

Gene Luen Yang author of American Born Chinese and Avatar Comics

American Born ChineseAvatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise, Part 1 (The Promise, #1)

Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass

List of all author scheduled as of today (good luck sorting this out):

Jonathan Allen, Amie Parnes, Peter Baker, Ishmael Beah, Kai Bird, Billy Collins, Kate DiCamillo, Francisco Goldman, Henry Hodges, Siri Hustvedt, Cynthia Kadohata, U.S. Reps. John Lewis and James Clyburn, Alice McDermott, George Packer, Lisa See, Maria Venegas, and Gene Luen Yang. Bob Adelman, Paul Auster, Andrea Beaty, Eula Biss, Kendare Blake, Paul Bogard, Jeffrey Brown, Peter Brown, Eric H. Cline, Bryan Collier, Raúl Colón, James Conaway, Ilene Cooper, Jerry Craft, H. Allen Day, Liza Donnelly, Margaret Engle, Percival Everett, Jules Feiffer, David Theodore George, Carla Hall, Molly Idle, Peniel E. Joseph, Nick Kotz, Nina Krushcheva, Louisa Lim, Eric Litwin, Adrienne Mayor, Meg Medina, Claire Messud, Anchee Min, Elizabeth Mitchell, Richard Moe, John Moeller, Bryan Lee O'Malley, Alicia Ostriker, Laura Overdeck, Dav Pilkey, Paisley Rekdal, Amanda Ripley, Cokie Roberts, Ilyasah Shabazz, Lynn Sherr, Brando Skyhorse, Vivek Tiwary, David Treuer, Ann Ursu, Lynn Weise, Rita Williams-Garcia, Natasha Wimmer, Jacqueline Woodson and Tiphanie Yanique.

Library of Congress website for you to look over if you want more info though there's not much on there right now :

Also, check out my TAB above for more author events in the area.