Sunday, May 18, 2014

Twin Cities Teen Lit Con 2014

Twin Cities Teen Lit Con 2014

Yesterday a bunch of amazing authors gathered for the Twin Cities teen lit conference.  The day started with a panel of Q & A with authors, Ally Condie, Maureen Johnson, David Levithan and Derf Beckderf.  Then all bets were off as people lined up for author signings, book sales, literary button making, book arts and a variety of author presentations.  So much to do and so little time.

Many Minnesota authors were in attendance and I am happy to say, that I have read most of their books. The great Minnesota authors that presented are Swathi Avasthi, Carrie Mesrobian, Geoff Herbach, Anne Greenwood Brown, Brian Farrey and Pete Hautman.  You need to read a book by each of these amazing YA authors.  I also ran into Kelly Barnhill and she will be featured on Booksnob in August.  Minnesota has the best writers in the world.

So here is my day in a nutshell:

After I attended the author panel Q & A, I went to see an awesome presentation by Derf Backderf on his graphic novel My Friend Dahmer.  Derf grew up with Jeffrey Dahmer and his book chronicles his high school years and Dahmer's decline into madness.  Two weeks after his graduation Dahmer killed his first victim.

My Friend Dahmer took Derf 20 years to create.  He kept a journal during high school full of sketches and used the FBI files and the interviews done with Dahmer to help create his book.  It is ultimately a book about how we treat people and a book about failure.  There are no murders or killing in the book.

Next I went to see Maureen Johnson speak.  This woman is hilarious and quirky and I think I want to be her new best friend.  She went to theater school and I could tell.  This is the first time I have heard of Maureen Johnson but I have seen her books out in the blogasphere.  So now I'm going to read them. Her Shades of London series sounds amazing as well as does 13 Little Blue Envelopes.  I bought The Madness Underneath and Maureen wrote a secret message at the end of the book and said No Peeking.  I don't know how I will resist.

Next I went to see David Levithan.  I LOVE the way David Levithan writes.  He is one of the most creative writers out there in teen lit today.  In fact he is the type of writer I aspire to be everyday.  He read from the first chapter of his new book which is narrated by the girl in Everyday, Rihannon.  I am going to have to wait a year for it to come out in publication but it was awesome to hear David read from it.

Lastly, I went to see Ally Condie speak about her book trilogy Matched.  It has been optioned by Disney for a film.  She is a mother of four and a former high school English teacher.  She quit her job when her first child was born and now writes full time.  I hate to admit it but I have not read this series yet, so I bought the first book and had her sign it.  She had a great presentation and also showed us a little bit about her new series coming out in the Fall.  We are not supposed to talk about it, but it sounds like a winner.

I want to send out a big thank you to everyone who planned this amazing event.  Thanks Melsa, MN Book Arts, Mackin and Addendum books.  Please do it again next year.