event recap: This is Teen Live! with Maggie Stiefvater, Libba Bray, & more

April 22, 2012 2012, event, guest post, maggie stiefvater, rachel, Wendy 20

Hello everyone! We’re very pleased to welcome ♥ Rachel ♥ back to the blog to share her bookish adventures in the field. The last time she was here, she gave us fascinating movie news from our favorite Harper Teen authors. Today she’s dishing on exciting book news and even writing tips from Scholastic authors!

And don’t forget to check back in with us next week, when she reports back from the LA Times Festival of Books. Thanks so much for keeping us informed, Rachel! ~ Wendy

this is teen scholastic tour

Rachel’s Night at the This is Teen LIVE! Event:  

David Levithan Will Grayson
David Levithan

What happens when you bring together authors Maggie Stiefvater, Libba Bray, Siobhan Vivian, Pete Hautman, and David Levithan? A night of crazy, zany, hilarity!

The event I attended was held at the charming independent bookstore, Mrs. Nelson’s Toy and Book Shop in LaVerne, California and was a packed full of excited fans! This is Teen LIVE! is an author tour in conjunction with Scholastic’s new site thisisteen.com. David Levithan not only moderated the panel, but he is also apparently the editor behind these authors’ books. His knowledge and friendship with them was obvious, as evidenced by rapid-fire jokes that were flying. It was a great opportunity to get a glimpse into the quirky mind behind one of the Wills from Will Grayson, Will Grayson. He is FUNNY!

I had a chance to talk to Maggie Stiefvater a little before the event, and thought she was completely entertaining. Maggie said the follow-up to her fairy novels, Lament and Ballad, was just turned into Levithan for editing and should be out sometime next year. I know that’s a long time but don’t be sad–her first book in The Raven Cycle, a four-book series, will be out September this year! You can even read the first two chapters online while you wait. 

Libba Bray Siobhan Vivian Beauty Queens
Libba Bray and Siobhan Vivian

I’ve never read any of Libba or Siobhan’s work but after listening to and meeting them, I’ve made it my goal to change that. Libba Bray is laugh-out-loud hilarious! Her southern accent and inflection was flawless as she read from Beauty Queens. Siobhan Vivian also had me entranced by her lovely voice while she read from her book The List. She told us her inspiration for the story was a male friend in school, who was nominated as Homecoming King–not because of his popularity, but because his classmates thought it would be funny to nominate a loser as a joke. The List stemmed from Siobhan’s ideas about the perceptions of beauty and popularity that are held in school and society, as well as how it affects us. I was excited to hear Siobhan has a new trilogy in collaboration with her best friend and author Jenny Han. The first book in the series comes out in September of this year, and is entitled Burn for Burn

This is Teen Live! event Mrs. Nelson's
Rachel at the This is Teen LIVE! event

Pete Hautman talked about his book, What Boys Really Want, which partially involves an advice column blog with a teenage girl doling out answers. He read out some of the question and answers that had the audience rolling with laughter. Very funny, funny man! I bought the book straight after. Incidentally, three of the five authors at the signing, Stiefvater, Bray and Hautman, were up for The Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and ended up winning for his book The Big Crunch!

Maggie Stiefvater, scorpio races, raven cycle, lament, shiver
Maggie Stiefvater

At these signings, there is inevitably always a question from the audience about tips for writing. In this case it was a teen who asked for some suggestions on dealing with writers block. Maggie said her block was always because she didn’t know where the story was going. Her rule is never start writing a book until she knows the end of it. She now always has the last scene in mind, so she knows what to work toward. Pete’s advice: Don’t be afraid to write something bad, maybe you need to get it out before you can move on. David said it helps him to talk it out with another person. A lot of times they don’t even have to say much and you end up working it out just by telling them.

At the end of the event, we also found out there was a surprise member in the audience: John Corey Whaley, this year’s winner of the Michael L. Printz award for his novel Where Things Come Back! If you haven’t read his awesome essay on why he reads young adult literature, check it out here.

D. Levithan, S. Vivian, L. Bray, M. Stiefvater, P. Hautman

I had such a blast at this event and I want to thank Wendy again for inviting me to share my experience! I wish all of you readers could be there with me too! 


20 Responses to “event recap: This is Teen Live! with Maggie Stiefvater, Libba Bray, & more”

  1. Savannah Valdez

    Great post Rachel! I would have love to attend this! So jealous! I love the pictures!

    And wow about the inspiration for the book The List. I definitely need to read it.

  2. elena

    Aw, this events seem like so much fun! David Levithan seems to be a quite popular editor, ha.

  3. Sashana

    I had no idea that David Levithan was also an editor. What a talented man! Thanks for sharing, Rachel! I can’t wait to read about the LA Times Festival of Books.

    • Rachel

      I had no idea either, Sashana until they told me. He is a talented man! Very quick and witty man. :)

  4. readingdate

    Another great event recap! What an all star line up of authors – I’d love to meet David Levithan sometime. And I had no idea Stiefvater had another fae book in the works. Really looking forward to reading Burn for Burn too. Thanks for sharing your experience, Rachel!

    • Rachel

      Thank you readingdate! David Levithan’s charismatic personality was a surprise to me but I guess it shouldn’t be. It comes through when reading his work as well. He was so witty as one of the Wills in Will Grayson, Will Grayson.

  5. Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings

    Hi Rachel! Thanks for sharing this fun event with all of us. Sounds like you had a blast meeting all these wonderful authors. Wish I could have been there but at least I got to read your post.

    • Rachel

      Aww Tatiana and Heidi, I wish you two could be with me at these events! Taking the husband, while very nice is not the same as being with someone who shares the same passion for books. :)

  6. Lexie

    This sounds FANTASTIC. I adore Maggie and Libba, and the rest of these guys sound ridiculously awesome (which, really, is no surprise). I’ve made it my goal in life to attend more author signings.

  7. K.

    Really wonderful post, Rachel! I’ve only read “Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares” by Levithan and I loved it. I’ve read Bray’s the Gemma Doyle trilogy and fell in love with it. So I recommend those. Also, thanks for the link to Whaley’s essay :D

    • Rachel

      Thank you K. I have Libba’s Gemma Doyle series but haven’t read it yet. Glad to hear you enjoyed it! It gives me that extra push to start it. Wendy did the link up on Whaley’s essay, so thank you Wendy! :)

  8. Joyous Reads

    So exciting! Thanks for sharing, Rachel. I’m glad to hear that Maggie didn’t abandon her fae series. I loved that one!

    • Rachel

      I know Joy, we were kind of left hanging with Dee, so I’m glad she’s written a follow up even if it is several years later. :)

  9. Jasprit

    Yay! sounds like you had another amazing time! Seriously you guys get all the best events over there! :( I love Jenny Han, have you read her Summer series? it’s awesome that she’s collaborating with Siobhan Vivian, I can’t wait for Burn for Burn! Look forward to hearing about more events you go to! :)

    • Rachel

      I did have such a great time, Jasprit, even my husband was laughing his head off. I haven’t read Jenny Han’s Summer series yet but, of course, I have all three books! It’s in one of my piles of books that no longer fit in my bookcase! I really need a new and bigger bookcase! I do really want to read that series. I know you’ve said good things about it before and we both love our “vanillas” :)

      I can’t wait to read Siobhan’s books now. She was super sweet.

  10. Sam

    Wow another great experience for you Rachel! I’m glad you had so much fun and thanks for sharing it with us. :)

  11. Vegan YA Nerds

    Great post, Rachel! This sounds like such a fun event with so many excellent authors! I’m looking forward to Maggie’s new books and I just got a copy of The List, can’t wait to read it!