Well, January 1 has come and gone, and your #TTBF team is now gearing up and getting to work. We’ll be posting more information here, but if you want to be first in line to know the plan, here’s what you need to do.
Take the 2016 TTBF Survey here.
We want to thank everyone who came out to share their day with us. It’s the best thing in the world to see readers meeting their favorite authors and watching the resulting grins and hearing the laughter that result. YOU all make our day, and that’s the reason we do what we do. We hope we made your day on Saturday.
If you attended the fest and would like to help us make next year even better, please take a moment to complete our 2016 survey here.
Thanks again for attending #TTBF 2016! Hope to see you again next year!!
~Interviewed by Sofia, TPC
What is your favorite part about writing a book?
“I think it’s the discovery as I’m writing. Even though most of the time I have a direction as I’m writing, you don’t always know every single detail that you’re going to be putting into a book and sometimes further down the line that detail becomes important. Sometimes it’s kind of like a magical moment.”
Did you write a lot as a kid, or did you start doing it when you were older?
” I wrote a lot as a kid. When I was very young I would write little random stories about scenes- I would see a picture and then I would write a story about what I thought was going on in that picture. I wrote plays- and lots of poems in high school.”
If you could cast a movie version of your book, who would you cast as your main characters?
“I’m not sure, but I do have a Pinterest page (Marysbb) and if you go there I have a ton of pictures of people who could play the characters. And it’s not all about what they look like, it’s a lot about the attitude of the people in the pictures.”
Who do you look up to in the writing world?
What sparked your idea for this book?
“For the Kiss of Deception, I wrote a list of all the things I wanted to explore in the book and one of those things was about watching the news and seeing how history repeats itself over and over again- watching all the ways that we wage war on each other but no matter how much we hate each other and wage war, there are always two young people somewhere that will fall in love and find a way to be together.”
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
” Read. Read a lot. You can take all the classes you want, but reading helps you internalize all the good aspects of writing. Reread the books you love, the first time you read it you can just fall in love, the second time analyze the story. What did the author do to draw out these feelings in you? Then write every day because so many people say they want to write but if you don’t do it, you aren’t exercising those muscles. If you can write just one double spaced page every day, in a year you’ll have a pretty good sized novel.”
~Post by Addison, TPC
When you’re not writing, what do you like to do?
Carrie Jones: I have a lot of dogs. I love my dogs, so I walk them a lot and I hug them a lot. But that sounds like the most lame answer ever, but I also kayak and I hike a lot near Acadia National Park. So basically, I hang out with my friends a lot and I hike and kayak. I’m also in an organization called Rotary International, there’s like 1.3 million members all across the world, and they try to make the world a better place.
Where is your favorite place to write?
“My favorite place is probably really boring cause it’s just my desk, and my second favorite place is my bed, but that sounds really lame. And my third favorite place is the airport, because it’s super busy so it makes me really focused.”
When you were a kid did you know you wanted to be an author, or did you want to be something else?
“I didn’t always want to be a writer because I didn’t realize you could make a living writing, and I didn’t think I could do enough good. Like, I didn’t think that writing was a powerful enough thing to change the world, so I kinda eventually when I got a little bit more mellow I wanted to be a human rights attorney.”
What was your favorite book when you were a kid?
” I think it was probably A Wrinkle in Time. It changed every week, you know, it would always be my favorite book of the week because I read a lot of books every week, but pretty much it was A Wrinkle in Time.”
Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
“I have a series called the Need series, and everyone is always like “are you the main character??” and I’m like no, I’m the best friend who’s kinda dorky and can’t tie her shoes.”
What are you reading right now?
” I’m always reading Sherman Alexie. He’s a poet, and I’m reading some of his poems right now.”
What can readers look forward to next?
“Next I have Flying, which came out in July, it’s sequel Enhanced comes out next July. And Time Stoppers, which is a middle grade based in Maine, came out in April, and I think the next books in that come out next April.”
~Post by Haley, TPC
Contemporary authors Isabel Quintero, Jeffery Self, Paula Garner, and Joe Jimenez participated in a Q&A style panel! The panel was moderated by a fourteen-year-old writer from a small town in north Texas.
Where are y’all from?
Isabel is from southern California, Jeffery currently lives in L.A. (this is his first time visiting Texas!), Paula is from Chicago where her book Phantom Limbs takes place, and Joe is an English teacher in San Antonio.
What inspired your characters?
Joe wanted to recommend books to his students with characters that they can actually relate to and see pieces of themselves in, but there were none out there, so he decided to create his own! Isabel drew inspiration from the people she knew and grew up around in her lifetime. Jeffery wanted to see more stories with LGBT characters who are proud of their sexuality and don’t struggle so much with accepting themselves for who they are. Paula’s son was a swimmer when she first began writing her book, so she knew that the main character would be a swimmer. From there, she discovered that she wanted to play around with the idea of young people having powerful feelings for each other—something that wasn’t just puppy love—and was curious about what would happen if their relationship was severed without closure and the characters met again several years later.
Jeffrey had a very positive experience trying to get published. His publisher really wanted an LGBT story that didn’t focus on coming-out. Isabel’s troubles involved the Spanish phrases and exclamations she strung throughout her novel. She initially italicized everything that was written in Spanish, but realized it felt unnatural.
If you could interview any author right now, who would you choose?
If you could go back and change anything that happened in your life, what would you change?
Isabel would definitely go back and try not to fail Algebra II. But in retrospect, that would mean she would have to retake the class, and she really wouldn’t want to do that. Jeffrey agreed, laughing, “I don’t know why algebra is a thing, or what it is!” Joe admitted he would want to change his birth year so that he could be a teenager during this exciting time of new technology (and the masterpiece that is Twitter).
Then the Q&A opened to audience questions!
For Isabel Quintero— what advice do you have for young girls?
IQ: “Everyone is so concerned about what people have to say. No! Just follow your heart! You do YOU. Do your best to be okay with yourself and the choices you make.”
JS: “No! But I think I have the face for it. It’s a crying shame!”
The Pieces of Me Panel saw everything from laughter to tears, and the room was full of such a contagious energy. Thank you to these amazing authors for sharing their incredible experiences!