I had an amazing time at the Harlequin Teen #YeahYA Author Fest event at The Booksellers at Laurelwood in Memphis, TN! I was designated the “official blogger” for the event, so I got to meet the authors before the event and I was even asked if I wanted to moderate! I said no, of course – public speaking is SO not my forte and they already had someone who was willing to moderate anyway. Things got started with each of the authors telling the audience about their series/books. Afterwards, the moderator asked the authors to answer several questions and then opened the floor for people in the audience to ask questions.
Here are some interesting things I learned during the Q&A:
- Karen Ann Hopkins lives on a farm near an Amish community. Her series was inspired by the interaction between the Amish teens and non-Amish teens she gives horseback riding lessons to.
- Julie Kagawa’s favorite character she’s written is Jackal, from The Immortal Rules series. She is currently working on another series that she can’t really talk about because it’s already been optioned!
- Aimée Carter’s first name is actually French and should be pronounced Ah-meh, but she doesn’t mind being called Ay-mee. She’s a HUGE Harry Potter fan and knows pretty much everything about the series!
An interesting story came up while we were chatting – apparently Aimée has been looking for a first edition copy of J.K. Rowling’s The Cuckoo’s Calling at each of their tour stops but she hasn’t been able to find one. Someone in the audience had one and Aimée actually offered to buy it from her and told her to name her price! The woman jokingly said $500 and Aimée was totally willing to pay that but it must be worth more than that to the owner though because she didn’t give it up. Poor Aimée!
After all the questions, it was time for signing!
I started to feel sorry for Julie because she had SO MANY books to sign! She and Aimée actually got into a pretty funny discussion about signing their names – Aimée didn’t think it should take Julie so long to sign her name until she actually tried to sign Julie’s name herself and realized it’s harder to form that “g” and “w” than she thought!
Somewhere during it all, Karen was taking a picture with a fan and accidentally knocked over Julie’s cupcake that she’d been saving/hiding. Here’s Julie with her poor, smushed cupcake:
And as if meeting these amazing authors wasn’t enough, I also got to meet one of my book blogging BFFs for the first time – Jessi from Auntie Spinelli Reads! Here’s a photo of me and her with the amazing(ly cute) Julie Kagawa!
After everyone else left, I got to sit down one on one with Julie, Karen, and Aimée and interview them!
TS: Why do you write “young-adult”?
Aimée: I started writing original fiction when I was fifteen so it was very natural for me to write 15-17 year olds…and I just kind of stayed in that age group. I really enjoy writing middle grade as well but YA has so much possibility. There’s so many questions, so many answers, so many firsts; your life is just beginning and there’s a lot to explore so it’s a lot of fun.
Karen: For me, I spend more time with teenagers than probably any other age group so that was one of the reasons. I was obviously inspired by what was going on with the Amish kids and the non-Amish kids riding at my farm but I just had so many teenagers around I can relate well to them.
Julie: I’ve always written teenaged protagonists – even when I was writing an adult fantasy, my heroine and all of my heroes were young, they were all teenagers. That one never sold but my agent wanted me to write another book so I started The Iron King and she suggested that I try YA instead of adult and it just clicked, and I love it. I actually wrote a short story in the adult genre and I found that I struggled with it, so obviously I’m meant to write teenagers…it must be a maturity thing!
TS: So, do you listen to music or watch TV or do any other multitasking while you write?
Karen: I do not. I need complete silence to write, which is why I usually write between the hours of 10pm and 3am…when everyone’s asleep and the house is quiet.
Aimée: I do not write to music with lyrics…because I’ll start typing the lyrics, it’s bad. *laughter* But I do listen to white noise.
Julie: Occasionally I’ll write to music. It depends on what mood I’m in. I cannot write to television because my husband actually jokes that the TV kinda sucks out my soul. *laughter* Because I’ll come into a room and the TV will be on and I’ll just stare at it. It can be commercials. And he’ll be trying to get my attention and I’m just staring at the TV. Eventually he turns off the TV and he’s like, “How’s your soul?” *laughter*
Click here to read the rest of the interview!
GUESS WHAT. I have an ARC of The Iron Traitor (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten #2) by Julie Kagawa to give away to a lucky reader. AND GUESS WHAT ELSE??? It’s signed! Julie Kagawa signed it! And I’ll throw in a #YeahYA bookmark signed by all three authors. :D To enter, just use the form below. Must be 13 or older, open to US residents only.