The Rochester Teen Book Festival 2013 – Recap One

May 27, 2013 Rochester Teen Book Festival 15

On May 18th, I attended the Rochester Teen Book Festival! I’ve mentioned my attendance before, but now I can share with you all the fun that was had!

The event starts at approximately 8:45am, when the authors arrive by limos and fancy cars. Once things get settled, there is an opening session with all the authors with a bit of Q & A. Let me tell you, the gym was PACKED. I arrived about 20 minutes before this opening session and there was no place to sit. So after a stop at the raffle table (first giveaway is live) and at the bookstore, I was able to stand in the waaaay back and sorta kinda see what was going on. This is about the time I felt like the whole world was staring at me and my suitcase full of books I brought. lol

After the opening session, the authors divide into groups, pairs, or perhaps go solo. They use this opportunity to talk about their books and answer any questions you may have. I had a terrible time deciding who to see, since it was just not possible to include everyone.

I took pics- they are mostly dark and/or far away, and notes- the chicken scratch variety, and I’ve attempted to put them together to share. I’ll do this bulletin style to make things easier.

First session: Marissa Meyer, Lauren DeStefano, Jessica Brody and Mary Pearson

Yes, we’re in a Chapel 

~Marissa Meyer~

  • Marissa says she is an outline writer to an almost neurotic degree. She outlined all four books in the Lunar Chronicles first before she started writing Cinder. But no matter how much she plans, things always change.
  • She thought she would hate researching the technology for the series but actually found it fascinating.
  • Marissa doesn’t usually re-read books because she feels guilty for all the other books out there she wants to read.
  • Marissa first started writing at age 14 – Sailor Moon fanfiction.
  • She would love to write high fantasy someday, something that would require a map at the beginning of the book.
  • She often finds last names for her characters by looking at movie credits.
  • Favorite books include the Harry Potter series (Goblet of Fire is her favorite) and Pride and Prejudice.
~Lauren DeStefano~
  • Lauren says The Chemical Garden series at its core, is about a girl trying to get home.
  • She has to be in the mood to write; has to be enjoying it. She’ll wait for it to hit her and not force anything.
  • Since she is an only child, she tends to write about a family dynamic.
  • Lauren says once her book is in print, it is difficult to read because she will always see them as the manuscript on the Word doc. And she’ll find things to red pen.
  • Her favorite genre to read is historical fiction and she loves anything written by Libba Bray.
  • Naming Linden gave her some trouble but Linden Truffles helped.
  • Lauren likes line editing because writing can be like painting in a dark room where she can’t see what she’s doing.
~Jessica Brody~
  • She only outlines so she has something to deviate from. She likes flying by the seat of her characters’ pantses. (That’s really how she said it lol)
  • She says “Don’t be afraid to write crap, because crap makes great fertilizer.”
  • Jessica hates researching, so her motto is ‘creative liberties’.
  • She’s pretty sure she’s on Homeland Securities watch list for some of the stuff she researches for her books.
  • Sometimes she gets name ideas from book signings. If she sees a cool name, she’ll write it down for later.
  • Seraphina in Unremembered is named for her love of Jennifer Garner, who has a daughter with the name. Funnily enough, Seraphina also has a nickname in the beginning of the novel, Violet, which just so happens to be the name of another one of Jennifer Garner’s daughters.
  • Once based a character after her 9th grade boyfriend. 
~Mary Pearson~
  • Mary likes to write to a word count everyday. It can be intimidating but she looks at it in small chunks.
  • She loves research because it gives her a chance to read.
  • Mary did a lot of research on cutting edge medical research for The Adoration of Jenna Fox and then she bumped it up for the near future world.
  • She uses the phone book for last names.
Second Session: Lisa McMann
It was so dark on the stage- sorry for the bad pic

  • Lisa talked a lot about The Unwanteds (which I have not read). It was all very interesting, and made me want to check the series out.
  • The idea behind The Unwanteds came from her own children when a letter arrived from the school that classes from the arts would be cut.  🙁 So what if there was a world where kids were punished for being creative?
  • She includes her family a lot in her books. She was bouncing ideas off of them and brainstorming The Unwanteds – coming up with the magic spells and rules. 
  • She showed us some drawings her son made of her characters and they were so awesome! 
  • Lisa told us the top secret title of Book four in the Unwanted series. But we were sworn to secrecy! lol
  • She also told us the title of the 3rd book in the Visions series. She didn’t swear us to secrecy on that one but I won’t name it, just in case. The first book is Crash and the 2nd, Bang. I’ll give you a hint though, the 3rd book is not Boom. 🙂
  • Crash was originally a completely different book but she rewrote it because it dealt with narcolepsy and was too similar to the Dream Catcher series.
  • Lisa enjoys juggling writing more than one series at a time. 
  • When she gets stuck in the creative process, she goes to the movies.

So that’s it for part one! Jessica Brody was probably my favorite author to see, though I did love them all. She was absolutely hilarious! I’ll try to get the next one out in a few days. Part two will share with you my sessions with Kate Brian as well as Robin LaFevers and Alexandra Bracken! I’ll also tell you a bit about the signings and maybe share a few pics of my signed books!

Sara @ Forever 17 Books

15 Responses to “The Rochester Teen Book Festival 2013 – Recap One”

  1. Sel

    So amazing, Sara! Jessica Brody’s comment about Homeland Securities is absolutely hilarious 🙂

    Can’t wait to read your recap for the next session!

  2. Anonymous

    I went also and had such a wonderful time! I was in the same first session as you! I agree, Jessica Brody is hilarious! Can’t wait for recap 2!

  3. Wendy Darling

    Wow, sounds like a fun afternoon, Sara! Thanks for the recap, it’s hilarious to hear that Linden was named after chocolate. I feel the same way as Marissa sometimes, too–I reread much fewer books these days because I feel guilty about all the books I need to read, hah.

  4. starryeyedjen

    Looks like you had a blast! And this really hit home: “Marissa doesn’t usually re-read books because she feels guilty for all the other books out there she wants to read.” So true. And so sad. 🙁 Can’t wait for your 2nd part of the recap!!

  5. Hannah


    I love what Jessica says about plotting so she can deviate. HAHA. That’s so great. I can’t even outline. Panster right here! Man, I want to comment on like everything she said. I need to go meet her! She sounds seriously awesome!!! 😀 They All sound seriously awesome! Thanks for sharing these fun tidbits

    So glad it was AWESOME-SAUCE! Can’t wait to see more of your adventures!
    <333 Inky

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