Monday, September 23, 2013

All the Pretty Authors

This weekend was the National Book Festival, so a lot of authors were in town.  (There's also some stuff in Virginia, and some stuff this weekend in Maryland, and some people who just had DC this week on their tour stop.  It's pretty amazing week to be a book fan.) 
My brain is all all the things - yes, people said pretty things, so I will not even attempt to cover, just summarize a smidge.
1. Rainbow Rowell spoke at Politics and Prose about Fangirl, a tale of a girl with social anxiety but a rich life on the internet as a fan fic writer faces college.
2. Elizabeth Wein was impressed, given Rose Under Fire's relatively recent US release, that so many of the group had read it.  She also discussed a little the differing receptions both books have received in different countries.  (All generally good, some more rabid.)
3. At the National Book Fest, Holly Black read from The Coldest Girl in Coldtown (which I think is an excellent title) and really, the sign language interpretation of both that and later, Holly's answer about what creatures she doesn't like (zombies, they smell and they shamble) was most fascinating.  Holly also spoke of how thinking of the dissociation that watching something on TV creates, helped inspire the book. 
4. Matthew Quick talked about how Silver Linings Playbook being turned into a movie gave him an unexpected platform to discuss mental health. And that on an idyllic vacation in France was where he wrote Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock - for him the distance and contrast gave him the safety to write about this tough subject of violence in schools. 
5. Patrick Ness spoke about how he doesn't think about the other readers, just writes to please his own teen self and that if it didn't make you feel, then, what was the point?  He also maybe toyed with the camera operator who had asked him not to swear but apparently okayed the use of boobies and crap.
6. The book club got a chance to chat a little more with Holly Black, along with Megan Whalen-Turner, and Paolo Bacigalupi which was great as we talked books, and writing, and cats.
7. Tamora Pierce did a bit where she read like a doddering old reader because she likes to see the fear in the audience's eyes.  She also then went for straight Q&A which worked really well.  The tent was jam packed, the question line was long and good, and her answers were humorous and helpful.
8. Fred Hiatt wrote a YA book Nine Days inspired by the real life story of Ti-Anna Wang who is fighting to get her father released from prison in China.  She talked about the state of things with her father right now (not good) and how having a seemingly braver, cooler, fictional version of yourself out there in the world can inspire you to keep going so that real life inspired the fiction which is inspiring her real life. 
So, quite a week.