Truth & Consequences, #ATBF13


~post by Collette & Willa of the Teen Press Corps

Truth and Consequences Panel

Authors: Rob Thomas, Sean Beaudoin, Jo Knowles, E. Kristin Anderson, Jenny Han, Siobhan Vivian, Bill Konigsberg

They got right down into it at the Truth & Consequences #ATBF13 panel. They first started to talk about YA books and why most YA books have a romantic tone to them. Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian agreed that romance appears in most YA books because of the “cover up” aspect to romance. No matter what your’e feeling – down, angry, lonely, whatever – you can just hide from it and forget about it in the middle of a good snog.

“If I’m thinking of a book as an ‘issue book’, I can’t hone in on what it’s about, so I usually focus on characters.” – Bill Konigsberg

The authors then shared their thoughts about some of their books being banned from school libraries. Everyone seemed to take pride in the fact that their books were banned. They feel it’s unfair for adults to pretend that they never did anything wrong while they were in high school. They felt like their books brought those topics to the table and help adults remember what it was like when they were making mistakes.

“I know that if I was a teenager in that town [where a book had been banned] the first thing I would’ve done was go out and buy that book.” – Rob Thomas

Then, the panel answered some questions.

Q; Why Do You Write “Realistic Fiction”?

BK: “I want kids who aren’t gay to look at these books.”
JK: “We’re writing what happens to teens everyday, and I think what makes these books controversial is that adults don’t want to think about these things.”

Q: Why is it that almost every YA has romance:
RT: “Romance is the high drama for Young Adult life…. It was the soap-opera of my life.”
SV: “For me, it was the relationships with my girlfriends that was the chruner (not boyfriends). For me, the boys were the band-aids.”