First things first, I want to start by saying I absolutely adore Kristen, Nicola, and Rachel for hosting this and giving these authors a chance to highlight and sell their books to the masses. A huge "You guys rock!" to them. I only wish to be as awesome as the three of you at some point in my life. I am going to give you guys a quick rundown of the chat and I am going to do my best to feature every author that participated!
There were six questions (plus one of my own), so I am going to highlight three of my favourite answers for each. Feel free to scroll through my favourites on Twitter to read all my favourite answers and see about these glorious books!
The first question asked was for everyone to introduce themselves! It got the authors and Twitter users talking about the books and a short little blurb about the book itself. Some of my favourite answers were...
Hello #FAC16! I'm Marieke, and I'm the author of THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS, a dark contemp YA about a school shooting. (http://t.co/7d23DlAOkR)— Marieke Nijkamp (@mariekeyn) July 19, 2015
A1) I wrote thriller CROSSING THE LINE-My MC was kidnapped+raised a N.Korean spy and now must work with her US enemies to get revenge #FAC16— meghan rogers (@meghanrogers) July 19, 2015
Q1) I'm Jeff Zentner, author of THE SERPENT KING, about the son of a snakehandling preacher and his friends in rural Tennessee #FAC16— Jeff Zentner (@jeffzentner) July 19, 2015
A1 UNSCRIPTED JOSS BYRD: child star hides learning disability, crushes on movie brother, struggles w demanding mom & gritty script #fac16— Lygia Day Peñaflor (@lygiaday) July 19, 2015
#FAC16 My bk, LEARNING TO SWEAR IN AMERICA is a contemp w light sci fi crossover.— Katie Kennedy (@KatieWritesBks) July 19, 2015
Q1: Hi #FAC16! I'm Sonya, and my novel GEMINI is about conjoined twins figuring out how to navigate life & love on the verge of adulthood.— Sonya Mukherjee (@sonyamukherjee) July 19, 2015
A1: PHANTOM LIMBS is a story of childhood friendships, first loves, and the kind of losses that shape us forever. #FAC16— Paula Garner (@paulajgarner) July 19, 2015
A1: Swell to be here! I'm Darcy Woods. My YA contemp SUMMER OF SUPERNOVAS has misaligned hearts & astrological charts. Kissing Loss #FAC16— Darcy Woods (@woodswrite) July 19, 2015
Q1) Hi! I wrote a dark kissing book: THE GIRL WHO FELL. Good girl meets amazing guy and he doesn’t ever want to let her go. EVER. #FAC16— Shannon M. Parker (@shannonmparker) July 19, 2015
Hi! I'm Michelle & THE WAY BACK TO YOU is about 2 teens (+ a kitten!) who road trip to find their deceased friend's organ recipients. #FAC16— Michelle Andreani (@michelle_etc) July 19, 2015
Next was asked why the authors wrote contemporary instead of something like fantasy/science fiction. The authors replied with...
A2) I probs write contemporary because it's easiest for me to be funny that way--but the fanfics within the book are light sci-fi! #fac16— Anna Breslaw (@annabreslaw) July 19, 2015
A2 My mind doesn’t really travel beyond this world--there’s enough for me here--but I’m amazed by minds that do. #fac16— Lygia Day Peñaflor (@lygiaday) July 19, 2015
Q2: I adore YA fantasy—I cut my teeth on Mercedes Lackey—but wanted to imagine a teen girl Holmes. That focus and intensity. #fac16— Brittany Cavallaro (@skippingstones) July 19, 2015
Third was did any real life events or experiences spark the idea for the story. My favourite answers were...
