As I mentioned before, I’ll be giving a reading in May at the Saints & Sinners Literary Festival in New Orleans. I always look forward to this conference, and I’m especially excited to be reading from my forthcoming novel (which I’ve also mentioned before and will likely mention again and again and again…) a YA fantasy titled The Unwanted. I’ll be reading in the same series as Fay Jacobs. Again. If you’ve never read her books or listened to her read, well, first of all pity that. Second of all, she’s hilarious. The last time I did a reading with her, she went right before me, and had everyone in stitches (myself included). As I was walking up to the front of the room to read, I heard someone in the audience mutter, “Poor Jeff.”
Yeah, that’s what following her is like. She’s that awesome. But, I’ll do my best. I may at least garner some sympathy from the audience. (I’m not proud; I’ll work any angle I can.)
I’m also going to be on a panel, “Young Adult vs. New Adult: The Complications of Writing for Teens and Tweens,” with Trebor Healey, Greg Herren (my editor!) and Sassafras Lowery, so I’d better know what I’m talking about. My colleague Rebekah Weatherspoon recently wrote about this on her blog as she’s trying to sort out just what New Adult means as a category. Katie Baker also wrote about it at Jezebel. Is it a legitimate category, or a creation of marketing? A byproduct of the growth of self-publishing? Haven’t writers always been writing about these sorts of characters? Wouldn’t Less than Zero and The Secret History technically fall into this category? Is this a rose by any other name? “And hey, what’s with all these questions?” you ask.
Looking at the schedule, I don’t know how I’m going to choose among all the other panels and readings on offer. So many good and intriguing options. I can’t wait!