New Chat with Julie Murphy for SLJ

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Had a great time chatting the other day with my friend (the very smart, funny, and beautiful) Julie Murphy. We gabbed about her new book DUMPLIN’, my new book WHAT WE SAW, and everything from what it means to be a feminist to our Christian high school connection. Here’s the link to the full piece at School Library Journal!

April 12—L.A. Times FOB, YA & MG, Day 1

LA Times FOB

 

 

 

Saturday, April 12

L.A. Times Festival of Books | University of Southern California | Directions | Parking Map

Follow LA Times FOB on Twitter!
Official Twitter Hashtag: #bookfest

L.A. Times Festival of Books is held each year on the campus of USC for two days, and is (in my humble opinion) the finest and most well-organized book festival in the country. I highly recommend that you come join me (and a bunch of my YA cohorts) for two days of non-stop fun on the Young Adult Stage. I’ll be running around with the microphone playing Oprah at many of the panels listed below. We always take questions from the crowd, and afterwards you can buy books and get them signed by the authors.

In addition to the panels outside on the Y.A. stage, there are MANY ticketed Y.A. panels this year. WAY more than last year. This year, on 4/12, The Powers That Be (NOT ME) have even managed to pit Rainbow Rowell and John Green against each other in a time slot, so you should come and see if there’s a Celebrity Death Match-type situation that develops…(KIDDING!) (Kinda.)


 

Y.A. Stage—Day 1—April 12

(Day 2 – April 13 schedule – CLICK HERE!)

10:30 a.m. Young Adult Fiction: Haunted
Jonathan Auxier
Francesca Lia Block
Ransom Riggs
Moderator: Aaron Hartzler
12:00 p.m. Young Adult Fiction: Putting the Story in HiSTORY
Katie Alender
Andrea Cremer
Rachel Shukert
Moderator: Cecil Castellucci
1:30 p.m. Young Adult Fantasy: Worlds Beyond Imagination
Kelley Armstrong
Tony DiTerlizzi
Rachel Hawkins
Neal Shusterman
Moderator: Denise Hamilton
3:00 p.m. Young Adult Nonfiction: Where the Truth Lies
Georgia Bragg
Aaron Hartzler
James L. Swanson
Maya Van Wagenen
Moderator: Paula Yoo
4:30 p.m. Young Adult Fiction: Adrenaline Rush
Stephanie Kuehn
Abby McDonald
Lauren Oliver
Sarah Skilton
Moderator: Aaron Hartzler

Ticketed Y.A. Panels—Day 1—April 12

In addition to all of the action on Saturday at the Young Adult Stage, there will be many different ticketed panels and author conversations. These are held at indoor venues   with climate control, far away from the hoi polloi. Location, times, and panelists are listed below by venue. To attend one of these sessions you must reserve a ticket in advance, available starting April 6thClick here for information on the options available for reserving a ticket.

Salvatori Computer Science Center (SAL 101)

10:30 a.m.
Picture This: Young Adult Graphic Novels (Conversation 1041)
Gris Grimly
Jen Wang
Gene Luen Yang
Moderator: Hope Larson
12:00 p.m.
Middle Grade Fiction: Stories in Series (Conversation 1042)
D.J. MacHale
Ridley Pearson
Jonathan Stroud
Moderator: Jonathan Hunt
4:30 p.m.
Young Adult Fiction: It’s the End of the World
As We Know It 
(Conversation 1045)
T. Cooper
Allison Glock-Cooper
Tahereh Mafi
Lydia Millet
Moderator: Cecil Castellucci

Norris Theater

10:30 a.m.
Middle Grade Fiction: In BeTWEEN Tales (Conversation 1091)
Lisa Greenwald
John Rocco
Joyce Sidman
Holly Goldberg Sloan
Moderator: Rollie Welch
12:00 p.m.
Young Adult Fiction: Testing the Boundaries (Conversation 1092)
E. Lockhart
Rainbow Rowell
Andrew Smith
John Corey Whaley
Moderator: Aaron Hartzler
1:30 p.m.
Middle Grade Fiction: Growing Pains (Conversation 1093)
James Howe
Jenny Lee
Megan McCafferty
Moderator: Holly Goldberg Sloan
3:00 p.m.
Young Adult Fiction: Writing Culture & Identity (Conversation 1094)
Maurene Goo
Cynthia Kadohata
Gene Luen Yang
Moderator: Lynn Rutan
4:30 p.m.
Young Adult Fantasy: The Real & the Unreal (Conversation 1095)
Soman Chainani
Cynthia Leitich Smith
Margaret Stohl
Laini Taylor
Moderator: John Corey Whaley

