Gone are the days when writers could blithely take on a character different from themselves. Readers today expect authors to have done their homework. Come hear these three YA writers talk about how to do it right.
Becky Albertalli is the author of William C. Morris Award winner and National Book Award longlist title, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (now a major motion picture, Love, Simon); the acclaimed The Upside of Unrequited; and the upcoming What If It’s Us (co-written with Adam Silvera). Becky lives with her family in Atlanta.
Tracy Banghart grew up in rural Maryland and spent her summers on a remote island in northern Ontario. All of that isolation and lovely scenery gave her the time to read voraciously and the inspiration to write her own stories. Always a bit of a nomad, Tracy now travels the world Army-wife style with her husband, son, cat, and sweet pupper Scrabble. She wrote Grace and Fury, which released on July 31st, while living in Hawaii. Its sequel will follow in July 2019.
Jeff Giles is the author of The Edge of Everything and its sequel, The Bring of Darkness. He grew up in Cohasset, Massachusetts. He’s been the deputy managing editor of Entertainment Weekly and has written for Rolling Stone and The New York Times Book Review. He also coauthored The Terrorist’s Son, a nonfiction book that won an Alex Award from the American Library Association and has since been translated into more than a dozen languages. While reporting on the Lord of the Rings movies for Newsweek, Jeff was invited to be an extra in The Return of the King. He played a Rohan solider, and-–because he didn’t have a beard or mustache—they glued yak hair onto his face. Jeff lives with his family in Montana.
Nic Stone was born and raised in a suburb of Atlanta, and the only thing she loves more than an adventure is a good story about one. After graduating from Spelman College, she worked extensively in teen mentoring and lived in Israel for a few years before returning to the U.S. to write full-time. Growing up with a wide range of cultures, religions, and backgrounds, Stone strives to bring these diverse voices and stories to her work.
Gilly grew up in Florida, came of age in Israel, where she served in the IDF and graduated from Hebrew University, and finally decided to call Decatur, Georgia home. By day, she’s a lawyer for an advertising agency. By night, she is a caped crusader! No, just kidding (she wishes). Her real not-actually-secret identity is writer. When Gilly’s not reading and writing, she can be found exploring Decatur with her three kids and searching bakeries the world over for the perfect French macaron. Her favorite flavor this week is: Basil Lime. Her debut young adult novel, MASS DISTURBANCE, co-written with Kimberly Jones, will be published by Sourcebooks Fire in Fall 2019. Representation: Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.