Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My Writing Life: Candy Land

Okay, fine, no, I'm not really going to do another nostalgic board game comparison. But last night was an "author happy night" so I was thinking that the writing life isn't always a game of Chutes & (Chutes and Chutes and Chutes and SEEMINGLY ENDLESS CHUTES FOR GOD'S SAKE!) Ladders, but sometimes, it's actually more a game of Ice Cream Floats, Gum Drop Mountains, and Lolly Pop Woods, and I get to be Queen Frostine for the evening. 

The window of the Huntington Public Library
Take last night, for example.

First of all, there is nothing better about being a YA writer than the people I get to hang out with.

At 6:10 pm I anxiously picked up Nova Ren Suma (Imaginary Girls) and Christopher Grant (Teenie) from the Huntington train station. I cannot tell you how happy I was to see them! There is this really amazing bond that seems to exists between writers who admire each other.

Secondly, there are few things more Queen Frostine than walking up to the venue to find yourself announced on a movie-esque poster in the window! -------------------------------->

I mean, seriously? That does not get old.

At 7 pm, in front of an audience of about thirty, including a surprising amount of tween and teen boys -- which always thrills me since The Pull of Gravity is narrated by a teenage boy --  Nova, Chris and I joined up with our other dynamic YA writer pal, the totally HI-LARIOUS Matt Blackstone (A Scary Scene in a Scary Movie),  and newcomer to our group, Selene Castrovilla (The Girl Next Door) and I got ready to to moderate another one of our 90-second-sampler hours.

I love moderating, though it's pressure-filled too, especially with the 90-second format which requires me not only to read and moderate, but also to time all the readings and be ready to "ding out" any overly-verbose author if the strict limit is exceeded.

So imagine how Mr. Mint it was to see an enthusiastic hand shoot up in the front row belonging to a bold kid named Richie who wanted to know if he might be the evening's official Keeper of the Bell.

Richie got to advance five spaces!

Of course, once that bell reaches your fingers, well, let's just say that Richie was just itching to ring that bell.

He mostly showed great restraint. And most the authors timed their readings well within the limit. In fact, only one of us (I won't name names  *coughs* ) went over and had to invoke the "I'm allowed to finish the sentence I'm reading," rule.

Hint: it wasn't Matt Blackstone, who shows here why he's one of my favorite authors to listen to read aloud:

Afterwards, we took some great questions from the audience, including from my writer pal Mike Sullivan (Necessary Heartbreak) who was there with his lovely daughter and wanted to know how and where we each get our best writer mojo juices flowing. Here's a snippet of Chris and me answering that question (I love how Chris describes his "manna from heaven):

 Afterwards, books were sold and signed, and cupcakes were eaten, as we shared in the giddiness that made us all feel like we'd made it to the palace of King Kandy.

from l - r: matt blackstone, christopher grant, nova ren suma, me and selene castrovilla.

  - gae


  1. Woot! So glad it was a success, although I missed being with you all!

  2. I read Nova's tweets about this. So glad you all connected and did awesome things for teens at the library! Candy Land indeed!

  3. We had a great time! What a wonderful event. I hope you do more.