What’s Up Wednesday

WUWAutumnWhat’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what’s up. Should you wish to join us, you will find the link widget at the bottom of Jaime’s blog. And in honor of What’s Up Wednesday for the fall, Jaime made some beautiful new buttons. I’ll feature them all over the next few weeks.

(I particularly love this WUW button because fall. Come to here to me, fall.)

What I’m Reading

Nothing new here I’m afraid. Still reading A Game of Thrones, still love it to pieces, though feeling a bit more pressured after Austin Teen Book Fest, where I bought all the books and now they eye me sideways from my bedside table. (More on that in a bit.) I think I’m holding my ground though. I’ve sorted the books into two unmanageable piles that could topple over at any minute, and in no way does that bother me.

What I’m Writing

I had a slow writing week. I eeked out maybe 1000 words before the weekend, then nothing at all over the weekend, (again, more later) then was incoherent much of Monday due to a coffee shortage in my household and my inability to function without caffein as well as my brain frying weekend. However, things picked up Tuesday evening, and I wrote another 800 words on my WiP. Yay words! I love you.

However, being around all those productive, published and pretty writers was just the kick in the pants needed to assure me, yes, in fact, I do want to do this thing and will. So…my coming week will be infused with great inspiration.

What Inspires Me

The Book Fest was inspiring, but possibly more inspiring was the time spent with my sisters-in-law. As someone who grew up in a house full of boys — my five brothers and their filthy friends — I am not always the best at girlfriend stuff. Don’t get me wrong, most of my closest friends are females. I’m not one of those girls who just hung out with guys. No, no, the opposite, I got enough of that nonsense at home. But sisters are different. And these two beautiful women (as well as my other sisters-in-law, who also kick ass) are talent-filled, fun-loving, smart, genuine joys to share my time with. They inspire me to be more ambitious, more understanding, more empathetic; lessons it’s hard to place value on.

The picture of elegance.

The picture of elegance.

The toast at dinner,”To sisters, nerdiness, books–Doctor Who and Jon Snow! Jon Snow!” Kindreds.

What Else I’m Up To

I went on a trip this weekend. Maybe I’ve mentioned it. Down in Austin there was a little book festival where all the awesome authors and all the fantastic books overloaded my senses. I wrote a blog post about it yesterday, which you can check out here if you’re curious. It was a wonderful day. I am so thankful for this and other amazing festivals like it that bring booksellers, authors, and readers together as one.

We had our first day of filming for Cassie’s Cause Sunday afternoon. I was fried from Saturday, but pulled it together long enough to film, and it was worth it. The shoot went fabulously. For an inside look, and pics, check out the Cassie’s Cause blog.

I missed my kiddo this weekend, so I intend to spend some quality time with him, library-ing and ninja turtle-ing, and hugging him as often as he’ll let me.

Happy Wednesday! What’s up with you?

Austin Teen Book Fest 2013, or where all my money now lives.

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Oh, Austin Teen Book Fest, how I adore you. Your incredible panels. Your many fangirl opportunities. How you get me and all the other YA booknerds to the paper and ink core. Where all the books are so intriguing that my credit card was smoking by the time I left for home.

It was a good weekend, starting with the drive down where my sisters-in-law and I covered a wide range of topics including, but not exclusive to, Jon Snow, Doctor Who, ambition, husbands and children, book crushes (more Jon Snow, Four, Gansey, and all the others talk here) etc., and so on. We stopped in West, Texas for some delicious goodness. Some of you may remember West from the news a few months back, but we who’ve made the drive to Austin before, know West as the magical place where the Czech Stop and all the kolaches exist to help us on the road.

We look happy because kolaches in our hands, book festival in our future.

We look happy because kolaches in our hands, book festival in our future.

The sky was weird and wonderful as we drove into a storm, and then promptly out of it again. So, when the clouds broke somewhere near Temple, Texas and a rainbow lit up the gray, we felt as if it was for us and our fellow book loving travelers.

Rainbow, pretty.

Rainbow, pretty.

We arrived in Austin, our spirits and anticipation high, and wandered 6th Street for food and drink, before hitting the sack in preparation of our early rise the next morning.

We walked to the Austin Convention center the next morning, coffee in hand and some more kolaches in our stomachs, and quickly found our seats. My sister-in-law, Celestine agreed to save seats while my other sister-in-law, Stephanie and I checked out the Book People set up across the Exhibit Hall.

