On Saturday, I went to one of the local high schools for a really cool event. It was the first annual April is for Authors event.
So many wonderful authors made time to come and give amazing lectures and sit on panel discussions. The authors I was able to meet were Chris Crutcher, Doug Wilhelm, Donna Gephart, Edward Bloor, Katie Alender and Alex Flinn.
Since I focus on YA books, I loved being able to hear some of the thoughts and advice the different authors had for Teens. I never realized just how FUNNY Chris Crutcher really is. I went to a panel discussion called "Dear Author" and on this particular panel Edward Bloor, Chris Crutcher and Alex Flinn answered questions about various letters they have received from fans (or English students who were forced to write to them) and how they touched them. It was really cool to hear just how much authors actually listen and respond to their fans.
One thing that was super cool was meeting Chris Crutcher. The first thing I read of his was Chinese Handcuffs and I haven't stopped reading. It surprised me that he was so funny when the material he writes is usually dark and deep.
I also went to a panel about the middle school experience with Donna Gephart, Mary Monroe and Doug Wilhelm. This panel had the authors focus on why they choose to write for Middle schoolers. I love that Doug Wilhelm described himself as being awkward! Donna Gephart and Doug Wilhelm both talked about how they remember their awkward middle school years and wanted to make sure kids knew they are not alone.
I also went to a lecture by Katie Alender (Bad Girls Don't Die) which was highly entertaining. Katie is such a happy and delightful person-- high energy and really neat to talk to. Even though I'm no longer in High School, she had some really fun things she learned in school like being your own boss and realizing that your true friends like you for who you are, not what you have. Her ideas were SPOT on and something I wish I would have realized back in high school.
Probably the best thing about the author even on Saturday was how every author there was super encouraging for those who are thinking about becoming a writer. Each author gave budding authors helpful tips and hints on how to get their creativity going.
I have to admit, I was completely STARSTRUCK on Saturday. So many authors were there and I got to meet them. It's cool that I can now say I have books signed by Alex Flinn, Chris Crutcher, Doug Wilhelm, Edward Bloor and Katie Alender on my bookshelf. I'm still in awe and totally grateful for the opportunity to meet them. :O)
Love and Happy Reading,