Bovard Auditorium

12:30 p.m.
John Green, Author of THE FAULT IN OUR STARS,
in Conversation with David L. Ulin 
(Conversation 1052)
John Green Moderator: David L. Ulin

 

April 13—L.A. Times FOB, YA & MG, Day 2

LA Times FOB

 

 

 

Sunday, April 13

L.A. Times Festival of Books | University of Southern California | Directions | Parking Map

Follow LA Times FOB on Twitter!
Official Twitter Hashtag: #bookfest

In addition to the panels outside on the Y.A. stage, there are MANY ticketed Y.A. panels on 4/13. (Details below). You may have to stage your very own insurgency to get a seat for Veronica Roth chatting with Leigh Bardugo at 11 a.m. (They were great at YAllfest last fall.) Have your clicker fingers ready on April 6th to get that ticket.

Stephen Chbosky is showing up at high noon to interview the lovely and talented Ava Dellaira about her fantastic debut novel, Love Letters to the Dead. (You can read the first five chapters for free at that link. Do it!)

Or, if that seems too traumatic because, well, ALL THE FEELS, you can come yuck it up with me, Robin Benway, Lauren Myracle, and the Fug Girls on the YA Stage. We might talk about books. Or we might talk about how Claire Underwood could single-handedly bring back the anklet if she decided to. One never knows…

Claire Underwood

 

Y.A. Stage—Day 2—April 13

(Day 1 – April 12th Schedule – CLICK HERE!)

10:30 a.m. Young Adult Fiction: Square Peg, Round Hole
Ken Baker
Elizabeth Eulberg
Bill Konigsberg
Amy Spalding
Moderator: Aaron Hartzler
12:00 p.m. Young Adult Fiction: A Little Help from My Friends
Robin Benway
Heather Cocks
Jessica Morgan
Lauren Myracle
Moderator: Aaron Hartzler
1:30 p.m. Young Adult Sci-Fi: Fantastical Tales
Leigh Bardugo
Cecil Castellucci
Sarah J. Maas
Marissa Meyer
Moderator: Andrew Smith
3:00 p.m. Young Adult Nonfiction: Told from the Heart
Emery Lord
Stephanie Perkins
Joanna Philbin
Moderator: Amy Spaulding

Ticketed Y.A. Panels—Day 2—April 13

As mentioned above,there will be MANY ticketed panels about YA and Middle Grade books at inside venues with climate control, far away from the hoi polloi. Location, times, and panelists are listed below (by location). To attend one of these sessions you must reserve a ticket in advance, available starting April 6thClick here for information on the options available for reserving a ticket.

Norris Theater

10:30 a.m.
Young Adult Fiction: Somewhere in Time (Conversation 2091)
Ann Brashares
Eoin Colfer
Melissa de la Cruz
Tamara Ireland Stone
Moderator: Sonya Sones
12:00 p.m.
Ava Dellaira, Author of LOVE LETTERS TO THE DEAD,
in Conversation with Stephen Chbosky 
(Conversation 2092)
Ava Dellaira
Moderator: Stephen Chbosky
1:30 p.m.
Young Adult Fiction: Outside Looking In (Conversation 2093)
Carrie Arcos
Deb Caletti
Anna Shinoda
Megan McCafferty
Moderator: Stephanie Kuehn
3:00 p.m.
Laurie Halse Anderson, Author of THE IMPOSSIBLE KNIFE OF MEMORY, in Conversation with Susan Carpenter (Conversation 2094)
Laurie Halse Anderson Moderator: Susan Carpenter

Bovard Auditorium

12:30 p.m.
Veronica Roth, Author of THE DIVERGENT TRILOGY, 
in Conversation with Leigh Bardugo. (Conversation 2051)
Veronica Roth Moderator: Leigh Bardugo
12:30 p.m.
Daniel Handler, Author of FILE UNDER:
13 SUSPICIOUS INCIDENTS, in Conversation with
Ransom Riggs 
(Conversation 2052)
Daniel Handler Moderator: Ransom Riggs

 

Rapture Practice Paperback COVER REVEAL!

I KNOW, RIGHT? IT’S AMAZING. I LOVE THIS COVER.

Paperback is out on June 10, 2014, with a NEW AFTERWORD by the author. (That would be me.) You can preorder now. Or you can just sit and gaze at this incredible cover for a moment. It was designed by the epically talented Maggie Edkins.

paperback cover

 

 

Thank You Texas Library Association!

Rapture Practice made the Texas Library Association’s 2014 TAYSHAS Reading List. This is a list of books recommended by TLA as supplemental reading suggestions. Texas librarians? YOU ROCK!