You must realize, when I say “checked out”, I mean “gathered under arms until there was no more room and we had to come back later for a second round.” After some panels, because the start of the festival chased us from the Book People to our seats.

I’m going to take a moment here to make sure it’s completely clear how very hard I fangirl Maggie Stiefvater. At some point I will expand on this, maybe with a sonnet and some Maggie Stiefvater book + Me reading it = My Happy Place art, but for now, just know, I think she’s the bees knees.

Maggie Stiefvater rocks!

Maggie Stiefvater rocks!

And she is as fabulous in person as I hoped. Her speech was about being fearless, and how she isn’t, but really is, but not actually, and we all can be too. I actually saw her in the hallway going from one panel to another and had to force myself not stop her. They didn’t want us to, and I would have been hopelessly awkward had I tried, because I get tongue-tied pretty completely by authors I adore. Case in point: I’ve seen Rae Carson three times in person, met her twice, and still have to use my “I will not kiss her” mantra whenever I see her milling around after panels.

I don’t know why.

Back to the Festival. The day was then in full swing, and my group and I, which we added to after Maggie’s Key Note, when we ran into Dallas booknerds Cherie “Little Libba” Stewart and Britnee DeJong. They are what Austin Teen Book Fest is truly about, youngish readers who can’t seem to stop buying, reading, and discussing books.

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The Into the Heart of Darkness panel featured authors Holly Black, Jon Skovron, Mari Mancusi, Robin Wasserman, and April G. Tucholk and was moderated by Dallas-Fort Worth author and Evil Genius, Victoria Scott. The theme was all things devilish and dark, and the authors really got into it. There was a Devil Horn headband, which was passed around between the authors whenever they said something particularly gruesome or black-hearted.

Next we trucked our books and selves back to the Exhibit hall for Fierce Reads vs. Dark Days, which was a game-show style panel pitting the authors from the Fierce Reads Tour and the Dark Days tour against one another. I am a Dark Days girl myself, our house is Slytherin, our chant, a Hiss. I may be biased, but I think the Dark Days ladies killed it.

Grainy pic of the Dark Days authors!

Grainy pic of the Dark Days authors!

Lunchtime! I watched the panel featuring — not eating because I tend to starve myself when excited and nervous — Rob Thomas, creator of Veronica Mars and YA author, and Sarah Dessen, moderated by lovely and eloquent author Lauren Myracle. As a writer of both screenplays and novels, I especially enjoyed listening to Rob Thomas talk about Kickstarter, writing for TV, and maintaining your sane in the crazy of Publishing and Film.

The day was broken up and distracted by getting to meet some cool people I’d connected with online, including Austin based writer and musician Courtney Howell, and the author of the forthcoming novel The Truth About AliceJen Mathieu, whose book you should all put on your TBR pronto, as well as chatting with an agent I respect whose clients I adore.

Us, keepin' it classy with the help of one of the fabulous bookmarks for her book.

Us, keepin’ it classy with the help of one of the fabulous bookmarks for her book.

My afternoon was filled with talent and awesome, on the Powers Strange and Perilous panel with Maggie Stiefvater, Robin LeFevers, Lisa McMann, Cinda Williams Chima, Melissa De La Cruz & Michael Johnston, and moderated by Texas author Rosemary Clement-Moore. The panel spent a lot of time discussing power, real or imagined, and how it can be used in fiction. As a fantasy writer I was enthralled, and intent to soak up all the knowledge they were handing out for free.

Somewhere in there I ate, and then went to buy all the books I’d been noting during panels that I couldn’t live without, plus some literary themed jewelry and another Diet Coke.

The last panel we enjoyed was moderated by local superstar and author of the forthcoming Side Effects May Vary, Julie Murphy, and appropriately titled I Made You a Mixtape. Contemporary YA is not my main subgenre of interest, but this panel featured some just stunningly talented and well-spoken Contemporary writers. Sarah Dessen, Trish Doller, Lauren Myracle, Sara Farizan, and Leila Howland engaged the audience by opening up to questions immediately, and giving funny, but frank, answers when the questions naturally turned to sex, love, and boys in YA.

