The news kind of makes me want to go back into my cave right now, but instead I will actually be out and about a bit this month, and I wanted to let you all know about a couple of events in particular, which I hope you’ll come join me for!
Boskone is New England’s longest-running science fiction and fantasy convention, taking place this year from Friday, February 17 through Sunday, February 19 at the Westin Waterfront Hotel in Boston, MA. There will be lots of awesome authors there and all kinds of fun panels and activities. Note that you have to register/buy a convention membership to attend most of these panels — you can buy one for the whole weekend, or for individual days. Here’s my schedule, in case you can come to any of this!:
Friday, February 17:
4pm – 5pm When Villains Defy Expectation in Young Adult Literature (in Harbor II)
with Ken Altabef, Juliana Spink Mills, Michael Stearns, and Christine Taylor-Butler
In YA fiction, the bad guys used to be easy to spot. However, in a world with many shades of gray, villains just aren’t as easy to identify. The handlebar mustaches — gone; the dark trench coats — left on their hangers; the goon squads — seem like bunches of ordinary guys. What does the revamped “villain” archetype mean for our young heroes? How does it affect the story and the other characters? How might this more nuanced sense of good/bad play out as young adult fiction continues to evolve?
Boskone is free from 2-6pm on Friday, so this one is open for anyone to attend!
6-7pm The Once and Future Teen (in Marina 2)
with Erin M. Hartshorn, Cerece Rennie Murphy, Melanie Meadors, and Hillary Monahan
The young adult market continues to grow, and more and more adults are dipping into YA fiction. Are adults transferring their affections to adult authors as they grow into their 20s, 30s, and beyond? Or are they sticking with the authors and category they loved most when growing up? How is YA’s increasing number of adult readers affecting the content of the books, and perhaps its marketing?
7-8pm How Buffy the Vampire Slayer Changed Television (in Harbor II)
with Ginjer Buchanan, Deirdre Crimmins, Daniel M. Kimmel, and Gillian Daniels
Buffy was just a teen TV drama about a bunch of vampire-hunting kids … or was it? Let’s consider the friendships, the dialogue, the rule-breaking, and the characters. How did these aspects of this 1997-2003 show, individually and combined, help to change viewer expectations — and the very ways we think about episodic storytelling today?
Saturday, February 18:
I only have one event on Saturday, but it’ll be the best chance to hang out with me — and hear me read from BOOK TEN! And once you’ve bought a membership for the day, there are lots of other things happening during the convention on Saturday, including writing workshops; panels, readings, and kaffeeklatsches featuring authors I love like Jane Yolen, Sarah Beth Durst, Brandon Sanderson, and Christine Taylor-Butler; a showing of Zootopia; and a Sassafrass concert (I love this group)!
2-3pm Dragon Stories and Crafts with Tui Sutherland (in the Galleria/Dragonslair)
My plan is to bring dragon tattoos, maybe dragon origami if I can actually figure out how to do it :), read from Book Ten: Darkness of Dragons, and answer your questions about Wings of Fire! I have no idea who will come to this or how many will be there, so it’s entirely possible it’ll just be you and me and we can talk about anything you want. 🙂
Sunday, February 19:
11am-12pm Autographing: L.J. Cohen, Tui Sutherland, and Christine Taylor-Butler (in the Galleria/Autographing section)
1-2pm Great Beach Reads in Winter (in Burroughs)
with William Hayashi, Erin M. Hartshorn, and Susan Jane Bigelow
We hear too much talk about summer beach reads. What books are delightful when the weather turns frightful? Let’s pass around recommendations for genre reading that’s perfect on a cold winter’s day with a hot cup of cocoa and a warm fire.
And that’s my Boskone schedule! I hope it’ll be lots of fun — I’d love to see you there!
Then the following week, I’m doing a panel called A Midwinter Night’s Fantasy at Simmons College with Kristin Cashore — on Thursday, February 23, from 5:30-7pm. Space is very limited for that one, so you have to register ahead of time by clicking here! It’s organized by the wonderful people of Children’s Books Boston and is mostly aimed at an older audience — people who work in children’s books (or who want to) — so we won’t be reading or getting into the specific kinds of Wings of Fire questions I usually answer at book events (I think). But we’ll be talking about the purpose and importance of fantasy literature, which I feel passionately about, so I’m very excited about that (and to be there with Kristin yay!).
I hope you’re all hanging in there and loving each other and spreading light wherever you find darkness. A few places I think are worth donating to, if you can:
Natural Resources Defense Council
International Rescue Committee
Save the Children
Sending love and hugs to all of you!
What We’re Reading:
Me: Anne of the Island, by L.M. Montgomery; Blueprint for Revolution, by Srdja Popovic; Rain Is Not My Indian Name, by Cynthia Leitich Smith; and Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World, edited by Kelly Jensen
With my bears: hoping to start one of my favorites this week: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, by Grace Lin! 🙂