Thursday, June 27, 2013

Openly YA Event Recap

Thursday, June 27, 2013
I have family who live two minutes away from Clinton Book Shop, an amazing book store that hosts tons of awesome events. So it was the perfect win-win scenario when I got to visit them and go to the Openly YA event with David Levithan, A.S. King, Alex London, Aaron Hartzler, and Bill Konigsberg.

The Openly YA tour is in honor of Boy Meets Boy's ten year anniversary. Levithan's Two Boys Kissing is also coming out this August (and we were fortunate enough to hear a passage from it, which is actually set in Clinton Book Shop!). I had read many of Levithan's and King's books, as well as Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg, before the event, and I'm also a strong supporter of gay rights. So basically, I was so, so, so excited.

And, well, since the event started out with four of the authors Prancercising, I knew it was going to be awesome. (Yes, you really do want to watch the video that the owners of Clinton Book Shop thankfully recorded.)

Once the event formally started, the awesome continued. The discussions concerning gay characters in YA lit were really interesting, and one point in particular really stuck out to me. I think it was David Levithan who said, "There is no 'gay section' in YA, like there is in Adult fiction." 

It's not something I had ever really considered before, but we're the first generation who doesn't segregate our books. We have heterosexual romances placed right next to homosexual romances and it's no big deal. And isn't that kind of beautiful? A lot of this is due to David Levithan because Boy Meets Boy was so groundbreaking. Without it (and Levithan's The Realm of Possibility), the other authors said that their books could have never happened.

As A.S. King put it, "You [David Levithan] are the father of us all!"

There was also just some good ole bookish fun, including this one quote that David said, "Writers write the stories they need to write." All of the authors read a bit from their books. One of the best moments was after Aaron and Alex had read. Aaron's segment had been a kind of steamy, kind of humorous scene while Alex's was full of sci-fi adventures. When they were done, David goes, "So one's an action book and one's a book with action." (C'mon, you chuckled at that a little bit.)

Then it was time for the signing, which means it's time for a funny backstory.

The Thursday before the signing, I had tweeted that I was going on a Barnes and Noble trip and had asked for recommendations. And who replied but Alex London who, of course, had no idea that I would be going to the Openly YA event the next day.

On Friday I bought a copy of Alex's book (Proxy) and went up to him to have it signed. My first words to him were, "So I followed your twitter suggestion." He's a really cool guy and we ended up having a pretty extensive conversation about Doctor Who, including Captain Jack Harkness, Moffat v. RTD, and the possibility of a female doctor. (When talking about people who don't like David Tennant, Alex said, "They must be heartless and evil inside." Truer words have never been spoken.)

Also, Alex took a picture of us, so you can all finally see what I look like. (Because I know this was a major concern, haha.)
The photo on the Left is from Alex's Instagram. The one on the Right is of his hysterical inscription.

I also got a copy of Every Day signed by David Levithan (it's one of my FAVORITE books, so I was a little bit ecstatic) and got to chat with him for a bit. Bill Konigsberg signed a This is Teen sticker to put in my copy of Openly Straight, which is pretty sweet. If I had had enough money, I would have bought a copy of Rapture Practice, too, but I had, unfortunately, spent my last dime. As soon as I have the money, though, I'm planning on getting a copy! 
It was such a fantastic night. Thank you so much to Clinton Book Shop for hosting!

Have you ever been to an author event?


  1. It's WONDERFUL to see your face! What a fantastic signing. Rapture Practice is really good (I have the iBook, wonder if it's lendable...going to look) xx

    1. I'm glad you liked Rapture Practice. That would be awesome if it is lendable- thank you!! :D

  2. I'm glad to see a picture of you ^^
    A nice event! I would like to read Every Day (but the french cover is awful...)
    Au revoir~

    1. Il est possible que Every Day sera un des livres dans ton colis! :)


Your comments brighten my day. :)