Holly Black closed the festival with a fabulous, funny, mandated inspiring and tear-jerking by Maggie Stiefvater, speech with accompanying Vampire related slides. At one point she shared some of her vampire research, saying, “If you are running from a vampire, drop loose poppy seeds behind you. Vampires have to stop and count them. Makes me wonder if that’s where this guy comes from.”

Maybe?

Maybe?

Signings ended the day. We divided to conquer. And conquer we did.

A suitcase full of books.

A suitcase full of books.

I particularly love the Austin Teen Book Fest for bringing together so many wonderful and diverse writers, and giving readers a chance to discover lesser known books or authors they might have overlooked in bookstores, while also fostering an atmosphere of camaraderie. Even the authors attending, there to promote their work and themselves, are first and foremost fans. We are all lovers of books, humans who recognize the power words possess, and young at heart no matter our age.

My reading future is...daunting...I mean, thrilling.

My reading future is…daunting…I mean, thrilling.

What’s Up Wednesday

wuwPLANEBORDER2What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what’s up. Should you wish to join us, you will find the link widget at the bottom of Jaime’s blog. And in honor of What’s Up Wednesday for the fall, Jaime made some beautiful new buttons. I’ll feature them all over the next few weeks.

I’m in my third story loft office, drinking coffee and thinking thoughts. For only Wednesday, this week has already kicked my butt, and there are still miles to go before I can rest.

Current View

Current View

What I’m Reading

I am still in the thick of A Game of Thrones, and yes, I am still blown away by the writing and world-building. The first season of the show followed the book pretty closely, but it has been a while (with many horrors in between) since I watched the first season. Slowly it returns, making the experience of reading an odd combination of accepting the interpretation and throwing it out all-together. Especially Dany. My swoon for Jon Snow has reached a fever pitch, and really, that is saying something considering the severity of my crush before.

I’m making slow progress and not feeling one ounce of regret for spending this much time on a single book. It’s sort of freeing to chew on a sentence just as long as I damn well please. To close my eyes, letting ice form around me as I stand on the Wall with Tyrion and Jon, or have my chest seize as Summer saves Bran by ripping an assassins throat out, or wanting to smack Sansa for choosing Joffrey over Arya.

Reading for me had become a bit of a job. Oh, I better read this because everyone is and I want to be part of the conversation. Or, I need to get so many books read, in this amount of time, in order to meet my 2013 reading goals and not feel like a failure. Reading and writing should never be a job, even when they are your job. The motivation should come from a singular desire to be transported by words on a page, whether those words are your own, or someone else’s. That is an idealistic view, I know, but holding on to ideals keeps the cynic from ruling when the dreamer really should.

What I’m Writing 

I wrote around 3000 words on my WiP, which puts me right at 15,000 words. I feel the pacing is getting dangerously close to not being what I want it to be, and that annoys me. So I’m now resisting urges to do drastic things because there is still a lot of groundwork to be laid. I have taken to pacing around my office to get the jitters out.

I also pulled out a feature length screenplay, which was a labor of love and the first big story I ever wrote, and decided it needs to be rewritten. Ten pages in on that, and not really sure why I’m doing it, but just know that I must.

What Inspires Me

Acceptance. I turn 29 in a little over a month, (November 3rd) and truthfully, I just want to hide. It’s not about getting older, though the thought of leaving my 20s does make my palms sweat, it’s about where I expected to be by 29 and where I am. I am a pretty ambitious person. Driven is an unflattering word maybe, but accurate. This year has been overwhelmingly productive. Productive to the point that the tired in my bones becomes lead if I contemplate the year behind me for too long.

Yet the dreamer in me, the part that forces me to move when I want to stay sedentary, wanted more from this year. And so the realist has to chide the dreamer, showing her the truth. She has no Time-Turner, nor a pensieve to pull the thoughts from her head fully-formed, and she doesn’t possess the ability to brew Felix Felicus empowering herself with supernatural luck, so she needs to cut herself some slack.

I am in a constant battle with me that makes me look like a nutter and feel like an outcast. Recently, the two sides seem to have reached an agreement, or at least, a level of acceptance with one another,  and this has allowed me to see the state of my life truthfully. It’s been a good year. I still want to accomplish more. I know I won’t accomplish everything and have decided not to bitch about it anymore.

