Amazing Authors from Anderson’s 2015 YA Lit Conference
October 14, 2015
The Anderson’s YA Literature Conference is such an amazing opportunity to connect with authors on a more personal level for more than just a few seconds while they sign their books for you. Particularly on Sunday during the Fandom Frenzy, there are so many opportunities to get to know some of your favorite authors on a more personal level. Here are some of the standouts for me this year:
Alexandra Sirowy – I sat at Alexandra’s table for the Fandom Frenzy on Sunday. I recently read her book The Creeping, and she was so sweet when she signed my book the day before, and I really wanted to get to know her a little better. After spending a huge chunk of the day with her, I think she is super friendly, sweet, fun, and I sense she can have a good time as well (I would love to go and get a drink with her sometime)!
Cassie Beasley – On the first day, Cassie randomly sat down at my table and just introduced herself and struck up a delightful conversation with me. I love that she is from rural Georgia and works on her family’s pecan farm when she has time. I love her unique background as well as the fact that she was so friendly and sweet! I’ve heard great things about her debut novel Circus Mirandus.
Adam Silvera – I loved how Adam opened up about his own issues with mental illness. He truly believes that by talking about the issues more, we will diminish the stigma attached to mental health issues. He is brave and courageous, and his writing reflects the diverse world we live in (see my review for More Happy Than Not). I also loved his tattoos (although I didn’t get to see the tattoo he regrets on his shoulder blade :)).
David Levithan – Although David didn’t prepare for his keynote as much as the other authors, I loved a couple of the messages he sent. The main message had to do with empathy for everyone in our world. The quote that has stuck with my though goes something like this – “Imagine our world if we didn’t have male and female pronouns, but rather one pronoun that indicated human.” It just made me think, and I love when people make me think. I can’t wait to read Every Day!
James Dashner – If you ever need to lighten the mood at an event you’re hosting, James is the one to invite. He is a troublemaker in the true definition of the word, but he also shows his love and admiration for those around him. He is hilarious, and I guarantee he will make you laugh. He was also so kind to all the people who were talking to him throughout the day (and it was nonstop!). I forgot to bring along my copy of The Maze Runner so I didn’t get his autograph :(.
Ally Carter – In my review of All Fall Down, I mentioned how I love that Ally writes very strong female protagonists which I love. She is all about girl power and empowering girls, and I think she is such an amazing role model. Word on the street is that she was so sweet to the debut authors and would make an amazing mentor.
Danielle Vega – So this one is totally superficial. I love her hair (it’s curly and cute and so opposite of my hair). I also love the cover of her book Survive the Night, which is sparkly, glittery, and eye catching!
David Arnold – David used to be a musician in Nashville (how cool is that?) until he became a stay-at-home dad to raise his son. He was an honest guy who is an open book, and I enjoyed talking to him. I would so love to see him play music someday! Mosquitoland is getting a lot of hype, and I plan to read it very soon!
Antony John – Ummmmmm….I am such a sucker for a great accent, and Antony’s was amazing. He also was a stay-at-home dad in the early days of his writing career. Antony writes across a wide variety of genres, but I decided to go with his thriller Imposter for the autograph.
Gary Schmidt – Gary was one of the keynote speakers, and I loved how he shared the stories of some of the juvenile offenders he works with. He recognizes that everyone has a backstory, and you don’t want to judge a person until you know their complete story. A great guy who helps many! I am just finishing The Wednesday Wars, and I’m looking forward to reading his newest Orbiting Jupiter, which includes some personal snippets from his time with juvenile offenders.
Bill Konigsberg – Bill was just a nice, down-to-earth guy who I enjoyed chatting with. I am almost finished reading The Porcupine of Truth, which is his favorite novel of his so far.
Heather Petty – I loved Heather’s story of how she started writing. Her brother has a learning disability, and he was unable to read for a long time. She would often read to him or share a story, and he would draw pictures to accompany what she read. As someone who works with LD students, this automatically earned her a special place in my heart. Heather also wrote obituaries for awhile, and had some interesting tidbits to share about this experience. Her novel Lock and Mori is a retelling of Sherlock Holmes set in modern day with a female Moriarty. I can’t wait to dig into that one!
Have you ever had the opportunity to meet any of these authors? What authors have you enjoyed meeting?