The week before last, I attended the Teen Author Festival at the New York Public library. I meant to tell you about it sooner but I guess it took me a little longer to digest than usual. I sat through 3 panels with some terrific authors: “Telling Truths- Hard Topics, Illuminating Fiction”, the “Debut Author Showcase” and “I Think I Love You (But Maybe I Don’t?)- Writing About Teens in Love”
I loved every minute of every panel and was truly excited about the literature out there for young adults. I was impressed with the people who are writing for teens. And during the “Debut Author Showcase” I just kept thinking, maybe if I close my eyes and make a wish, I will be up there someday. Of course, that’s a hard thing for me to admit because I don’t know if it will happen for me. But, as Tyler’s Uncle Mike says, thoughts become things, so maybe I’ll keep thinking and dreaming it and then it will be real.
The first panel was my favorite, even though the authors joked that they were upset to be chosen for the ‘depressing’ panel. Because hard topics are just that…hard topics. These authors write books that deal with issues like rape, kidnapping, death of a parent, cyber stalking, murder, etc. And, of course, I was all over that because those are the books I like. The books that have the courage to take on the hard stuff. I wonder if those are the books that other people like. Because I don’t always hear about them or see them out on the front tables at the bookstore (admittedly, I am not as well read in young adult literature as I would like to be.) I’m not going to suggest that they don’t exist. They absolutely do. They are the books I seek out above all else, even if I have to dig a little deeper for them.
I wonder if people like to read books full of harsh realities. Or if they like to read books where they can escape to some place a little softer. You know my preference. Which do you prefer?
UPDATE: Some of you had asked about the authors on the panels. You can find a list of the panelists here.