Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Desperately Seeking Questions!

Many of you already know this, but on Saturday afternoon I am moderating a panel discussion at the Lititz Kidlit Festival. Needless to say, I was extremely flattered when Sam and Todd from Aaron's Books asked me to participate; however, I'm not sure I realized how nervous I would be. The closer the event gets, the more anxious (and excited) I am getting.

The panel is made up of some fantastic kidlit authors and illustrators; and I just know I'm going to be totally in awe of them. Here's the scoop straight from festival's website:

Several authors participate in a roundtable on writing for their own market, from children’s to YA. Authors participating include: Lisa Greenwald (“tween” literature), Lee Harper (illustrator), A.S. King (teen-lit author), Matt Phelan (illustrator and graphic novelist), Mara Rockliff (picture book writer), Eric Wight (elementary level graphic novelist); the panel will be moderated by blogger and reviewer Julie Peterson (BookingMama).

I have been told that one of my all-time favorite writers and bloggers, Beth Kephart, will also be participating!!!!

In preparation for the panel discussion, I have tried to read at least one book by each of the authors/illustrators. They've all been so good! And for the past few weeks, I have been trying to compile a list of interesting and thought-provoking questions to ask. I asked my husband for a little assistance, and he suggested I ask the blogosphere -- kind of like using a lifeline on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire." He also said that I shouldn't be above giving bribes, but I prefer to think of it as an incentive.

So here's the deal: I am willing to giveaway a copy of a fantastic book that I recently read and reviewed called WHEN SHE FLEW by Jennie Shortridge. To enter, all you need to do is leave a question that you would ask of a kidlit author or illustrator in the comments. You can get one entry for every "good" question you leave. I will accept questions until Friday evening (November 13th) at 11:59 p.m. ET; and I will notify the winner the following day! This giveaway is open to those of you with U.S. and Canada mailing addresses only.

If you are within traveling distance of Lititz, PA this weekend, I'd love for you to stop by and lend me some moral support. In addition to the panel discussion, the wonderful folks at Aaron's Books have all sorts of terrific activities planned from Friday evening through Sunday including a Kids' Storytime, a Teen Pizza Party, Brunch with Books, and Writing Wrkshops. You can check out all of the details here.

Thanks for all of your help!


awalls said...

I always like to ask authors who some of their favorite authors are out there today.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Question for an illustrator: do you draw pictures from people you know in real life?

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

Why write kid lit or YA? Who are their YA author idols? What type of trends would they like to see in YA books? What trends do they wish would vanish in YA books?

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

What does each author hope for their book. Is there a message they hope kids or YA take from each book or is it more for the joy of reading?

Teresa Morrow said...

Do you have some book recommendations for those writers starting in YA or KidLit?

What is your number one thing you know now that you wished you would have known when you started writing YA or Kid Lit?

What is your take on the changes in publishing today (ie self publishing, POD and traditional publishing)?

Eugenia said...

Dear Booking Mama friend,

I've always been curious about the collaboration between illustration and writing: if it's the same person, how do they switch hats, or is there no difference in the creative approach and the process? And, if the author and illustrator are different people, what kind of collaboration needs to happen for a successful melding of vision and words?

Then, I want to tell you (because you've been so kind to me) as a recent author, that we are exactly the same kind of person we were before we were authors, and that I used to be in awe, and am still, of several authors whose work I admire. So put your nervous energy into being the charming and personable person I suspect you usually are at these sorts of events. Also, any author worth her salt knows she depends on readers and especially book bloggers to get the word out. Authors should be as interested in you as you are in them, and should show it. Yes, be prepared, but also, be prepared to relax and enjoy yourself! It does sound like fun! --Eugenia

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

You are going to have such a great time!

I'd like to ask the YA authors how they'd respond to someone who says they're "too old" for YA (that is, an adult, not an older teen)

Catherine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TeacherLady said...

I would ask what inspired the author to write their latest (or most popular) work and what they hoped readers would take away from it.

Mary said...

I wonder how Kidlit books today compare to what was offered when the author was "of that reading age" and if that inspires their writing.

Good luck this weekend. Wish I lived close enough to attend and lend my support. You'll be fine!

bermudaonion said...

I really don't know how to word this, but I've always wondered how kid lit authors get "into the heads" of kids. Do they remember what it was like to be a child that vividly or do they observe kids in action? (I think I wonder this because I don't have vivid memories of what it's like to be a kid.)

Beth F said...

Check out my guest post from Amy: and then ask her something about Ireland.

Also see my guest interview with Beth:

I haven't read books by all these people, but if you have, be sure to ask at least one question specific to the book you read.

For Amy: what made you think of the curse that allowed the main character to retain her memories of her past life? I loved that.

For Beth: think of some of the things we talked about in book club or ask about the settings of her novels, which often take place in her familiar Philadelphia-area home. Or how her love of dance or photography influences her work as an author.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I was looking at the questions and I want to second Kathy's question! Because when I review these books I wonder if I can review them properly as an adult, so how do these authors come to make themselves think at these ages so they can be sure they are writing appropriately for that age?

Anonymous said...

It's very difficult for those of
us who couldn't live without
books to read to have children
who don't love reading. How do you, as an author, work to inspire
the love of reading in your books?

What solutions might you offer for
parents to overcome the lack of
reading love?

Do you ever find the cover absolutely does not match the
description of a character in your
book? Having seen that several times, I think it might drive the
author nuts.

If you have children, do they have
ideas for your books? If so, how
helpful are those ideas?

have a good time, I think that you
will do just fine.


Kristen said...

I guess I'd want to ask them how they view their audience as different from an adult audience and how they as adults themselves tap into the difference between kids and adults.

writergal said...

I was basically thiking along the same lines as Kristen: How does an idea end up being a kidlit subject and not that of a YA or adult subject