Wednesday, April 27, 2016

North Texas Teen Book Festival 2016


NTTBF was amazing again this year!  It was so crowded, but we still got to see so many authors!  I even spoke with a few of them about coming to YAK Fest next year, so stay tuned on that subject!  There's just something about hearing the author talk about his book that makes reading the book so much more meaningful.  Hearing the backstories about how the ideas formed makes it so that you appreciate the story that much more.  Also, getting to know the authors through the panel discussions gives a little insight as well.  Hearing James Dashner say that he dreamed about a maze when he was a kid and then watched The Shining (which has a terrifying scene with a maze in it at the end) and THAT was the reason he wanted to write Maze Runner?  Now I think of that maze in a whole new way!  I have included some quotes from each of the authors I heard speak.  All the quotes are under the pictures of the panel.  Hopefully, you will find some insight into stories that you didn't already have.

Clean Slate Panel
Jessica Brody, James Dashner, Caragh O'Brien, Mary Pearson, Adam Silvera, Teresa Toten

Brody
Talking about her Boys of Summer novels:  "I've never explored teen romance from a boy's point of view so I'm really excited to have this new book." 

"When I was in 7th grade I was too busy thinking about boys to think about writing.  I was obsessed with Christopher Pike books."

"Don't be afraid to write crap, because crap makes a great fertilizer."

Pearson
"I hear voices, which I don't like to always admit, but those voices make me curious and make me want to write."

"When I was a 7th grader, I thought all writers were dead.  I had never met an author like yall are today."

Dashner
"I had a vision of the maze one night.  It's been in my head since I was a kid.  I watched the Shining when I was younger.  The garden maze scene at the end and that stuck with me.  Mazes have always creeped me out.  Also, I was watching the TV show Lost while righting the Maze Runner."

"When I was in 7th grade, I was obsessed with Judy Blume's Superfudge books."

O'Brien
"If you're just following what you're interested in, you never know what you'll do when you're older."

"Having a good editor helped me figure out that I just needed to keep working on my story.  There's a messy time of ideas coming and going."

Toten
"Even though we know we affect you guys with our books, you have no idea how much YOU affect US as writers!"

Silvera
"In 7th grade, I wanted to be a WWE Wrestler.  My signature move was going to be the Adam Bomb!"

HMS books by these authors:
Jessica Brody - Unremembered Trilogy, My Life Undecided, Boys of Summer (coming soon)
James Dashner - Maze Runner series, 13th Reality series, Mortality Doctrine series
Caragh O'Brien - Birthmarked series, Vault of Dreamers series (coming soon)
Mary Pearson - Jenna Fox Chronicles, Remnant Chronicles
Adam Silvera - More Happy Than Not (coming soon)
Teresa Toten - Shattered Glass (coming soon), The Unlikely Hero of 13B

Research Lab Panel
Karen Blumenthal, Libba Bray, Nathan Hale, Ruta Sepetys, Janet Taylor


Blumenthal
"When researching books, you want to hear people's voices as much as possible.  Primary sources are the best resources."

Bray
"One of the things I love about researching the past is that it gives us the present."

Hale
"You may know about my cartoon bibliography pages and the research babies."

Sepetys
"I do most of my research on the road.  I want to talk to the people.  I spoke with two elderly men who were among the original divers who were a part of the rescue team of the wreck of the "Ghost Ship."  I then traveled to the coastlines of six different countries to talk to the people who were there when all the bodies started washing up on the coasts."  -- talking about Salt to the Sea

"Many of the people who I had to talk to for my research were part of Soviet Russia and many of them were afraid to talk because of their history of not being allowed to talk about the past.  That's a challenge when writing about hidden history."

Taylor
"My book is about sewage and smoochin'."

HMS books by these authors:
Karen Blumenthal - Tommy:  The Gun that Changed the World, Steve Jobs:  The Man Who Thought Different
Libba Bray - Gemma Doyle trilogy
Nathan Hale - Hazardous Tales series, Rapunzel's Revenge, Calamity Jack, Frankenstein: A Monstrous Parody (coming soon)
Ruta Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray, Out of the Easy, Salt to the Sea
Janet Taylor - Into the Dim (coming soon)


Angels and Demons Panel
Brodi Ashton, Sarah Rees Brennan, Cynthia Hand, Faith Erin Hicks, D.J. MacHale, Victoria Scott


Hicks
"Putting all the bad things you see in yourself into a bad character is a lot of fun."

Scott
"I'm terrified of monkeys.  They look too much like humans than should ever be possible."

When asked if it is more enjoyable to write a bad character -  "YES!  I can point to readers in my signing line and determine if they would like Dante Walker or not."

MacHale
"I lived in a haunted house growing up.  The ghost's name was Rose, and I think she liked Jimi Hendrix but hated my version of Jimi Hendrix."

