If you could ask an author you admire any question, what would you ask? Tucson teens had just that experience this past March at the Tucson Festival of Books. Eight groups of teens had the unforgettable experience of interviewing authors at the Arizona Public Media studios. That weekend of the 2018 Festival the weather was beautiful, the University of Arizona mall was crowded with festival goers and in the hushed and comfortable studios of AZPM, intriguing conversations unfolded.
Daniel José Older, the author of the Shadowshaper series was interviewed by PCPL Teen Advisory Board members from Wilmot Library and Woods Library. This is what Ian, one of interviewers had to say about the experience, "Daniel José Older was amazing! His responses to our questions were so thoughtful and well said, you could tell that he had poured his heart into the books he has written. Something that I found very interesting is that Mr. Older has an enormous interest in monsters. This definitely explained a lot, because monsters are a big part of the series. I asked Mr. Older what he would be do if he were a shadowshaper and he said he would create all sorts of monsters, mostly for the good though."Shadowshaper
Laurie Halse Anderson, the well-know author of Speak and The Impossible Knife of Memory , spoke openly about her personal experiences and how that has influenced her choice of subject and the issues raised in her books. Students from Sabino High School interviewed the author. The Impossible Knife of Memory
Holly Black, author of The Cruel Prince and many other fantasy titles was an engaging interview subject for members of River Library's Teen Advisory Board. This is what board interviewer Samantha had to say about the experience, "The day of the interview, we were shown the recording studio which made it all more real and professional. When Holly Black arrived we began asking our questions and then she started asking us questions as her readers. Overall it was a wonderful experience and I am so glad I got to meet Holly, she was super nice and so enthusiastic she even showed us how she got her ears surgically altered to be pointed like fairy ears!" The Cruel Prince
Erika Sanchez, National Book Award finalist this year for her novel I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, was interviewed by a group of students from Tucson Magnet High School. Ms. Sanchez spoke to the students about how she kept motivated to write her book because it is the kind of book she wished she could have read as a teenager. I Am Not your Perfect Mexican Daughter
You can listen to the full interviews with these authors on Soundcloud.