As many of you already know, this past weekend I stopped by LTUE to see Megan Whalen Turner, who was the guest of honor at the symposium. I’m not an aspiring writing (at least at the moment) but I couldn’t miss this landmark event, so on Friday night I headed down to the Provo Marriott for the mass author signing. In line I met up with Angie as well as a lovely group of aspiring writers and bloggers who included Heather Zundel of The Adventures of Writer SecretGirl and Angie’s friend Bethany, who had just read the entire The Queen’s Thief series in four days a week ago, courtesy of book-pusher Angie. It was great to hang out with both old and new fans of Gen, Attolia, Eddis, Sophos, and Turner’s ingenious plots.
Our spot in the line wasn’t too bad either:
Here’s a picture of Megan and I. I was chuffed that she remembered the acrostic of Gen I wrote for Chachic’s The Queen’s Thief week. If you look closely you’ll also recognize Jennifer A. Nielsen, author of The False Prince.
On Saturday I returned for MWT’s keynote address. The room was packed and the sound wasn’t great but that did not taint the experience of hearing her speak. She based her address on the problems she see in critics like Meghan Cox Gurdon who argue censorship is needed for the YA of today, which is becoming too dark. She said that science fiction and fantasy in particular are like a sandbox for isolating real life issues without the distractions of the real world, a sandbox to which teenagers need access. She stated that censorship is arbitrary, and is often a shortcut for parents who aren’t paying attention. “Saying that at age 16 they can’t be responsible for the books they choose to read but that at age 18 they can choose to go to war is a restriction of their ability to grow.” Children and teens should be given the responsibility and freedom to choose a book they do or do not want to read. It is up to the parent to decide at which age a child is ready to be responsible for her reading choices.
Reading advice from MWT’s personal experience that elicited laughs from the audience:
“Don’t read books with the word ‘poignant’ on the back.”
“Stay away from anything that has a love triangle in it.”
“At least I didn’t feed him [Gen] to a lion” (referring to Elizabeth Wein’s The Lion Hunters series)
And finally some tidbits about future books from a wisely tight-lipped author:
-Currently MWT is rewriting the entire next Thief book from third-person to first-person. (Could this mean it’s being rewritten from someone else’s perspective to Gen’s?)
-Her publisher is pushing her hard for a map in future books (MWT said there has not been a map previously because everything she imagines ends up looking like Middle-earth. Lol.)
Overall, it was an amazing two days. Stay tuned for a Tahereh Mafi event recap later this week. Until then, happy reading, blogging, and author-sighting!