Running. Ran about 75% of the 5k on Saturday, keeping pace with my husband and getting sprayed with a lot of neon paint. I’m used to pushing my brain, not my body. The sense of accomplishment does a lot to clear the head. You’re allowed to feel awesome, even if you’re the only one who understands why.

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Mumford and Sons. Hearing the music live changed my perception of their songs entirely. It is impossible to get good footage at a concert, and it wouldn’t do it justice to try to relay the experience via compressed and low-quality film. Just, yeah…it was as good as I hoped.

What Else I’m Up To

Leaving Friday afternoon for Austin with my sisters-in-law. These ladies are my buds, and I can’t wait to share all the bookish goodness that is Austin Teen Book Fest with them. Looking forward to spending some time with my friend Lindsay, as well as the cool group of Dallas-Fort Worth authors I’ve recently gotten to know, while there, and to generally soak in the knowledge.

We begin filming Cassie’s Cause, our Zombie related short film, on Sunday. Looking forward to the controlled chaos that is shooting a movie, because my OCD hates it, and I like to irritate my OCD.

What’s Up Wednesday

WUWKiteWhat’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what’s up. Should you wish to join us, you will find the link widget at the bottom of Jaime’s blog. And in honor of What’s Up Wednesday for the fall, Jaime made some beautiful new buttons. I’ll feature them all over the next few weeks.

What I’m Reading

I finished Beauty last week. I loved it. I adore Robin McKinley, and everything I have read by her has been brilliant. Beauty isn’t my all-time fave McKinley, that title is still held by the haunting Deerskin, but it definitely enchanted me. Especially this passage. I want to live in the Beast’s library.

beauty

I began A Game of Thrones, the first in the epic Song of Ice and Fire series that inspired the massively popular HBO show. I have watched the show. I crush hard on Jon Snow (he’s 14 in the books, but not in my head, because…Kit Harington). I am taking my time, not only because the book is very dense, but because I find myself dissecting the sentence structure and world-building elements while reading. Bran has my heart, and that one scene from the first episode of GoT, where Bran sees something he shouldn’t and then something horrible happens, that was somehow more painful to read.

What I’m Writing

I made great progress on my WiP. I hit, and then passed, the 10,000 word mark for overall word count. I am now over 12,000. I feel really hopeful about this story. I have a pretty good idea of the larger movements, have a strong sense of the world so far, and the writing itself isn’t coming out as complete and utter horse-shit.

What Inspires Me

Reading the writing of others. As a writer, one must also be a reader, but what is especially amazing is when you can be a reader for other talented writers on the same journey that you’re on. I got to read a piece from a friend last night that floored me. It was a moment where the talent of this writer, which she has honed probably for many years, came together to create near perfect pages. Or as I told her on Twitter, “There was magic in those pages.” And that is a gift.

My son’s struggle with his own expectations. Sam is a very literal child, which maybe most children are, but this seems to also just be his personality. When things don’t play out as he explicitly expects them to, in the very specific way he has seen in his brain, he struggles. Dealing with this hurdle in his life has shed light on my own need to give myself and others a bit of a break, because I have realized, Sam gets this from me. The truth is, many things will not happen as you hope or expect, that just isn’t reality, but that doesn’t give you the right to pitch a fit. You have to change your perspective. You have to understand that expectations are just one element at play in the overall outcome.

What Else I’m Up To

Tonight…a Mumford and Son’s concert!!!!!! Yay and yay!

These next few weeks are crazy busy:

We are on the final leg of pre-production.

I am in a Fun Run (I know, I don’t understand the name either. Running is not fun.) It was one of those crazy things I let myself get roped into and then actually get excited about, until I realize I will actually have to run, and then I start to panic.

The last weekend of September is Austin Teen Book Fest and I’m GOING! Of course, as a fangirl and not an author. But someday…

If you live in Texas, or nearish Austin, you should also go.

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Happy Wednesday! What’s up with you?

The Austin Teen Book Festival

September 29th was an especially awesome day in Austin for teen readers (and adults who pretend to be teen readers) and writers who want to write for those teen readers. I am the latter, and since my visit to Texas coincided with the festival, I thought, “What the heck?” Over 3,000 other truly cool people like me felt the same way, despite the soggy Austin weather. The Palmer Event Center was adorned in Texas stone and filled with lots of bathrooms (this may not seem like an important detail, but shove that many teens into one space and it totally becomes one).

