On Tuesday, we had the pleasure of heading all the way up to Harlem for the Harlequin Teen #YeahYA event at the Hamilton Grange branch of the NY Public Library. We walked in a bit late but glad to see they hadn't yet started. It was a bit of a different event than I'm used to as we were herded into what looked like a fish bowl and sat on squishy seats that reminded me of yoga balls. We we're also the audience for "Live at the NYPL," made up of a couple guys from the library with a camera that were live streaming the event and filming for their website. The authors presenting were Katie McGarry, Cara Lynn Schultz, Aimee Carter, and Julie Kagawa.
As we sat among the small crowd on our yoga balls, we listened with eager ears as the authors introduced themselves and talked a bit about their latest releases before jumping into interviewing each other and receiving questions from the audience.
Here are some of the questions and answers from the session. We tried to keep up as best as possible!
Aimee: I love writing teen protagonists. I just never grew up.
Julie: I used to write adult fantasy, but my agent couldn't sell it so she told me to write my fairy series ideas.
Are there any tv shows that influence your writing?
Julie: anything by Joss Whedon
Cara: Charmed and Family guy for the random humor. Inspires her to write.
Aimee: Alias, Hercules and Xena
Katie: Little House on the Prairie
Do you write with music? What's your favorite band to listen to when you write?
Cara: Has playlists for each book. Music is really important to my writing process.
Julie: I listen to Pandora a lot. Skillet, My Chemical Romance, and a lot of anime music.
Aimee: white noise. It blocks everything out.
Katie: I get distracted easily, so I can't listen to music while writing, but when I'm not writing I love listening to music. Pink, Eminem, country artists-- it depends per character.
Who are your favorite authors?
Aimee: JK Rowling, Anne Bishop
Julie: Neil Gaiman, also JK Rowling
Katie: SE Hinton, Stephen King (fave book ever is The Stand), Judy Bloom
Cara: JD Salinger, Max Brooks
Favorite themes to explore?
Katie: I love writing about straddling that line between seventeen and eighteen. Being a teen but wanting independence. Hope.
Cara: Self-possessed characters. Love writing first person for internal dialogue.
Aimee: I don't follow themes consciously, but I write about family.
Julie: Outcasts and resilient characters.
Favorite character that you've written:
Julie: Ash and Grimalkin (old faves). Jackal from Eternity Cure.
Aimee: Henry from the first series and Knox from new series
Cara: Paige or Angelique from first series.
Katie: Beth from Dare You To
Cara: Wearing Black. purple.
Aimee: all of them. Diplomatic answer.
If you were a vegetable, what would you be?
Julie: Asparagus. I wanna be wrapped in bacon.
Aimee: Turnip so no one would eat me.
What animal would you want to be?
Cara: Immediate thought is cat, but I don't want to clean myself. But I want to fly, so a bird.
Katie: Bunny. A fluffy bunny.
Do you have a time of day where you prefer to write?
Julie: I treat it as a full time job since it is mine and start at 10am and after checking email and social media I write until 5pm and then play video games.
Aimee: My routine changes with every book. Halfway through writing a book, I'll finally have a routine down. But I really don't have a solid routine.
Cara: I'm a night time writer. My magic hour is from 1-2am to 6am.
Katie: I'm hit or miss. I have children so I write whenever they let me. I usually wake up really early and try to write until they wake up.
This event was a lot of fun and I was glad to be a part of it! Thanks to Harlequin Teen for allowing me to be the official blogger for the event! After the event was over, I got to sit down with the authors and interview them! Check that video out below!