Texas Book Festival celebrates YA literature


just one year gayle formanThe Texas Book Festival appreciates all books of all types – and that means young adult literature gets a chance to shine. The festival runs on donations and relies on sponsors and volunteers and, this year, is hosting an impressive group of authors. This includes a large number of YA authors, including Gayle Forman (Just One Year), Kami Garcia (Unbreakable), Claire Legrand (The Year of Shadows) and Cynthia Leitich Smith (Feral Nights).

“I’m from Texas, and I’ve always wanted to attend the Texas Book Festival but have never been able to — until now! My publisher reached out to the festival, and I’m so glad they did! I’m thrilled to be visiting my home state for such an incredible event. Not only do I get to meet readers and spend time with my fellow authors, but I also get to fill up on Texas food – aka, the best food anywhere – and visit with family and friends,” said Legrand.

Like many authors, Legrand thrives on talking to her readers – not just about her work, but about their favorite books.

“Yes, I’m an author, but first and foremost, I’m a reader. My love of reading and stories is why I do what I do, after all! So learning about new books from readers, or chatting about and re-living old favorites with readers, are a couple of my absolute favorite things,” said Legrand.

Meanwhile, Smith can’t wait to be in Austin – where Feral Nights is set. The novel heavily features Texas heroes and mythological creatures, so she’s very excited to be sharing it at the festival.

“[There’s] a ghostly werearmadillo. How Texan is that? It’s also a fun genre bender – a suspense thriller with some humor and romance, packed with dual gender appeal,” said

Kami Garcia will be showcasing her novel Unbreakable at the festival and can’t wait to talk about books – any books.

“I was a teacher and reading specialist for seventeen years, and discussing books is one of my favorite things. It doesn’t have to be my book: I love it when readers share new books with me, and I always make sure to recommend my favorites to them as well. But I have to admit, there is nothing that turns around a hard day like having a reader share how much your book means to them,” said Garcia.

Just One Year author Gayle Forman said she is “Texas-sized excited” for the Texas Book Festival.

“[Just One Year] will have just come out and people will have had time to read it and Just One Day. I’ve had it in my head for so long what I intended to do with these two books but couldn’t tell anyone because that would spoil it but also, some things are best experienced, not explained. So I’m excited that they’re both out there and people can respond,” said Forman.

And like Garcia, and like Legrand, and like Smith, Forman is looking most forward to talking to her readers.

“Being out and about is the one time I really get to have human interaction with people over the age of nine. It’s always fun. It’s also pretty humbling because writing is isolating and somewhat abstract — you write this thing for yourself, ultimately, and then it goes out to other people, and sometimes other people have really strong reactions. Again with the humbling,” said Forman.

Other authors in attendance include Aprilynne Pike (Earth Bound), Lemony Snicket (A Series of Unfortunate Events), Heather Terrell (Fallen Angel) and Gabrielle Zevin (All These Things I’ve Done). The festival will run on October 26th and October 27th. For more information on the event, visit the Texas Book Festival website.

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About Author


Meredith is an avid reader, writer and dog lover. She is a publicist at Spencer Hill Press and the founder of Pandora's Books, a YA book blog, where she shares her love of books with anyone who will listen.

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