Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lauren Myracle

I had the great pleasure of hosting Lauren Myracle at Kepler’s yesterday. What a lovely person - so thoughtful and fun. Bit of background: She’s the author of numerous young adult novels and holds an MA in English and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She has written many novels, including the New York Times bestselling IM books, ttyl, ttfn, and l8r, g8r.

But did you know that her first novel, Kissing Kate, was selected as one of ALA's "Best Books for Young Adults" for 2004, was named by Booklist as one of the "Top Ten Youth Romances" of the year, as well as one of the "Top Ten Books by New Writers." She went on to write the middle grade series Eleven, Twelve, etc , the Flower Power Series as well as Peace Love and Baby Ducks, Bliss, How to Be Bad, and Rhymes with Witches.

According to the ALA Lauren’s books were one of the most challenged books of 2009 and continue to be challenged. And then there was the firestorm with the National Book Foundation and Shine. I’ll just say that Lauren handled it all with grace and maturity and the book is fantastic and deserved its place on the shortlist. And, as she tells it, she learned a lot, and got the National Book Foundation to donate $5000 to the Matthew Shepard Foundation. I hope the National Book Foundation judges learned from this too.

Lauren has an easy and open style, she sat perched on a stool and chatted about her writing, her inspiration, her path to publication, and her books, how she works at Starbucks and listens to all the conversations around her - and was so supportive and interested in her audience. They had great questions. If you get a chance, go and hear her. It's well worth it.

And, by the way, these photos were taken by Nancy aka the Ravenous Reader because my camera died. Thank you Nancy.

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