TTBF14: Is This Real Life


“Is This Real Life Panel” in conversation w/ Leslye Walton, A.S King, Scott Westerfeld, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, & Cory


Q: Describe your latest book using only adjectives.

A: Guadalupe: “Corky, Scary, Funny, & Magically”

Cory: “Justice-y, Game-y, Swear-y, Fighting-y, China-y, & Graphic-y”

Leslye: “Delicious, Sorrowful, Tragic, & Rainy”

Scott: “Scary, Paranormal, Romantic, Exciting, Publisher-y, & Gender-y”

A.S: “Feminist-y, Future-y & Paste-y, Funny, & Sad”

Favorite Quote:

“All that is sweet is paid for in time”- Cory Doctrow


Q: As Authors & as Teachers do you think this interaction with kids change the way you


A: Guadalupe: “I get this wonderful opportunity to not only interact with young minds but to find out what they want, what they are most interested in, what they hope for the future, and so to me, that is what I gain out of being in the classroom everyday. I get to listen to their hopes and dreams, and help them validate them and help make them come true. It informs my writing because I start to look at the bigger picture.”

Leslye: “I find that my students help me more than I help them, especially when it comes to my writing. I wrote Ava Lavender thinking that it was going to be adult fiction but we ended up selling it as YA. I teach a lot of boys. What I learned about middle school boys is that they pine and love the same way middle school girls do. I had no idea that they felt this way until one of the boys came into the classroom and just fell on the floor because of how much his heart hurt. Boys care so much! What I want to know is why adult men don’t care that way? So, I tell my girls do not break these boys before they become men. I fell like my characters are much more real because of the kids I teach.”


Q: When you first started writing, twitter and Facebook weren’t around but now they’re sort of required. How has that added to your work? Do you feel like its enriching or too much of a distraction?

A: Scott: ” I don’t feel like it’s a distraction. If it were, I wouldn’t do it. You dont have to do it but I get a lot out of it because I get to interact. I get the joy and privilege of meeting and talking to thousands of teenagers. I get to see what things I say on twitter are repeated or start trending. It’s like I get to hear the exact moment my book is thrown across the room. Teenagers are much more specific about they’re complaints. They want to know why that character died or why they are named like they are. And you also get to read FanFiction. Which shows you the parts that they want to see that you left out. One thing I love about FanFiction is the quiet down time that the characters have together. Not when anything big is happening. We rob our readers of down time because we have to get to the next plot point.”

A.S: Facebook creeps me out a bit but I love twitter because people get to ask question. I love getting letters from my readers. Maybe I write FanFiction because most of my books are about people sitting around and talking. I love the internet because I was an activist since the early eighties and I feel like it connects us better than anything else can. In your book, Glory O’ Brien drinks a bat, which gives her powers to see people’s affinity. She sees some terrible things. How did you come across that idea?

Favorite Quote

“I find FanFiction to be beautiful.”- Scott Westerfeld



This was a fun and inspiring panel that will get all the TTBF attendees to go home and write!