Frodo’s Halo: 2013 YALLFest Recap

This past weekend in Charleston, South Carolina, I participated in a young adult book festival called “YALLFest.” (Get it? YA books? The South? “y’all”?) The festival ran like a well-oiled machine thanks mainly to the brilliance and hard work of my friends Margaret Stohl, Melissa De La Cruz, and Pseudonymous Bosch.

I moderated a panel on contemporary realism in young adult literature with a whole gang of brilliant people, including Rainbow Rowell whom I had never met, but who is now hands-down one of my favorite people ever. Here is a picture of me on stage during that panel. I appear to be doing some sort of strange salute.

YAllFest Panel

(From L: Rainbow Rowell, Stephanie Perkins, David Levithan, Ellen Hopkins, Gayle Forman, Rachel Cohn, Aaron Hartzler.)

Directly following, I participated in the “After the Rainbow” panel about LGBT YA, sort of a recap of our “Openly YA” tour, moderated this time by straight (but not narrow) Dan Ehrenhaft.

YAllFest "After the Rainbow" panel

(From L: Aaron Hartzler, Bill Konigsberg, David Levithan, Alex London.)

Rounding out the day’s events was something called “YA Smackdown” which was orchestrated by the dashing Adam Gidwitz and the beautiful Gayle Forman. This event was sort of…well…indescribable. Allow me to sum it up (very poorly) by saying it was a bunch of YA authors playing improv games with suggestions by an incredibly enthusiastic, sold-out audience.

During this event, two teams of authors were tasked with writing lyrics to the tune of popular chart toppers using books suggested by the audience. The title I was given was Lord of the Rings. The song? Beyoncé’s “Halo.” It was a time crunch, but I turned out some lyrics. Barnabas Miller took to the mic and sang like the rock god that he is. Below is the video that resulted.

Also, due to public demand, I’ve pasted the lyrics beneath, just in case you want to sing along. Or take this idea to Broadway. I mean, if Spiderman can be a musical, maybe we can get Beyoncé to play Galadriel?

FRODO
Lyrics by Aaron Hartzler
(To be sung to Beyonce’s “Halo”)

Remember that ring you found?
Well baby it’s really bad
It was forged in the fires of Mount Doom
It’s making Middle Earth real sad
Frodo’s gonna save the world
He’s a little Hobbit from The Shire
Give him that ring and some pipe-weed
And send him off to the fire

Now that Frodo’s been awakened
Every Hobbit rule he’s breakin’
It’s the risk that he’s takin’
He ain’t never gonna let you down.

Everywhere he’s going now
Saruman can see his face
But Sam will never leave you, Frodo
He knows you’re our saving grace
An elf, a wizard, and a dwarf
Are fightin’ hard to keep you safe
Strider’s gonna fight the orcs off
And help you go all the way

I can feel you Frodo, Frodo, Frodo
I can see you’re so close, so close, so close
I can feel you Frodo, Frodo, Frodo
I can see you’re so close, so close
Frodo, ooo, ooo

Gollum used to love that ring
Kept him in the darkest night
It’s his Preciousss that he really wants
Cause he’s addicted to its light
But Frodo swore he’d take that ring
And toss it back into the fire
He’ll even lose a finger now
So middle earth can have a king again

Now that Frodo’s been awakened
Every Hobbit rule he’s breakin’
It’s the risk that he’s takin’
He ain’t never gonna let you down.

Everywhere he’s going now
Saruman can see his face
But Sam will never leave you, Frodo
He knows you’re our saving grace
An elf, a wizard, and a dwarf
Are fightin’ hard to keep you safe
Strider’s gonna fight the orcs off
And help you go all the way

I can feel you Frodo, Frodo, Frodo
I can see you’re so close, so close, so close
I can feel you Frodo, Frodo, Frodo
I can see you’re so close, so close
Frodo, ooo, ooo
I can feel you Frodo, Frodo, Frodo
I can see you’re so close, so close, so close
I can feel you Frodo, Frodo, Frodo
I can see you’re so close, so close
Frodo, ooo, ooo
Frodo, ooo, ooo
Frodo, ooo, ooo, oh

YALLFest — Saturday, November 9th

YALLFest

November 9th, 2013

YALLFest 2013
Charleston Music Hall
37 John Street
Charleston, SC 29403

I’ll be at YALLFest in Charleston on Saturday, November 9th, along with a list of the who’s who of Young Adult literature. Full schedule here. I’ll be moderating one panel, and on another. In the evening, I’ve been roped into participating in something called “YA Smackdown” for which I’m pretty sure I already regret signing up. (I blame Melissa De La Cruz.)

In addition to the panels below, there is a full schedule of book signings. Click here to see who will be signing where and whenHope to see you there.