#FAC16 Q3) My bk has incoming asteroid--so no to being based on real event. Hope it stays that way.— Katie Kennedy (@KatieWritesBks) July 19, 2015
Q3: So in a way, FIRSTS was inspired by every teen girl who has been judged or shamed for having sex. You deserve better. #FAC16— Laurie E. Flynn (@laurellizabeth) July 19, 2015
Q3) So much of my writing is real life, including the part where I threw up on the cute boy playing chicken. #FAC16 https://t.co/eGbL1rH5pw— Erin L. Schneider (@ErinLSchneider1) July 19, 2015
Q3) THE GIRL WHO FELL is fiction but definitely grew out of my work listening to struggling teens and parenting teens #FAC16— Shannon M. Parker (@shannonmparker) July 19, 2015
The fourth question was about what contemporary novels that had been recently read and what recs were to be had. Some of the best answers were...
A4) THE LOVE THAT SPLIT THE WORLD by @EmilyHenryWrite! Tearing through it (on the beach right now, in fact)!! #fac16 pic.twitter.com/rrLYDQkGst— Anna Breslaw (@annabreslaw) July 19, 2015
Q4) Also, I read these a while back, but THE FIRST TIME SHE DROWNED by @kkletter and HOW TO HANG A WITCH by @AdrianaMather are BRILLZ #FAC16— Jeff Zentner (@jeffzentner) July 19, 2015
Q4 #FAC16 Morgan Matson's Second Chance Summer had me SOBBING on the bus; ditto Jenny Han's PS I Still Love You https://t.co/L2y5pAhioc— harrietreuterhapgood (@hapgoodness) July 19, 2015
Fifth was if they could spend the day with their main character, what would they do (besides Starbucks). Some of my favourite answers were...
A5) Jocelyn is a spy + retrieval specialist so I think we would steal something-but for someone who’s been wronged, Robin Hood style! #FAC16— meghan rogers (@meghanrogers) July 19, 2015
Q5: We would definitely hit up a comic book store and then grab a bite to eat while debating DC vs. Marvel #FAC16— Robin Reul (@Robinreul) July 19, 2015
The last question was what the main character's ideal lazy day was. The authors responded with...Q5: As for me & Charlotte Holmes, she’d talk me into giving her my firstborn for some experiment & then a little breaking & entering #fac16— Brittany Cavallaro (@skippingstones) July 19, 2015
A6) Phoebe's ideal day would probably be bookstore for a new release, and then curling up in a cozy spot to devour it #FAC16— Isabel Bandeira (@Emberchyld) July 19, 2015
A6) Her ideal lazy day would involve rereading all of Harry Potter and highlighting any erotic Remus/Sirius subtext. #fac16— Anna Breslaw (@annabreslaw) July 19, 2015
A6 Joss just wants to be served poolside like on that Sandals commercial. #fac16— Lygia Day Peñaflor (@lygiaday) July 19, 2015
A6 Sam would probably cook something to chill out. Or go to the batting cages. Hadley would read on her bed w/ her cat b/c she is me. #FAC16— Ashley Herring Blake (@ashleyhblake) July 19, 2015
I asked: What inspired the names for your characters? Did they just come to you or did you look up the meaning before giving it to them? Some of the responses I got were...
@booksandladders FUN FACT: My MC was Hank but his last name is named after my friend, YA author Jessi Kirby @JessiKirby #FAC16— Robin Reul (@Robinreul) July 19, 2015
@booksandladders I spend hours looking at baby name charts and Social Security data for the years each character was born.— Sonya Mukherjee (@sonyamukherjee) July 19, 2015
.@booksandladders Character Names: 'Riley' surfaced with a bang after much listing and testing. 'Solo' came from Star Wars. #FAC16— Jeff Garvin (@jeffgarvinbooks) July 19, 2015
Joss Byrd was nameless for the longest time. Then one day she was Joss and I was like, of couuuurse she is!!! #fac16— Lygia Day Peñaflor (@lygiaday) July 19, 2015
My ThoughtsComing out of it, I have learned quite a bit about the books being published next year that fall into one of the aforementioned categories. I am going to share my thoughts and opinions as well as tell you the books that I am purchasing/preordering IMMEDIATELY (aka I already preordered it and/or it is not available for preorder but once it is I will be buying it).
This in no way should affect what books you like and want to buy and is strictly my opinion.
