Honeymoon, writing, young adult

The magic of Teen Author Carnival…

Right before heading to NYC, I realized that the Teen Author Carnival would be taking place while we were in the city.

See, all these amazing names? I was torn because I was on my honeymoon telling my hubby how much I wanted to go there but of course knew that he would not really enjoy it…Plus we had tickets for the Daily Show right before so I knew I wouldn´t be able to listen to both sessions…And see I love The Daily Show, I´ve got the biggest crush on Jon Stewart…but the conflict, oh the conflict…I wanted to have it all and my hubby (the greatest hubby) enabled me to indeed have my cake and eat it too!

One happy hubby

Right after attending the taping of The Daily Show, we hailed a cab and went on our way to the Jefferson Market Library. There, I stood outside for the end of the “You don´t know you´re beautiful (keeping it realistic)”. And listened, laughed while taking in the crowd, the enthusiasm and the fact that I was just a few feet away from authors I admire.

Crowded room

Then, I turned to my hubby and told him that if he wanted to go have a drink while I was going to the next panel, he could. I mean I did feel bad about dragging him along…so on his way he went.

And I attended the next panel entitled “Where have you been all my life? (let´s talk boys)?”….

Hannah Moskowitz, Scott Tracey, Michelle Hodkin and Jennifer E. Smith
Jen Calonita and Kody Keplinger
Sarah Tregay (sitting next to Victoria Schwab) talking here about how she got herself red converse thanks to the cover of her book 😀

I even asked a question. Yes, I raised my hand, forgot how self-conscious I sometimes get about my French accent, tried to ignore the erratic beating of my heart…and did it 😀

I did mention before asking my question that I was French and on my honeymoon (also highlighting how cool my hubby was since he dropped me off there). I am glad I did because that´s how Rebecca recognized me (yay again!). I asked the authors about developing crushes on their own characters (not necessarily the love interest but those who suddenly become more important in their eyes and that they have issues letting go).

The answers made me laugh and made me nod and made me smile and made me wonder how lucky I was to have those wonderful writers look at me in the eyes as they were answering. Totally fan-girling the event 😀 Some pointed out how crazier you become the more books you write since you have all these voices in your head. When I mentioned this to dear Chemical Engineer, he shook his head and gave me the eyes (the ones meaning: wait, you can be even weirder? :D)

Here are some notes I jolted down while listening to the different sessions (I am not sure who said what…reminder: next time, be more careful about taking notes):

About cursing in YA novels: 

  • “Always stay true to character…that is the most important. Teenagers can smell if someone is being fake and then it doesn´t work.”
  • “There is a different between ´I have a problem´ and `I have a fucking problem´”

About sex in YA novels:

  • “I always try to have sex scenes in my novels. But one time, it just didn´t work with the characters. I was all about having them do it and suddenly, one of them says she´s tired! So basically in my head, my story ends like this ´The End. and then they went to have sex´.”
  • “My editor did scrap some of the making out scenes I had…because, well, they didn´t make the plot advance, it wasn´t important for the story. I just had them making out for pages and pages. I loved writing those scenes but…”
Several authors also mention how they go about their research: Jen Calonita (Author ofBELLES) for example mentioned calling Debutantes to find out more about their experience and falling so deeply into her subject that she wanted to know ALL the details, others mentioned how they feel their research could put them on a WANTED poster. Kody Koplinger (Author of THE DUFF, SHUT OUT and MIDSUMMER´s NIGHTMARE) explained that she wrote about a character drinking a lot without having any experience herself on the matter. She thought she had it down until her editor made notes on how it really felt to be hangover…
Jennifer E. Smith (author of THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT) explained how she was happy the prologue was kept into her story though she had thought her editor would cut it. Plus, asked about writing secret love letters, she admitted she wrote at least one love letter but that it wasn´t so secret (because secret love letters are just not as efficient :D)
Jennifer E. Smith talking about her wonderful book!
So, this was one LONG post but as you can tell, it was such a great, wonderful, amazing moment to sit in the same room as those authors!
And who knows, maybe I will make it to SCBWI next Winter 😀 (really trying to make this happen…)
PS: For those of you wondering, hubby made it back to pick me up…he had quite a great time which included being hit on by two men (since he ended up in a gay bar for some reason) which totally boosted his self-esteem 😀 Oh, and he discovered a new reason to like those type of events (the ratio to girls against boys). Yes, I love my husband! 😀