Fantasy with Libba Bray, Justine Larbalestier, Lisa McMann, and Rick Yancey
This was the shortest of the panels, since lunch ran long. It began with Lisa McMann turning a broken rose into a jacket decoration and each of the authors telling something about themselves and their books, Lisa's being WAKE and FADE.
Justine Larbalestier pointed out her Australian heritage, marking her as the one in the panel with an accent. (Carrie Jones had a cute Maine accent and Shana Burg had a nice Boston one.) Of course, it soon became a competition to see who had the most hot guys and dead bodies in their book. (Winner seemed to be Justine, who's LIAR contained both, whereas the others seemed to tend toward one or the other.)
But this mini-contest led to the authors discovering an important fact: the responsiveness of the audience. Libba Bray discovered she could conduct the audience's roars of appreciation.
Being brave (she did wear a cow suit in the GOING BOVINE trailer, which I point out in my interview), Libba offered the following advice to teens: don't let a guy or girl talk you into doing LSD and then going to see Aliens.
And no, it didn't come as surprise to anyone when the authors admitted that they hadn't been popular in high school. (I believe Justine put it, "We're writers.") However, high school was good for one thing: writing stuff that would get rejected. Generally, they all had darlings they hoped would eventually get published. (WAKE was one for Lisa.) On the other hand, some of those earlier books will never see the light of day. For Rick Yancey, it was his second book.
Fortunately, Libba misheard him and thought he said sex book. Rick joked that it might sell if he rewrote it with sex, but nope, it was just his second book. (His newest, THE MONSTRUMOLOGIST, isn't a sex book either.)
They also discussed their reading audiences, mostly boys versus girls. Lisa likes that her covers and content are fairly gender neutral. But none of them seemed to want to limit their audience; they wanted their books to entertain and reach as many people as possible. Once again, it was a very amusing panel. It made me very sad I missed Libba's keynote address, since she was cracking a joke a minute.