Welcome to part two of my BEA recap!
The Teen Author Carnival was one of my FAVORITE parts of the whole trip! So, like I said yesterday, we took a subway to get to the library (which was all parts scary and exhilarating and new). And, of course, we were late. I am NEVER late, and I am always the one who is like LET’S GO LET’S GO LET’S GO. But I guess I didn’t care that much? I think I was too tired to be of any use really. Anyway, it didn’t matter because the first panel we wanted to go to didn’t start until after we got there. The panel was called Hulk Smash of Emotions and it was fucking fabulous! The authors who were on the panel were Kody Keplinger, Katie McGarry, Tiffany Schmidt, Elizabeth Eulberg, Adam Silvera, and Jesse Andrews. And it was moderated by the lovely Andye from Reading Teen, who did such a great job. Guys, this was the first panel I’ve ever gone to and it was SO MUCH FUN! These authors were hilarious together, and the subject was an excellent topic. Loved hearing about how they brought THE FEELS.
- Kody Keplinger said she’d make Adam cry.
- Elizabeth hates guys (just kidding), and she scared the two boys on the panel.
- Everyone wanted to HULK SMASH on Adam.
- Most of the authors draw the feels from personal experience. Kody likes to use playlists. Others try to channel their characters.
- How do they turn those emotions off when it becomes too much? Katie likes chocolate, Adam spends time with his dog, and Elizabeth uses exercise.
- Andye asked what character they’d choose to become, knowing they had to take ALL of their emotions and personality. Kody chose Hermione (rock on, Kody), Katie chose Cherry from The Outsiders, Tiffany picked Anne of Green Gables, Elizabeth picked Elizabeth Bennett (mostly because of Mr. Darcy, let’s be real here), Adam chose the Tree in the Giving Tree (because he really knows how to weasel his way out of answering questions on emotions), and Jesse picked the Robot (from where I can’t remember, I think it was just A robot in general) and a more serious one, Heathcliffe.
The second panel, called The Road Less Traveled, was also fun! I really enjoyed the panel, thought it felt more formulaic and not as chill as the first one. I think I mostly wanted to go to this panel instead of the other one at the same time because of the authors on it (and because it was a fantasy one). The authors here were Alexandra Bracken, Alex London, Melissa Grey, Susan Dennard, Virginia Boecker, and Jennifer L. Armentrout,and it was moderated by Claire Legrand. The questions asked were mostly about world-building and how the authors dealt with the difficulty in making their new worlds relevant to modern readers.
- One of the questions was how to make the world-building relatable. Melissa Grey said you needed to have an anchor point, Virginia talked about stripping down the language of a story from the past set in the future (like hers). Alex London used his characters to perceive the world. Alexandra Bracken talked about universal experiences and the humanity of the characters.
- Most of the authors said that, in their creation processes, they let the world grow organically, and with the characters. Building outward.
- Both Claire and Melissa had purple hair. It was awesome.
After the panels, they had a signing! It was a little chaotic because of having so many authors in such a tight space, but that also made it more personal and chill. It was very laidback, and people had time to actually TALK with the authors. And, for me, meeting Susan Dennard was the best part of the night. I immediately went to her line (I had brought my copy of Something Strange and Deadly for her to sign), and once the person before me finished, I was able to FINALLY meet one of my favorite authors (incidentally, I still have only read SSAD, but I love Susan’s online presence and being one of her Misfits and Daydreamers). Val came with me even though she didn’t have a book to get signed, so she was able to take a picture for me! Susan is such a sweet person, and she didn’t ignore Val standing off to the side waiting for us to be finished.
I kind of felt bad Val had to wait awhile, and that the other people in line did too. Susan and I were monopolizing each other’s time, but it was so great! If this had been at BEA, I never would have been able to actually have a conversation with her. I learned that she’d lived in Michigan for three years and that she was scared about no one wanting to go to her signing. Val and I told her she had nothing to worry about! Truthwitch was the MUST HAVE book at BEA, and it was crazy. (I am still upset I missed it since I told Susan I’d see her again at the signing, but being able to meet her at TAC helped tone down the disappointment in missing Truthwitch). I had missed seeing Susan all three times she was in Michigan last year, so meeting her on Tuesday was one of my FAVORITE moments of the whole week!
After meeting Susan, I went and bought a copy of The Girl at Midnight since I love it so much and wanted Melissa to sign it while we were there (she wasn’t going to be at BEA in an authorly capacity [we saw her in the Six of Crows line on Friday as a fan] so I felt justified in buying her book then). After that, I went back to Shannon’s corner and met Nori (ReadWriteLove28), Xander (Forever Bookish), and Grace (Books of Love). IT WAS EXCITING! Though I was kind of frazzled, so I don’t even remember what I said to them. I also was, with the help of Val our PR person, able to find Jessica and switch books with her (we’d made a trade on the hashtag and decided to meet up at TAC). Then I decided to meet Leila Sales since I’d brought her book, This Song Will Save Your Life, with me to New York because I thought I’d read it on the way (I did no such reading on the bus). I’m not gonna lie, it was awkward because I hadn’t read her book so I didn’t know what to say to her except to tell her that I’d meant to do that but I would soon. But she was really sweet about it and told me she hoped I’d find the time for it amidst all the books I’d receive at BEA. After that, the three of us just kind of hung around talking, with Nori and with each other. Then we decided to get Applebee’s for dinner since it was near our hotel. It was a fabulous end to the night, and none of us got to bed before 12 because we couldn’t stop talking. And that’s how I knew the week would go well, because there was not one moment of awkwardness (aside from when Val and I met earlier that day). I'm not going to lie, I was nervous about meeting them and how it would go. And I had NOTHING to stress about!
Since I don't do Sundays on the blog, part 3 of my BEA recap is coming on Monday! See y'all then when I talk about the craziness of BEA and how day one went. :)