Saturday, 11/9, 11 AM – “All the Feels”

YALLfest-Panel1
Not all YA has vampires!
I’ll be moderating this panel about realistic, contemporary writing for young adults. Hopefully I’ll be able to form sentences beneath the glare of the blinding star power represented here. (I’m not sure why they’re even letting me on stage with these people. They’re all huge bestsellers.)

Saturday, 11/9, 12 PM – “After the Rainbow”

OPENLY YA

The “Openly YA” Tour Continues!
This time we’re joined by a straight guy! Dan Ehrenhaft is moderating our dog and pony show about the state of LGBT young adult literature.

Openly YA Tour

OPENLY YA

June 19-22, 2013

In celebration of Gay Pride, join David Levithan, Bill Konigsberg, Alex London and me for a series of events as we read from and sign our latest YA books—all of which feature teen characters grappling with their sexuality and growing up.  The four of us will be doing a little whistle-stop tour beginning Wednesday, June 19, and A.S. King will join us for a chat at Clinton Book Shop on Friday, June 21st. Hope to see you along the way!

Wednesday, June 19,  7 p.m.
McNally Jackson Bookstore
52 Prince St New York, NY 10012
(212) 274-1160

Thursday, June 20, 3 p.m.
Children’s Book World
17 Station Rd Haverford, PA 19041
(610) 642-6274

Thursday, June 20, 5:30 p.m.
Giovanni’s Room
345 S 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 923-2960

Friday, June 21, 7 p.m. — With A.S. King!
Clinton Book Shop
12 E Main St, Clinton, NJ 08809
(908) 735-8811

Saturday, June 22, 2 p.m.
Books of Wonder
18 W 18th St New York, NY 10011
(212) 989-3270

 

April 20—L.A. Times Panel: Faith & Gay Identity

LATimesFOB

 

 

 

Inner Self: Faith & Gay Identity

Saturday, April 20, 3:00 p.m. | USC’s Ronald Tutor Campus Center | Directions | Parking Map

As we’re waiting for the Supreme Court to hand down rulings about gay marriage and DOMA, this panel seems to hit some very timely issues. I’m really eager to chat with Chris and Jeff about this intersection of sexual orientation and faith, which—at times in my own experience and the culture at large—have seemed to be on a collision course.

Each of us on the panel has a book out this year dealing with sexuality and spirituality. Mitchell Landsberg, who writes for the L.A. Times, will be moderating. Hope you can join us!

NOTE: To attend this panel you must reserve a $1.00 ticket in advance, or pick up a free before the event on 4/20 at Booth #464. Click here for details on the options available for reserving a ticket. (L.A. Times Festival of Books Conversation 1064.)


About the Panelists

Jeff ChuJeff Chu—Does Jesus Really Love Me?

Jeff Chu, an editor and writer at Fast Company, leads the magazine’s coverage of China, philanthropy, and urban affairs. Before coming to Fast Company, he spent a very long nine months at the now-defunct Conde Nast Portfolio and seven years at Time magazine, where he was a London-based staff writer (his first cover story was on Britney Spears and her Swedish songwriter, Max Martin) and then a New York-based writer and editor. The grandson of a Baptist preacher, he has written and reported extensively on religion, both at Time and at Fast Company.

Chris StedmanChris Stedman—Faitheist

Chris Stedman is the Assistant Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University and the Values 
in Action Coordinator for the Humanist Community at Harvard (where he was previously
 the inaugural Interfaith and Community Service Fellow). In addition, he works as The Emeritus
 Managing Director of State of Formation at the Journal
 of Inter-Religious Dialogue, and founded the first blog
 dedicated to exploring atheist-interfaith engagement,
 NonProphet Status. Chris is the author of Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious, which a starred review in Booklist hailed as “a call to arms for those seeking to bridge the gap between the religious and the secular.”

Jeff ChuAaron Hartzler—Rapture Practice

A writer and actor, Aaron’s autobiographical performances have been seen in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York where he received a GLAAD Media Award nomination for Outstanding Off-Off Broadway Performance. His essays have appeared at Fresh Yarn, Huffington Post, and Salon. His first book, Rapture Practice, is a young adult memoir about his teen age experiences growing up in a fundamentalist home while questioning his faith and sexuality. Kirkus gave the book a starred review, calling it “a hilarious first-of-its-kind story that will surely inspire more.”

10 Questions, 1 Minute

So I stopped by the Little, Brown offices last month and somebody (who shall remain nameless, but her initials are Zoe Luderitz) said, “Hey Aaron. I want you to sit in this chair and answer ten questions for me really fast, okay?”

I said, “Okay.”

Then, this happened: