Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Hudson Valley YA Society. (Plus Contest!)

Where: Oblong Books, Rhinebeck, NY.
When: Sunday, September 16, 2012.
Who: Kat Rosenfield, Mariah Fredericks, Jillian Larkin, and Andrea Cremer (pictured below left to right.)

The event started out with refreshments and Jennifer from Oblong Books picking names for awesome prizes (books, gift cards and more books).  The authors told a little bit about why they wrote their wrote their books and read a passage.  The event went to a very informative Q&A and ended with the author signing.  The bonus was when Jennifer brought out two boxes of ARCs for us to go through. 
Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone is Kat's first book, but she has been writing for young adults for 3 years for SparkLife and MTV's Hollywood Crush.  Mariah was born with a cleft palate so she didn't talk a lot.  She wrote and she listened.  She wondered what would make a person who listened speak up.  Also, she was inspired by the Jenn Levin trial from 1988.  Jillian chose to write about the 1920's because she is obsessed with that time period.  Andrea wrote Rift as a prequel to her Nightshade series, which takes place thousands of years ago and is about how the war began.


How do you come up with characters?

Andrea - Her character's talk to her.  They insist their stories be told.  The world's she writes become very full and so do the characters.  "They direct me."

Jillian - Every character in her Flapper series has a little bit of her best friend growing up, but aside from that they grow into their own people.  They act and she writes it down.

Mariah - Her character's are usually quiet and shy but her latest work the character speaks up.  There is a tad of herself in a character so she writes accurattely. 

Kate - Her characters are usually an amalgamation of people.

Plotter or Pantser?

Kat - When she first started she was very much a pantser but she became a plotter.

Mariah - Begins with a "what if?" question.  She knows the starting point, the middle and she knows how it will end, and she has to fill in the rest.

Jillian - Used to be a pantser then a few years later she started to become a plotter when she had a Fantasy novel that was a thousand pages.  She also has to have an ending point of she'll just keep going.

Andrea - "Outlines make me claustrophobic."  She explained she is a jigsaw puzzle writer.  She has scenes that inspire her and then makes the big picture fit.

Bad Reviews?

Andrea - She read reviews for the first book, but then she stopped.  "Writing has to matter more than your reviews."  (BTW - Totally Love, Love, Love that quote!  I think this could apply to so many things.

Jillian - Read all her reviews for Vixen and then realized it's subjective.  She would find opposite reviews and opinions on the same exact subject.  "Just enjoy when they're good and ignore when they're not."

Mariah - She remembers the time when she wasn't published and wished that she was.  She understands it comes with the territory. 
Kate - Admits to reading thoughtful, appropriate reviews which give her the opportunity to think about her book and her writing. 

What's next? 

Andrea - Rise, the sequel to Rift is coming out in January.  In May 2013 she is co-writing a book with David Levithan about a boy who is born invisible and what happens when he meets the only girl who can see him.  In the Fall of 2013 her first book in a new Steampunk series is coming out and she is also working Erotic Romance for adults set in the Nightshade world.

Jillian - Is working on a Dystopian trilogy and an early Middle Grade Horror Fantasy. 

Mariah - Finished Season of the Witch, a book about bullies that has a slight witchcraft slant.  She is also thinking about trying a Middle Grade book about a boy who gets all his answers in life from 70s Disaster movies.

Kat - Finished the first draft of her second novel. 

Their opinions on the criticism that YA is "dark and horrible" today?

Mariah - Pointed out that YA first started out with "best friend" books.  People asked why YA is all so frothy, why aren't important issues being tackled?  There will also be criticism to what is out there. It's easy to criticize anything when it comes to young women.  "It's not the subject, it's how you handle it."

Jillian - Feels that people want to jump on something without knowing anything about it.  She was criticized for putting smoking and drinking in her book, but she is being historically accurate.  Critics feel that we don't want kids doing it so no one should write it

Kate - Thinks it's a terrible idea that kids need to be protected from controversial subjects.  She thinks that YA books are criticized because adults don't want to have a conversation about it. 

Andrea - Feels that most of the criticism is targeted at young women.  She relayed a story where a publisher or book store owner (I can't remember) conveyed her concerns about sex in a book.  She was more concerned if it was consensual than if the female was forced because women are not supposed to  want to have sex.  She also pointed out the feeling by some that it is okay for Katniss (Hunger Games) to be a killer, but it wouldn't have been okay if she was a sexual person as well. 

Writing Advice?

Andrea - Advises that a writer should want the book they put out to be the best book they can write.  Writing should not be a race to get published.  Write the book you truly love, not what sells. 

Jillian - Pointed out that if you are writing, you are never wasting time.  Even if it is not something great, you've learned.

Mariah - Write what makes you excited.  Don't be afraid to write badly, don't be a perfectionist.  Also, she encourages writing every day.  If you sit down every day you don't have to be brilliant every day. 

Kat - Read everything.  The more you read the more you can improve your own craft. Also, don't be afraid that you missed the boat.  You can come to writing late. 


~This giveaway is for the books pictured.  All books are signed!  I am giving away five (5) prizes.
1. Signed copy of Rift by Andrea Cremer. 
2. Signed copy of Diva by Jillian Larkin
3. Signed copy of The Girl in the Park by Mariah Fredericks
4. Signed copy of Amela Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield.
5. Signed copies of Nightshade Trilogy by Andrea Cremer.
~The first winner will pick their first choice.  Second winner picks from the remaining prizes and so on.

To Enter:
~Leave your name and e-mail address on the Rafflecopter form.
~Tell me which book you would like in order.
~Extra entries are optional.
~If you are choosing to do extra entries, please read the questions/instructions CAREFULLY! If you do not follow the instructions, I reserve the right to disqualify that entry. (For example, if I ask you to leave a comment and you do not, or you don't answer the question, that entry will be removed.)

~Please see my contest policy HERE.
~Contest ends on Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 12:01 a.m.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck and thanks for entering!


April (BooksandWine) said...

I'm really sad I wasn't able to make this, but plan on going to their October event. Will you be there? I'd love to meet you! :-)

Julie@My5monkeys said...

what an awesome way to meet authors, and find out how they write their books.

Felicia the Geeky Blogger said...

What a fantastic recap! I love her quote about writing---I think that is so true :) It can be applied to almost anything!

Kate @Midnight Book Girl said...

Wow, that was an amazing panel! I'm really intrigued by The Girl in the Park, because the Jennifer Levin murder case also really interested me when I was younger, and Mariah seems pretty amazing. I haven't read the Nightshade series, but I also love what Andrea said about the writing has to matter more than what people think about it. I really need to go to more author events!

Smash Attack Ash said...

How frakin rad! I want to meet Andrea Cremer!! :) I am so excited to read her Rift books, and the book she's writing with Levithan. Woot! I will actually be reading Amelia Anne in December for book club. It sounds super creepy cool.

Glad you had a great time and thanks for the giveaway!

Texas Book Lover said...

WOW! This sound like an amazing event! Love the quote about writing for more than your reviews! This can certainly apply to more than just authors and their writing!

Thanks so much!

fakesteph said...

This looks like it was a fantastic event! I'm a little jealous!

Maria (Serpentine Library) said...

This was such a fun event! Each of the authors gave thoughtful answers to the questions, and I also liked Andrea Cremer's response to the bad review question. It could be applied to so, so many things.

Steph from said...

Did you know the new Jacquelyn Frank book FOrbidden take place in the Hudson Valley, Catskills? Revu up tomorrow.

Great post. Well organized and laid out! Steph

Na said...

It looks like a wonderful event. Very lucky! I would have liked to attend :)

~Fiery Na

Kimberly @ Midnight Book Girl said...

I am so jealous of all these author events! I wish I could go to more but time is a problem and I don't exactly live in a thriving metropolis where authors are just dying to come to. It looks like you had a great time. The Girl in the Park sounds really good and I'm dying to read Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone.

Jenny said...

What a cool event Pam! I would have loved to have been there for this one. It seems like people asked really great questions - I especially loved all their answers to the criticism of YA question. I couldn't agree more. I found the comment regarding Katniss particularly interesting - I think she definitely would have been perceived differently had she slept with Peeta, and the fact that she might have been judged more harshly for having sex than for murdering teenagers makes me shake my head in dismay.

Rubita said...

Events like this are so cool, and I'm jealous that I don't live where they have them. I really like the sentiment that "It's not the subject, it's how you handle it." That's definitely how I feel about it.

Midnyte Reader said...

@April - I won't be able to go in October.

@Julie- I always love learning that information.

@Felicia-Me too! That really resonated with me.

@Kate - I remember that case too. It was very salacious at the time, but I guess that's the spin they put on it.

@Smash-Andrea is so nice. I still have to finish her Nightshade series.

@Texas - It was a great event and I think that quote is my favorite from that evening, if not the year.

@Steph-You can come up and stay with me anytime you want to go to an event around here.

@Maria - Thanks so much for letting me know about it. I had fun going with you.

@Steph-I will check that out.

@Na-I do feel lucky to get to attend these events.

@Kim-Yes, both those books sound really good. I'm looking forward to reading them.

@Jenny - Their thoughts on YA criticism was fascinating. I loved their opinions and wish more people could hear them.

@Rubita - I agree with you about that opinion that it's not the subject.

Tales of Whimsy said...

What fun!
Awesome post.
(not an entry)

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