My husband, as I said in my Keep Austin Weird! post, attended with me. He was cute, with his total oblivion to these books and really kickin’ Adidas tennis shoes. He sat with me, courteously listening and only getting on his computer when no one was looking. I owe him a thanks, because he also allowed me to wander and fidget around as necessary, preserving our awesome front row seats.

We got there on-time, 9 am, me still sucking down coffee and trying to pretend I was awake. Me and rainy mornings are not best friends. I like bed. I had received an email from the Festival staff that Neal Shusterman would not be giving the Keynote due to a family emergency. I was disappointed, and come the announcement to the kids, my feelings were shared. But, not to worry, Libbra Bray (check her out on Goodreads, and send me a friend request while you’re there) courageously stepped up in his place.

I had not read any of her books yet, after her speech I added like all of them to my TBR list. She was brilliance in the flesh. She opened her speech by donning a cape and wielding a light-saber to duel her quite theatrical husband in the dark. She then got serious, and thirsty, stating, “I need a little water. It’s thirsty work spearing people with a light saber. They don’t show you that in Star Wars, how dehydrated you get.”

She called her speech, which had 20 bullet points, “the complete history of everything I have ever learned to date, abridged.” With silly points like: “Change your underwear” or “When in doubt, Let’s order pizza, is probably a good answer” or the well received “Farts are always funny”. Within those, she also said things that carried weight for writers and readers alike.

One of my favorites was when she boldly informed everyone that “Tests are Bullshit!” Teens loved this, for the cussing and the content. When she began to talk about writing and revision saying, “First drafts are like presenting a false front. Revision is like your very best friend cutting that away. Writing is digging down to the very deepest, darkest place and then putting that on a page for everyone to read.” (That quote is slightly paraphrased.) When she segued into a personal anecdote about the time in her life when she experienced a horrific car accident that resulted in her face being almost irreparably wounded. This story was met with silence and awe, and then roaring support and understanding. She told it as a way to show how you can return from truly being broken, and it was powerful.

The Keynote speech ended with us (the teens, not me personally) putting on a rendition of Total Eclipse of the Heart, accompanied by a fog machine. It was thoroughly special.  Libbra Bray had a lot to say that was valuable and super entertaining. Also, she wore a DR.WHO t-shirt. This made her innately cool in my book. I did hear a few parents say, “She said bullshit a lot,” accompanied by their giggling teen, “Libbra Bray said Bullshit!”

I also attended the panel called “We’re not in Kansas Anymore”, featuring Bray, Sarah Rees Brennan, Leigh Bardugo, Rae Carson, Kami Garcia, and Margaret Stohl. This panel was exactly what I needed to hear. These authors discussed creating imagined worlds and how they formulated the magical forces in their worlds. They talked about research. They talked about Star Wars (Rae Carson is a Luke fan, as I was as a child. The others fell firmly on the side of Han.) One of my favorite quotes came from Margaret Stohl. She was discussing her readers. Her books are published in 48 countries, and when she was in Malaysia doing a panel much like the panel she was doing for these Austin teens, she met a sixteen year old girl who was about to be sent into an arranged marriage. She said, “As much as you guys here are my readers, this girl is too.” That was profound to me. A girl, living under law we in America would write fiction about as loathsomely barbaric, is reading and connecting with this literature. She is finding herself there. That is a testament to the power of the written word.

I volunteered in the afternoon, but as expected, the Teens had the blogging, twittering, tumblring down to a fine art, so I ended up directing traffic. I was just glad to lend a hand, and chat a little with the teenagers and observe them like the total weirdo I am. I especially liked to watch the Dads who had been dragged their by their daughters. It was adorable. (And not unlike my knight-in-shining-armor husband.)

Overall, the Festival was a great experience, and one I hope very soon to be experiencing from the other side. Thank you Austin Public Library Friends Foundation and Book People for putting on such an awesome, free event! Here are pics. I didn’t get a lot because I was recording voice memos in my phone while listening to the panel, and I am a socially awkward penguin when it comes to asking for photos. I putter and blush.

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RTW # 150 — There is a season, turn, turn, turn

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. We ,the bloggers who love YA Highway, post our response and then link it in the comments of the YA Highway site. Pretty fun!