These books sounded so intriguing to me on premise alone that I had to snatch them up right away. I am actively seeking their preorder information so I can buy them right meow.
- Firsts by Laurie E Flynn
Find Laurie on Twitter: @laurellizabeth
Release Date: January 5th 2016
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Summary:Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself.
Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.
When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, FIRSTS is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up.
Why I'm so taken with it: A girl who is comfortable in her sexuality and sexual experiences? Sign me up. I think it has the perfect premise and I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy
Preorder: Chapters | Amazon
- Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff GarvinFind Jeff on Twitter: @jeffgarvinbooks
Release Date: February 2nd 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
The first thing you’re going to want to know about me is: Am I a boy, or am I a girl?
Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock. Snarky. Rebellious. And gender fluid. Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and others as a girl. The thing is . . . Riley isn’t exactly out yet. And between starting a new school and having a congressman father running for reelection in uber-conservative Orange County, the pressure—media and otherwise—is building up in Riley’s so-called “normal” life.
On the advice of a therapist, Riley starts an anonymous blog to vent those pent-up feelings and tell the truth of what it’s REALLY like to be a gender-fluid teenager. But just as Riley’s starting to settle in at school—even developing feelings for a mysterious outcast—the blog goes viral, and an unnamed commenter discovers Riley’s real identity, threatening exposure. Riley must make a choice: walk away from what the blog has created—a lifeline, new friends, a cause to believe in—or stand up, come out, and risk everything.
Why I'm so taken with it: I don't even need to explain this in my opinion, this sounds like the best LBGTQ+ book I've ever read the summary for ever.
Preorder: Chapters | Amazon
- The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin@thatEmilyMartin
Release Date: January 26th 2016
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Summary:In the tradition of Sarah Dessen, this powerful debut novel is a compelling portrait of a young girl coping with her mother's cancer as she figures out how to learn from - and fix - her past.
Few things come as naturally to Harper as epic mistakes. In the past year she was kicked off the swim team, earned a reputation as Carson High's easiest hook-up, and officially become the black sheep of her family. But her worst mistake was destroying her relationship with her best friend, Declan.
Now, after two semesters of silence, Declan is home from boarding school for the summer. Everything about him is different - he's taller, stronger...more handsome. Harper has changed, too, especially in the wake of her mom's cancer diagnosis.
While Declan wants nothing to do with Harper, he's still Declan, her Declan, and the only person she wants to talk to about what's really going on. But he's also the one person she's lost the right to seek comfort from.
As their mutual friends and shared histories draw them together again, Harper and Declan must decide which parts of their past are still salvageable, and which parts they'll have to let go of once and for all.
In this honest and affecting tale of friendship and first love, Emily Martin brings to vivid life the trials and struggles of high school and the ability to learn from past mistakes over the course of one steamy North Carolina summer.
Why I'm so taken with it: This sounds like the perfect beach read and if it is anything like a Sarah Dessen novel, I know it is going to be fantastic.
Preorder: Chapters | Amazon
- My Kind of Crazy by Robin Reul
Find Robin on Twitter: @Robinreul
Release Date: April 2016
Publisher: Sourcefire Books
Pitched as Freaks and Geeks meets The Spectacular Now. After his promposal goes up in flames (literally), down-on-his-luck Hank strikes up an unusual friendship with a budding pyromaniac, who is struggling with her own darkness and thinks he may be a kindred spirit.
Preorder: Chapters | Amazon
To find out more about all the books that are debuting in 2016, check out Kristen's post! It has the summaries of the books as well as the Goodread links and any other information you may want to know about when they will be published, who by, etc.
Thanks again to all the authors for participating and to Kristen, Nicola, and Rachel for being such lovely hosts. I cannot wait for 2016, even though I am sure my bank account can! Don't forget to join in next Sunday (July 26th) for the LAST #FAC16!
What books from the #FAC16 are you guys checking out?! Sound off in the comments! Lots of love and happy reading! xx