Wood Sculptures, Books That Make You Cry, and Writing Sympathetic Characters: A YA Panel in Barrington, RI

photo 1 (1)

The Panel!

Last night I was part of my first YA author panel, hosted by the Barrington Bookstore and the Barrington Public Library. Having grown up in Rhode Island, this was a really fun and exciting opportunity for me.

On the panel with me were Tara Sullivan, author of Golden Boy, Katie Cotugno, author of How to Love, Bianca Turetsky, author of The Time-Traveling Fashionista series, and Katie Davis, author of Dancing with the Devil. Our moderator was the wonderful Alyisha Foley, librarian and blogger and kidlit enthusiast. Alyisha had great questions, and I loved hearing my fellow panelists talk about their own experiences writing books for teen readers and about their own young reading experiences.

A few favorite moments from the panel:

  • All of us agreeing that middle/high school are so freaking hard and basically when you need books the most.
  • Also agreeing that sometimes spoken communication is hard–long live the text/email!
  • Talking about what why flawed characters are compelling and real.
  • Tara Sullivan sharing an ebony wood sculpture. (Made me flash back to all those good Habo and Kweli moments!)
  • Bianca Turetsky’s shoutout to the Baby-Sitters’ Club.
  • Getting to sign The Chance You Won’t Return for RI family and friends, including the parents of some of my friends from high school.

photo 2Thanks so much to Anika Denise and Barrington Books for organizing such a great panel, to the Barrington Library for letting us use their wonderful space, and to everyone who came out on a Wednesday night to hear us talk about the awesomeness of YA!

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