Teen Author Reading Night – New York

Chaired by David Levithan and held at the Jefferson Market Branch of the New York Public Library, Teen Author Reading Night was planned for Wednesday 5th August at 6:00pm, where 8 authors were invited for readings and a Q&A.

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My editor, Nicole, came with four colleagues from Skyhorse to support the reading which was so nice! And it was also the first time I’d met Nicole.

At 6 we took our seats. I sat beside Katelyn Detweiler, and chatted to Lyn Miller-Lachmann, Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton, who were also seated. Then Paul Griffin, Gordon Korman, and Jon Skovron took their seats and David introduced the night before inviting us to each introduce ourselves and our books.

Some had been there before. Most were newbies, like me. I read from THE WANDERERS for the first time, choosing an extract from the fourth chapter, where horse-shifter, Flo, transforms into her animal for the first time in the book.

Everyone did really well and I added several titles to my TBR during the readings! Next, David asked questions, starting with Paul Griffin, author of ADRIFT. Paul was asked about the challenges faced setting his novel on a boat. He talked about how interesting it was, in a more restricted setting, to really get to know his characters and see what they would do and how they would act toward one another in such an extreme situation.

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Jon Skovron was asked questions about his latest novel, THIS BROKEN WONDROUS WORLD (sequel to MAN MADE BOY), and what appealed to him about writing a Frankenstein book. Jon told us how he drew inspiration from many places such as books, real life events, and movies, piecing parts together to form his own story.

Gordon Korman, author of THE DRAGONFLY EFFECT (HYPNOTISTS #3), was asked about how his latest novel features the military, the effects of mass-hypnotism, and how he loves to make his middle-grade novels both meaningful and fun to read.

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David then asked me about THE WANDERERS and the pros and cons of writing a shape-shifter book. I talked about how I hoped to have given the subject a unique twist with lots of animals and an in-depth look at how they shift, how it feels, and how the human personality pairs with the animal characteristics.

Katelyn Detweiler was asked about her book IMMACULATE, and about being both a literary agent and an author and what it’s like being on both sides. Katelyn talked about the differences between editing work for other people and receiving edits on her own work and how that gives a broader outlook when tackling each project.

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David asked SURVIVING SANTIAGO author, Lyn Miller-Lachmann, about research for the book. Lyn told us that she went to Chile to inform her writing.

Co-authors of TINY PRETTY THINGS, Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton, were asked about how their collaboration works. Dhonielle told us they have different strengths, which is great for their partnership. Sona is particularly skilled at outlining and plotting, and Dhonielle is great with characters and emotion.

The audience then asked some really good questions about likeable characters, sensitive subject matter, and what everyone is working on next. I talked about my November picture book release, TOUGH COOKIE! Dhonielle Clayton is writing a solo novel called THE BELLES. Lyn Miller-Lachmann is translating Portuguese picture books. Jon Skovron’s HOPE AND RED sounds like a lot of fun. And David Levithan’s ANOTHER DAY is out later this month.

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Thanks to David Levithan and Jefferson Market Library for hosting and to everyone who came along to support!