On the evening of Monday, May 24th, teen book bloggers Devyn Burton, Mitali Dave, and Korianne Wey hosted the Teen Author Carnival (TAC). The event consisted of three panels -- Teen Love, Real Teen Life, and Mystery and Fantasy -- with over thirty YA authors in attendance.
To start, the library in which the event was held was simply gorgeous. Monday was my first real day in NYC, and I had a blast exploring the city. One of my favorite things about it is its melding of the old with the new. You'll be walking past skyscraper after skyscraper and, tucked right between two towering buildings, is an old church dating back to the 1700s. Then a few blocks up there's a courthouse with the most beautiful architecture.
The Jefferson Market Branch Library was one of these hidden gems. The walk from The Strand (which is freakin' amazing!) to the library is all normal buildings and crowded sidewalks, when you suddenly turn a corner and there's this Gothic looking building, complete with a turret. Now, as a lover of history, this literally made my jaw drop. It was a simply gorgeous building, hands down one of the coolest libraries ever.
Okay, back to the actual event. Each panel was a half hour long, spread out onto the different floors of the library. First, I attended the Real Teen Life panel. The authors on the panel were great. From Sarah Mylnowski's experienced insight, to the great observations and fresh perspective of Ned Vizzini and Lauren Oliver, the panel was fabulous. All of the authors had great views and wonderful spirits, as well as a deep love of their craft. These qualities all shone through in their discussions of young adult literature and how it affects them personally. Overall, this was my favorite panel. Not only were the questions and the discussions great, so were the authors.
After the first panel we headed up in a semi-questionable elevator (I hate them!) to the third floor for Teen Love. This panel was far less craft-centered, focusing more on the writers themselves, and their experiences growing up. All of the authors were great characters, especially Kody Keplinger, Simone Elkeles and Holly Cupala. The lovely Heidi R Kling, author of the AMAZING Sea, was also on the panel. Her publicists, who are also great, sent over 10 finished copies of Sea for the carnival, and I was lucky enough to get one, along with Erica of The Book Cellar. Yay!
The third panel was, unfortunately, too full for me to attend, but I was able to meet the authors later at the signing session. There I got all of my books signed and was able to chat with the authors, all of whom were fabulous. TAC was a blast, and a great way to kick off BEA week. It really helped to break the ice with bloggers and authors, and get everyone in the book-loving spirit.
Stay tuned for a picture diary of my trip, coming next week!