Tuesday, May 27, 2014

{Day Two} Author Interaction & More Than Just Words: Armchair BEA 2014

Author Interaction

Design by Amber of Shelf Notes
Welcome, welcome ladies and gentlemen to Day TWO of the wonderful online celebration known as Armchair BEA. One of today's topics is Author Interaction which is a really fun topic because it means I can show off the post I am most proud of on Loving the Language of Literacy.

So I have always loved books, but it wasn't until I started blogging that I signed up for Twitter, and started actively searching for book signings in my area. Obviously, that was how interactions had changed for myself, because those interactions were non existent before. One of my first and only tips is:
Treat authors like they're real people.
This seems like such an obvious given for anybody with manners, but I consider myself a well mannered person, and I have flubbed up talking to authors. It's not as if I saw an author eating a pretzel and gasped, "You eat pretzels too?" Although I did kind of sort of say that in my head when I was looking through Laurie Halse Anderson's pictures on twitter and saw that she and her husband had peanuts and pretzels on an airplane. Face it, I am a weird person. Anyway, I basically feel like freaking out when I interact with authors in real life the way some of my friends would freak out about One Direction. I kind of idolize authors the way some people like One Direction or the Pope. 
Kind of like this, I'm totally an owl
A perfect example of this is when I met Andrew Smith (aka. author of Grasshopper Jungle and Winger). I had SOOO many good, literate questions I could have asked him that I had thought of while reading Grasshopper Jungle.... instead, my breath got hitched, I almost hyperventilated and sputtered out, "Are you writing a sequel?" So that IRL (in real life) author interaction was a #fail. 

Luckily I have had some amazing author interactions, My biggest claim to fame is the post "Meeting Marvelous Marie Lu" where I talked about.... wait for it.... Meeting Marvelous Marie Lu (the title is self-explanatory). I transcribed 25 minutes of footage I had gotten while at the signing for Champion, and while it was hell while transcribing, I've never been happier to push that "Publish" button on my blog.  
"Find out about "Pantsers vs. Plotters", interrupting Marie Lu, a new series with the Black Death leading to magical powers, the history of paper clips, and Day being named after Daniel Radcliffe."
I actually asked a coherent question at this book signing, and if you want to know which one it is, just look at the questions with *stars* next to them. I also had the pleasure of meeting Amie Kaufman, Megan Spooner (co-authors of These Broken Stars), as well as Margaret Stohl (one half of Beautiful Creatures as well as Icons), and Marie Lu again which was super fun. I do not have a post from this, but during the summer when I'm bored, I might actually transcribe the footage. (Tell me in the comments if you would like this to happen). 

So that covers the extent of my major IRL author interactions since I started blogging, (although I did meet Cornelia Funke author of many Middle Grade books like Reckless and Inkheart) but I have had so many twitter interactions that I never would have had else wise. It feels so good for me to know that an author can see my positive feedback for their book, excitement about a sequel, or squeals of joy from a library haul. Some examples have been with Kasie West, when I tweeted about finishing Pivot Point and she said she had pondered not writing a sequel. Or when I tweeted about a library haul and Courtney Stevens (Faking Normal), Neal Shusterman (Unwind Quartet/Skinjacker Trilogy), and Ruta Sepetys (Out of the Easy/Between Shades of Gray) replied. I have been so lucky to be able to interact with these authors, and the sheer opportunity to interact with them is something I am extremely grateful for.

What about you? Have you interacted with some authors you have idolized via Twitter or IRL since you started blogging?

More Than Just Words
I know I haven't talked about this much yet on my blog since it was something I tended to do a lot more when I was younger, but when I was little, I loved listening to audio books. On the occasions, I wasn't reading, I would be playing with my dolls, but I got to experience stories at the same time. I can still to this day recite entire monologues from all 7 Narnia books, Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, and the Secret Garden. These are by far my favorite form of books because, if they are done well, they are exactly like reading books, but with sounds. This may be obvious, they are audio books, right? Yet there is something magical about hearing different voices and sound effects, the tone of Aslan's voice, or the sound of Jo March slamming a door cannot be described in a book. I also tend to be a vocal/audio learner, so this helps me a lot as well. Audio books are sort of like movies, but they still leave room for imagination. Many times, I hear from book bloggers (and even an author) how a movie ruined their image of a book and its world. Audiobooks let the listener gain knowledge that wouldn't have previously been available, yet they still let you imagine the coveted "puffed sleeves" of Anne's dress.

Mini Plugin: Sync is offering a classic and contemporary audio book every week up until mid-August and I highly suggest that you check it out if you haven't already. Just think.... FREE audiobooks. I am almost through listening to Cruel Beauty by Rosamond Hodge and let me tell you, even though there's only one narrator, she is astounding in her upper-crust British accent. What's fun about this program is that the classic and contemporary Sync chooses have something in common, this week it's love-hate relationships with parents displayed in Cruel Beauty and Oedipus the King.

I don't read graphic novels or comics, but I did recently read Every You, Every Me by David Levithan which was my first photographic novel. Basically, every few pages, there was an image/photo to go along with the story, and even though I didn't like the plot itself that much, this new style is definitely something I would like to see in future YA novels.

I would like to know from you, what kinds of books have you experienced that are "more than just words"? Are you a snob like I am when it comes to audiobooks, do you have to have multiple narrators? 
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