I have seen the future… @ NYC Teen Author Festival

Yesterday I was a stowaway on another school’s field trip to NYC. I then proceeded to hijack the trip and DEMANDED they attended the NYC Teen Author Festival. And it worked. They politely agreed to amend their itinerary to meet my DEMAND and their teacher (Hi Tiff E) even let me use her pictures below. Blackmail, thumbscrews, and repeated viewings of Pierce Brosnan’s solo in Mamma Mia weren’t even necessary.

And it was fabulous.

Last night was technically called: I Have Seen the Future…and It Sounds Like This
I like to call it: I have heard my favorite authors read & now need to start saving because I need to buy each book that was read from tonight.

It was held at the Mulberry Street Branch of the New York Public Library and hosted by the very funny David Levithan. He’s also quite coordinated – he didn’t stumble over the microphone cord – not even once – despite its best efforts to trip him. Each time he stood, my panic level jumped to red alert and I tensed up – ready to spring from my front row seat and catch him. Or provide a Band-Aid from my purse (I come prepared).


The night’s Guest of Honor was Joe Monti. Each of the reading authors had a sweet (albeit sometimes fictional) anecdote about Joe’s influence. He also came prepared with goggles for Scott (more on that later). Joe has quite the author fan club, one that I’d gladly join.

Each of the authors read from their WIP. Going into the event I was very curious; would their WIP’s sound like my WIP’s (meaning, full of or or ). They were not. I’m not sure I believe that these were truly WIP’s. They were only in progress in the sense that they are not yet IN bookstores. They were polished, engrossing, and delightful. (Although, for the sake of disclosure, some did have cross-outs and editors’ marks, but you couldn’t tell it from the fluid readings).

My WIP has developed an inferiority complex and is cowering in the corner. Hopefully he’ll feel better after I inform him that no one would want to read him until he’s sufficiently re-written. (And finished. Finished would be helpful too).

Enough about me – let’s get to the good parts: what the authors read.

Libba Bray is adorable. She read from Going Bovine, (released date 9/22) which is about a teenage boy with mad cow disease. It’s quite different from AGATB; for one thing it’s modern. It’s also funny and includes a ‘Get Happy’ song, which Libba performed adorably. (I told you she’s adorable).


Barry Lyga got my attention right away. His book-to-be, Goth Girl Rising (release date 10/19) begins with slit wrists and mental hospitals. It’s intense. Kyra needs to hear the “Get Happy” song. I haven’t read its prequel (The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl) but now know that I need to and will get on that right away.

Justine Larbalestier has the coolest boots and accent. The accent’s Australian, I didn’t think to ask where her boots were from. She read from a piece temporarily titled Wild Heat. Rest assured, it is not an Amazonian romance novel, but instead a magical twist on life in the 1930’s. The main character, Lizzie, has great voice and I can’t wait to read more. There’s not a release date for this book yet, but her next novel, Liar, will be out in fall of 2009.

Eireann Corrigan also has excellent taste in footwear. Very cute green heals that I admired from the front row. She read from Person of Interest, which is about two girls who stage a missing persons event to get attention, but horribly wrong. Eireann didn’t read from the beginning – instead she choose a very intense, highly suspenseful part, which I think it slightly unfair because there’s no release date for the novel yet and I can’t stop thinking about it. So, apparently I’ll be mildly obsessed and nightmare-inflicted until: date tba.

Holly Black wasn’t on the original list of authors so I didn’t have any of her books for signatures. I pouted about this for 8 nanoseconds before I switched to: Holly Black as a bonus reader? HOORAY! She is charming and endearing and I loved speaking with her afterwards. (BlanketFortress, rest assured, I told her about our superiority to TeamCastle. Strangely enough, I don’t think she was jealous.) Holly read from The White Cat, which was straight from her editor’s desk (she joked she’d skip the crossed out paragraphs). Her reading started with the main character waking up on the slate roof of his boarding school in boxer shorts. It was intense, but also really intriguing and humorous. Can’t wait… but I guess I’ll have to since it’s not due out until 2010.

Rachel Cohn began by joking that she should name her next book Money, because with books titled Cupcake and Gingerbread, guess what people bring her. Funnily enough, I say the same thing about my next dog (I should name it Coffeegiftcard so I have something to go with all of the Biscotti I receive). Her forthcoming book is one that I can relate to on a tragic level. Very LeFreak is about a girl who becomes addicted to technology. (Twitterverse, I just can’t quit you!) Very is forced to go to technology rehab and have her life unplugged so she can detox. Rachel read to us from Very’s very amusing admission process. I’ll definitely read the book, but I won’t give up my Blackberry (you’re safe Petunia, don’t worry!).

Scott Westerfeld’s gone steampunk. And Joe Monti provided the goggles to prove it. Leviathan, illustrated by Keith Thompson and full of Scott’s trademark Wester-words, will be released on October 6th. Scott not only read an excerpt to us, but also gave us a sneak peak of the illustrations. We were asked not to post pictures, but rest-assured, they’re stunning.

So start saving because you’re going to want these books. Trust me! You’re also going to want Scott’s goggles, Justine’s boots, and Eireann’s shoes.

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