"Most of my books have characters based on myself."

"If there is a ghost, the ghost always wants something. So they are all mystery stories.  That's why I'm drawn to them, but as an author I get to come up with the stuff that the ghost has the ability to do.  But it still has to make sense."

"Its way more fun to write villians than it is to write a hero."

HMS books by these authors:
Brodi Ashton - Everneath series, My Lady Jane (coming soon)
Sarah Rees Brennan - Untold, Team Human
Cynthia Hand - Unearthly series, The Last Time We Say Goodbye
Faith Erin Hicks - Nameless City, Nothing Can Possible Go Wrong, The Adventures of Superhero Girl, Friends with Boys, War at Ellsmere, Last of Us (coming soon)
D.J. MacHale - Morpheus Road series, Pendragon series, Sylo Chronicles
Victoria Scott - Fire and Flood series, Titans

Dystopian Dynasty Panel
Victoria Aveyard, Bethany Hagen, Alex London, Jonathan Maberry, Jenny Martin, Caragh O'Brien


Aveyard
"It's challenging to not go too bleak when writing dystopia."

"I'm an entertainer so my natural instinct is to blow something up.  My favorite scenes to write are fight scenes."

When asked if she could survive her REd Queen world - "No!"

Hagen
"I heard someone say once that high school is a dystopia."

"My response to conflict is to take a nap.  So if I was in my dystopian world, I would probably just go take a nap."

London
"Human relationships are what make you care about the characters.  My favorite scene in Proxy is the camping scene in the desert because they were just acting like regular teenagers.  So that made it fun.  And, you know, fart jokes."

Maberry
"What we broke as adults, you can fix in your future."

"I was the guy in high school who always got in trouble for snarky comments and inappropriate humor.  That's what I like to put in my books."

"I've been thinking about how to survive the zombie apocolypse since i was ten.  I've thought toooo much about it."  #zombiemotivationalspeaker

"Start your story with the ending and the rest will come."

Martin
"The war inside - who you are and what you believe in vs the expectations of you on the outside."

O'Brien
When I started writing birthmarked I wanted it to be about regular people.  The challenge wasn't about writing a dystopia.  It was how do I tell a story about people I really care about."

HMS books by these authors:
Victoria Aveyard - Red Queen series
Bethany Hagen - Landry Park series
Alex London - Proxy series
Jonathan Maberry - Rot and Ruin series, Nightsiders series
Jenny Martin - Tracked series
Caragh O'Brien - Birthmarked series, Vault of Dreamers (coming soon)

All the World's a Stage Panel
Julie Murphy, Paul Rudnick, Amy Spalding, Kristin Rae, Caragh O'Brien


Murphy
"I love going to these events so that I can talk to my readers and hear about their expeiences with my books."

Rudnick
"To be a writer you have to be very comfortable with yourself.  It is a bit solitary."

"The Hershey company found out about my obsesion with chocolate.  They sent me the biggest chocolate bar I've ever seen and I refused to share.  I looked like a rat sitting on the couch gnawing at that chocolate bar."

Spalding
"I do this for the attention.  I mean look at me!  Do I look like someone who isn't doing this for attention?"

HMS books by these authors:
Julie Murphy - Dumplin
Paul Rudnick - It's All Your Fault (coming soon), Gorgeous (coming soon)
Kristin Rae - Wish You Were Italian, What You Always Wanted (coming soon)


Touch of Paranormal Panel
Lori Goldstein, Jennifer Latham, Samantha Mabry, Natalie Parker


Goldstein
Weirdest Google for book: "Hot teenage boys"

"Best writing tip:  Never compare yourself to a finished published work."

Latham
"I rewrote my book three times before the publisher decided to take it.  I ended up taking out a lot of the paranormal."

"My teenage daughters will not read what I write."

Best wrting tip - "Do what feels right to you even if it breaks the supposed rules."

Mabry
"I sent in a tape to Courtney Love to audition for the new bass player in their band."

"My character isn't paranormal.  She's just a victim of a generational curse."

Weirdest Google for book:  "Effects of poisonous plants on the human body"

Best writing advice:  "Writers are the ones who are willing to do the work.  Do it like you brush your teeth in the morning."

Parker
Weirdest Google - "Cutting off body parts and how to staunch the flow of blood and how long does it take a body to decompose in the swamp"

Best writing tip - "Break the rules."

Count Chocula or Booberry?  "What are these?"

Reichs
"Would you rather sweat cheese or vomit marbles every hour on the hour?"

"Space pirate or medieval wizard?"

HMS books by these authors:
Brenden Reichs - Virals series
Lori Goldstein - Becoming Jinn series
Jennifer Latham - Scarlett Undercover, Dreamland Burning (coming soon)
Samantha Mabry - A Fierce and Subtle Poison
Natalie Parker - Beware the Wild series


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