Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Most Amazing YALSA YA Author Coffee Klatch Ever

 Anna and I and our fellow Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science Boston Chapter (which this year consisted of Anna, Alana, Steph and me) always go to YALSA's YA Author Coffee Klatch.  Essentially, it's like speed dating, only with YA authors.  You sit at a table, and every five minutes a new YA author sits down to chat with you.  They might tell you about what they're working on or what's coming out soon or have you ask questions.  Whatever.  It's always lots of fun, but of course more fun if you get to talk with an author you love.  It's always been good in the past, but this year it was just mind blowingly amazing. Seriously.

So it started out innocently enough.  Our first author was Pete Hautman, author of the Klaatu Diskos series, which I had not heard of before, but who was very nice and his book sounded interesting.  We talked to Juliana Baggot, author of Pure, whose book won an Alex Award this year.

Then things started to get exciting.  We next had Steve Sheinkin, author of Bomb: The Race to Build--and Steal--the World's Most Dangerous Weapon, which won a Newbery Honor this year.  He was delightful!  He told us about his new book, The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights, which will be coming out in January.  You could tell it was a topic he was passionate about and felt it was important for people to be aware of.  It sounds like it's going to be excellent.

And then!  Francesca Lia Block sat down.  Yes, that Francesca Lia Block.  Author of Weetzie Bat.  We were beside ourselves.  Francesca Lia Block is exactly what you'd think.  Very sweet and a little spacey.  She told us we were all adorable.  We held back telling that she was adorable.  She told us about her new book, Love in the Time of Global Warming, which will be out in August.  She said that she had undergone loss in the past several years, and that was a big part of the book.  While sexuality was always part of her books, she said it was a larger aspect in this one.

Then, because that wasn't amazing enough. TAMORA PIERCE sat down.  Anna actually started crying a little she was so overwhelmed.  Tamora Pierce is of course author of The Song of the Lioness series that those of us of a certain age grew up with.  It was one of the first middle grade books with a kick ass girl doing things boys usually do.  It was a important series to a lot of kids.  Tamora Pierce talked about her new book, Bitter Kingdom, but we were mostly just staring at her in awe and wondering if she was use to people coming up to her and crying because her books had made such an impact on their lives as children.  Steph asked which of her princess she had the biggest crush on and she said Farmer.  Tamora Pierce asked Anna if she'd like a picture, because she's awesome like that, and Anna was actually going to say no, because she was still too busy being overwhelmed because Tamora Pierce was sitting right next to her, but I insisted.

And then, because the book gods were smiling down on us, Rachel Hartman, author of Seraphina, which I LOVED, sat down.  Seriously, it was all almost too much.  How did we get so lucky to have so many amazingly awesome authors to chat with?  I mean, look at this picture!  I'm practically snuggling her!  I'm sorry if I infringed on your personal space, Rachel Hartman.  I was just so freaking excited to see you.  The next book in the series won't be coming out for a while, and while it's hard to wait, we want it to be just as good as the first one, so you take your sweet old time, Rachel Hartman.

The Klatch ended nicely for us with E.M. Kokie, author of Personal Effects, which sounds really good and I want to read, and Brigid Kemmerer, author of the Elemental series.

So yeah.  Pretty freaking amazing, right?

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