Tuesday, June 28, 2011

YALSA Klatch

Arianna and I decided to go to the YALSA hosted coffee klatch on Sunday. It's kind of like speed dating authors. We sat at a table and an author would come sit with us for about five minutes. The authors included:

Alden Bell, Ilsa Bick, Franny Billingsley, Selene Castrovilla, Lucy Christopher, Cassandra Clare, Amanda Cockrell, Matt Dembicki, Sarah Dessen, Beth Fehlbaum, Alex Flinn, Chris Grabenstein, Claudia Gray, John Green, Julie Halpern, Steve Hamilton, Jenny Han, Jeff Hirsch, Valerie Hobbs, Ellen Hopkins, Maureen Johnson, Brian Katcher, James Kennedy, A.S. King, James Klise, Cynthea Liu, Joe Lunievicz, Carolyn Mackler, Lish McBride, Catherine Gilbert Murdock, Lauren Myracle, Jim Ottaviani, Bobbie Pyron, Cheryl Rainfield, Leila Sales, Marcus Sedgwick, Medeia Sharif, Maggie Stiefvater, Paul Volponi, and Blythe Woolston

We got to meet with six authors, who then proceeded to chat with us and talk to us about their new books. Some were first time authors, some had been in the game for a while, some talked really fast. They were all charming in their own way.

James Klise is a first time author and a high school librarian. He wrote the book Love Drugged, which is about a boy who is in the closet. He doesn't want to rock the boat and has decided to really live his life once he hits college. But then a revolutionary drug comes out that can make him straight. He has to steal the drug from a doctor whose daughter that he starts dating. At the same time he develops a crush on Ivan, an older student. This sounds great, and definitely a conversation starter. James himself was super friendly and told us to feel free to come sit with him during sessions.

Joe Lunievicz is also a first time author and wrote the fabulous and complex sounding book Open Wounds. It's about a boy who grows up educated by classic swashbuckler movies. After living in a orphanage for five years his unknown cousin picks him up and begins to teach him stage fencing. Eventually he is also trained by a drunk Russian fencing master. This sounds so wonderfully deep and layered. I hope it lives up to my expectations. Joe was a bit nervous, but he handled it like a champ, turns out he has done fencing for quite a while.

Brian Katcher
is known for his somewhat controversial book Almost Perfect. It's told from a boy's perspective who has a crush on a girl who comes out as transgendered. They must both decide what kind of relationship they are going to have, and how far they are going to take the romantic aspects. I say it's controversial because there has been some mixed reviews from the transgendered community. But I think that it's good that it starts conversation on this topic and brings awareness to a little discussed topic. Out of all of them I thought he was the most standoffish.

Franny Billingsley
wrote Chime which Arianna reviewed a while ago. We both loved it and she turned out to be a delight. Fantastic clothes. I'm not going to book talk it, partially because Arianna already did but mostly because you should go read it.

James Kennedy wrote a delightful book called The Order of Odd Fish, which I've read and just realized that I never reviewed. So I'll review it and book talk it then, let's just leave it at this book is super quirky. Hilarious and weird. James has lots of promise as a writer, and it doesn't hurt that he's quite dashing. He's also a super fast talker. After the Klatch he came over and thanked me for reading his book, SWOON. I also worked up the nerve to lurk by the area where they were taking pictures and give him our business card. Like the creepy person I am.

A.S. King was a delight. She was super chill and just easy going. Her book is about a young girl who channels her anger through boxing. Awesome. Definitely one that I want to read soon.

So that was it, super fun. I wish we could've had more time with the authors. But c'est la vie.


  1. It was great meeting you! James Klise is a friend of mine from Chicago and I vouch for his book 100%. I've run into A.S. King at a couple book festivals and we've hit it off--turns out we were born within 24 hours of each other, and have a lot in common. Did you know she won a Printz Honor this year for "Please Ignore Vera Dietz"? Here's her acceptance speech:


    Finally, I'm delighted you enjoyed "Odd-Fish"! Thanks for making my day!

  2. Hello James, obviously we were delighted with the chance to meet you all and were very excited for the books all of you promoted. I hope more people are able to get a hold of your books and have the response that we had. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I had a great time at the Klatch. It was great meeting everyone, especially James Klise and Cheryl Rainfield.


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