This weeks topic is: How does your writing (place, time, inspiration) change with the seasons?

First, I want to say I had a wonderful time at the Austin Teen Book Fest and will try to do a post about it by the end of the week. Look forward to that!

Now on to the question. I like this question. I have always been highly susceptible to change in weather. When it’s sunny, I feel happy. When it’s gray, I feel introspective and gloomy. When it’s cold I imagine myself burrowing into a cave like a bear and emerging with a renewed vision come spring (also thinner because I’ve been hibernating and not eating). I love the colors of fall, and the romance of winter, and the clarity of spring, and the laziness of summer.

When I began working on my novel — exactly one year ago this week — fall was upon New York City. Fall in the northeast is a rhapsodic time. Poems can (and have) been written about it. Painters flock to the city and the surrounding land to capture the brilliance, this tangible proof that beauty can and always will be possible. The world is transformed, by leaves aglow from light like fire, by softened sunlight, or even by the reemergence of sweaters, stockings, and little wool caps.

I was very influenced when creating my world by the atmosphere of fall. I still am. My book takes place in late fall in a woods much like you would find sprawling across New England. Even as winter, spring, and summer have come and gone since I’ve been writing, in my mind I’ve tried to hold on to autumn.

So, I guess, to answer the question completely: I am not very influenced at all. I carry a season around with me as long as the project lives in that season. My manuscript is over 300 pages, but still it is just barely winter when it ends. As I come to the end of these revisions (my third round) I also come to the beginning of fall. Full circle, maybe even completion.


Keep Austin Weird!

This post will be brief because I just arrived in Austin, TX for the Austin Teen Book Festival and I’m tired from watching my husband drive. My husband is very kind to attend this with me as he himself is not so much a reader of YA, but a supporter of my desire to be a writer of YA (not to mention my fangirling of all things YA), and I am not a great driver.

Phew! I have not been to Austin since the Thanksgiving before we moved to New York. The Texas Hill Country is one of my favorite landscapes in the US to view. If you have never been to the Hill Country, you really, really should. Upon exiting I-35 for our hotel in Downtown Austin, we were greeted by a pack of peaceful petitioners for the legalization of marijuana in Texas, and the US overall. They also carried a sign for us to HONK if we agreed. Needless to say, in a city with a slogan about staying weird, and a major university, HONKERS abounded. Nice to know free speech still exists.

Tonight we’ll chill, for tomorrow I plan on absorbing as much knowledge and awesomeness as my brain can hold. (I don’t know if we come with an awesome threshold, I hope not.) I will also be working with the teens in the afternoon, so my energy must be at full-throttle. It’s a thrill for a YA writer to get to shoot-the-shit with a group of engaged readers in her target audience, in a city so completely strange and oddly old-school as Austin. I imagine much fun will be had by all tomorrow, the least of which, a humble, prospective author. Happy Friday to you, wherever you may be!

Some stuff about this week for me.

I’m still in Texas. This is what my sister-in-law Rebecca calls a creative sojourn. I am immersed in opportunity to write and explore the world I am creating, to change things that should be changed, and to comb through my mind for the best and brightest way to confront the issues in my world (both in construction and in theme) with almost no pressure at all. It is an amazing time.

But enough about me, and my glorious exploration into the uncharted wilderness of my own mind. This weekend, September 29, 2012 to be exact, I will be venturing from Denton to Austin for a wonderful (free!) event called The Austin Teen Book Festival. Check out the link here.

I will be volunteering in the afternoon tweeting, facebooking, and tumblring pics and info from the panels. In the morning, I will attend the Keynote speech by the uber-genius that is Neal Shusterman (author of Unwind), and the panel featuring Leigh Bardugo, Rae Carson and Sarah Rees Brennan (Shadow and Bone, Girl of Fire and Thorns, and Unspoken respectively) among other fabulous authors.

I’m excited about the opportunity to see all of these authors and hear what they have to say about where YA is and is to go. I also so appreciate that this festival exists, and is free, and that teens will get this opportunity to hear from the writers influencing the genre written for them. It’s a wonderful thing all around. If you are in the general area and are a lover of YA, please check it out. You can also make a donation to the APLFF, who are responsible for putting the festival on for free. Good stuff all around.