Boy am I late getting this post together and up, but back in September I attended the 2017 Boston Teen Author Festival in Cambridge. It was definitely an experience and was so exciting to attend.
First off, I went to this only 3 days after returning from Florida (and Disney) and was not exactly prepared. Second, the friend I was attending with cancelled last minute so this ended up being one of the first events I have gone to alone (and definitely the first of this magnitude). I have also never driven alone in the Boston area, and can't parallel park to save my life. So yeah it was definitely an anxiety inducing event (especially when you look at the list of authors in attendance), but it was totally worth it!!
So the morning started off with a Q & A with all the authors and what a crowd it was! Some of the questions included, the synopsis of your book in a single sentence, what would your character wear to the prom, 3 things in your character's locker and would you have been friends with your character at 17?
Next I attended the panel Their Dark Materials featuring Traci Chee, Linsey Miller, Amanda Foody and Rin Chupeco. (my whole reason for going to the festival was to meet Traci Chee & Linsey Miller). In this panel the authors discussed what defines a book as Dark Fantasy and it really sparked some very interesting conversation and ideas from both the authors and the audience. Some of the statements made that I jotted down were (and I am paraphrasing here a bit since my handwriting is awful and it has been a couple of months). .
Linsey Miller - when a character must do this bad thing to protect the good (referring to what pushes a book into the realm of dark fantasy and the morally grey areas in connection with the sub-genre).
Rin Chupeco - no one person is universally good or universally bad (in reference to how the authors write their characters, both antagonists and protagonists).
Next was a panel called Lens Crafters, about creating books with multiple point of views, that featured authors Lisa Maxwell, Cinda Williams Chima, Tara Sim and Victoria Aveyard. In this panel they discussed how they came to write multiple POVs in their stories and the reasons for needing those other POVs. Some of the reasons included when characters get separated and both sides need to be told, or when there is an action scene and one character has a better view of what is going on. This also led into a discussion about defining voice of those different characters and how even small quirks can help to define that voice. Tara Sim gave some great examples of this with her book since one of her characters is non-human and how she used that to help define their voice from the other POVs.
The final Panel I was able to attend that day (there were only 4 panel time slots with 4 panel options at each time - there was actually only 2 groups of panels but repeated) was Out of Character where the authors Jason Reynolds, Leigh Bardugo, Ashley Poston and Kerri Maniscalco discussed writing re-tellings and revisiting already created characters. This was probably the most entertaining panel as it was a great group with a sense of humor that played off each other really well. They discussed the types of research they had to undertake in order to refresh old stories and tell them in a new light including not only the character themselves but also cultural and historical influences to those characters and stories.
After that final panel I purchased some new books, (does anyone else fall in love with an author after hearing them talk and then immediately want all their books?!) and got into the insanely long signing line! They had so many authors in that one single room that it was a case of organized chaos!
I have to admit that I did a really poor job of taking pictures, and it was a trial juggling all my books, and weaving through the crowd to various lines. My first stop was Linsey Miller, I had just read her book Mask of Shadows the previous month and was somewhat obsessed! I then was able to find Sarah Nicole Lemon for her to sign Done Dirt Cheap, and then on to Rin Chupeco after having to pick up Bone Witch after her panel, the same went for Kerri Maniscalco and both her books Stalking Jack the Ripper and Hunting Prince Dracula, next stop was Ashley Poston after reading Geekerella earlier in the summer. I also managed to pick up The Last Magician and have Lisa Maxwell sign it for me. Somewhere in the middle of all this I manged to stop at Traci Chee's table and have her sign my copy of The Reader, I honestly had a little bit of a fan girl moment (and ended up taking a not so great picture but I don't care, I got to meet Traci Chee!
I unfortunately wasn't able to get all of my books signed and the line for Leigh Bardugo was far too long (I only had my parking meter paid until 4:30 so had to run before then). All in all it was quite the experience, especially for someone as shy as me, I did get to talk to a few people (and even initiated some of those conversations) so I was pretty proud of myself for everything experienced and accomplished on this day.
Would you like to see my haul now? Of course you do!
First is a little bag of goodies that were handed out at the welcome table.
I was a supporter on their Kickstarter and received a tote bag full of ARCs and this beautiful quote necklace.
These were all the new books I picked up while there (and the bags they gave you to lug your new purchases around).
And here are all the books that I got signed while at the event! (Yes there are 2 copies of Mask of Shadows, one to be added to my shelf and on that will be added to one of yours at the end of the year)
So as with taking pictures I didn't do such a great job of picking up swag and goodies for you guys, but I do have a little bit of a giveaway for you (which I forgot to take to a picture of this morning).
Green Boston Teen Author Festival Bag (pictured above)
Boston Teen Author Festival travel water bottle
Paperback copy of When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Paperback ARC of Invictus by Ryan Graudin
Hard Cover Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller
Hard Cover The Reader by Traci Chee
Boston Teen Author Festival bookmark & button pin
Sound pretty awesome? Enter below in the Rafflecopter
~ Must be 18 (or have parents permission)
~ Must give me a mailing address to send them to (believe it or not I have had winners in the past who didn't want to give an address so was unable to claim their prize)
~ Giveaway runs from now through November 15th at 12:00am EST
~Rafflecopter will randomly select the winner.
~ Due to the weight of the package, I am asking that any international winner pay for shipping cost over $12, this is the only way that I will be able to keep this open to everyone as the cost of shipping these books overseas could be quite expensive.