Last Saturday, after several days of biblical deluge, the sun burst out and the crisp fall weather created the perfect setting for a book fair. I was fortunate to be a guest at the Collingswood Book Festival in Collingswood, NJ, signing copies of WHAT I MEANT… and chatting with passersby. Sold lots of books, which is always a thrill, and met lots of great authors and readers.
I also did a panel talk to a full house with fellow Liars Club authors Gregory Frost (Shadowbridge and Lord Tophet, Del Rey) and Jonathan Maberry (Rot and Ruin, Simon and Schuster). Our main subject was YA books. We talked about what makes a YA book different from an adult novel (the age of the protagonist, but the level of sophistication is the same or higher), what are some of the trends (sci fi is in, zombies are hot, vampires never die (!), but great and powerful stories are forever), and if it’s easier to sell YA than other fiction (ho boy, define EASY!).
While we were there, I was thrilled to meet Secrets of Droon series author Tony Abbott. His series was really huge in my house when the kids were smaller.
And I was also delighted to finally meet author Heidi Durrow face to face. Heidi lives on the opposite coast, and we first became friendly a few years back when she invited me to be a guest on her podcast Mixed Chicks Chat. The main protagonist in WHAT I MEANT… is biracial, so we had a lot to talk about. She still runs the podcast with actress/producer Fanshen Cox, and it’s the only live weekly show that covers the mixed-race experience. These
days, Heidi also is a published author. Her novel The Girl Who Fell from the Sky (Algonquin) also features a protagonist who is biracial. I’m reading her novel now, and it’s phenomenal.
Kudos to the organizers of the Collingswood Book Festival! Everything there was just right.