Wednesday, June 4, 2014

BEA 2014 YA Author Buzz

Last week I attended one day at Book Expo America. It was crazy busy, and I'm thinking next year I should go for two days so that I can see all the things I want to see!

This year was my second year attending the conference, and I did things a little differently. Aside from breaking in my new "trade show shoes" from Lifestrides (very comfy), I attended two panel discussions featuring YA authors.

The first panel discussion was "Meet BEA Young Adult Authors 2014". It was a quick half-hour introduction to five authors with buzzed-about books coming out later this year or next year:

Amy Ewing, author of The Jewel (HarperTeen)

Ewing said that she got the idea for her book after watching a scene in the Liam Neeson movie Taken. I just love that little bit of trivia! The book is about the importance of choice and ownership of one's body. I received an advance review copy of The Jewel and will definitely write up a review of it to let you know how it is!

Frank Portman, author of King Dork Approximately (Delacorte Press)

Portman used to be in a punk band, and used some of his "songs for socially awkward guys" to create the original King Dork and this new sequel.

Ryan Graudin, author of The Walled City (Little, Brown)

Graudin used a real historical event to create the fictional world in her novel. She said that the message she wants readers to take from this book is that no matter what you're going through, you are not alone.

Robin Talley, author of Lies We Tell Ourselves (Harlequin Teen)

Talley did three months of research (including looking through old yearbooks and realizing that everybody had the same haircut) before ever writing a word of this novel. Set in 1959 Virginia, the book deals with the Civil Rights movement and school integration with a little bit of a lesbian relationship to boot.

Cynthia Weil, author of I'm Glad I Did (Soho Teen)

Out of all of these books, I think I'm most excited about this book. If you don't know who Cynthia Weil is, then you must be living under a rock. Cynthia Weil is a pretty famous songwriter, along with her husband Barry Mann. They've written "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling", "Somewhere Out There", "Sometimes When We Touch", "Looking Through the Eyes of Love", and more. Now, Weil is taking her writing prowess to the world of YA novels to create this murder mystery/coming-of-age/music industry story. She also wrote a new song for the book, "I'm Glad I Did". I haven't heard the song yet, but I'm sure it's good.

AND AND AND Cynthia Weil signed an advance review copy of the book for me! Pretty snazzy!

I've got more to report from my BEA trip, so stay tuned to the blog. And if you want to see pictures and other updates from BEA and other cool events, make sure you're following me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!

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