Posted by PRHS_Library
In this video, author David Levithan explains what his novel Every Day is about, and reads some key passages.
Today’s featured author is Kenneth Oppel, the second of two Canadians nominated for this year’s Teen Reader’s Choice Award. He was born in B.C., but he spent part of his childhood in Halifax, allowing us Nova Scotians to claim him (at least partially) as one of our own. Oppel’s first book was published when he was still in high school after a family friend passed it on to Roald Dahl (yes, the Roald Dahl), who in turn passed it on to his literary agent. Since then, Oppel has written many popular and award-winning books for both children and teens, including the Silverwing series and the Airborn trilogy.
There are two interviews with Oppel available on YouTube. In the first video, he discusses the plot of This Dark Endeavor and his reasons for writing the book. In the second video, he talks about Frankenstein, the classic novel by Mary Shelley that provided the inspiration for his book. This video is especially worth watching if you are unfamiliar with the Frankenstein.
There is a YouTube video of Maggie Stiefvater talking about The Scorpio Races, but it was recorded at a conference and the sound quality is terrible. Instead of posting it, I decided to share three short interviews Stiefvater did when The Scorpio Races was released:
- At the Scorpio Races with Maggie Stiefvater (Kirkus)
- The Mane Event: Maggie Stiefvater on Success, Rejection, and Her New Novel, The Scorpio Races (School Library Journal)
- Q&A With Maggie Stiefvater (Publisher’s Weekly)
In these interviews, Stiefvater discusses (among other things) her family and how they influenced The Scorpio Races, her rejection from a college creative writing program, and her nontraditional career path (do you know she has played Highland Bagpipes competitively?). She’s a fascinating person and her interviews are well worth reading.
This video is very different than the others we’ve seen so far, and I’m not even sure it’s appropriate to call it an author interview. In this 3-minute clip, Ransom Riggs discusses his strange hobby of collecting old photos. Some of the photos he rescued, as you probably know, were the basis for his novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
For a proper interview with questions about the book, check out the Q&A he did with the Young Adult division of the American Library Association. Riggs talks about the sequel to Miss Peregrine, his favourite photograph used in the novel, and making book trailers.
P.S. Did you know that Ransom Riggs and John Green are friends? They attended college together and if you check out Riggs’ YouTube channel, you will find a few videos he did with Green.
Today’s interview is a 2-for-1! In this video, Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler talk about the plot of The Future of Us, the toughest part of the book to write, and the characters of Josh and Emma. It’s short video that doesn’t go into much detail about their writing process or careers, but it is always nice to (virtually) meet the authors.
If you’re familiar with John Green, you may know that he is a pretty big Internet celebrity. He and his brother Hank have a YouTube channel called VlogBrothers, where they post video blogs to each other and talk about whatever they find interesting or funny. They started this project in 2007 and today they boast a huge following (known as Nerdfightia) – over 1 million subscribers and 300 million video views.
In this video, Green answers Nerdfighters’ questions about The Fault in Our Stars at breakneck speed on his way to the airport. It is – in my opinion – the funniest of the Top 10 author videos. If you like it, I encourage you to check out other VlogBrothers videos. And DFTBA!
Did you know Veronica Roth is the youngest of the Top 10 authors? She wrote Divergent when she was 21 and it was published when she was 22. Now she’s 24 and has two best-selling novels and a movie deal under her belt!
Want to find out more about this wildly successful young author? Check out these two video interviews with Roth, available from her publisher’s YouTube channel. In the first, she summarizes the plot of her debut novel and discusses her favourite characters (apparently Peter was really fun to write). In the second, Roth answers a few questions about her short – but exciting – career as a writer.
Moira Young is one of two Canadian authors nominated for this year’s award. Although she now lives in England, her childhood spent in Western Canada heavily influenced the landscape of Blood Red Road. There was no interview with Young available on YouTube, but BBC News conducted an interview with her in January, 2012, after Blood Red Road won the Costa Book Award (a top British book prize). In this video, Young speaks about her career and why she writes for teens. (Fun fact: she trained as both a dancer and an opera singer before she became a writer.) If you have questions about the book itself, check out this short Q&A with Moira Young on the publisher’s website.
Today’s featured author interview with Ruta Sepetys is the longest of the Top 10 author videos (12 minutes) and I think it’s the most fascinating. In this short documentary Sepetys shares her Lithuanian heritage, gives a brief history lesson on the Soviet takeover of Lithuania, and explains how she conducted her research for Between Shades of Gray. This video also includes historical photos and interviews with Lithuanian survivors of Soviet prison camps. Even if you haven’t read the novel, it’s worth watching this interview to learn about a part of history that was hidden by the Soviet government for decades.
As mentioned in yesterday’s post, there is no video interview with Vera Brosgol available online. However, there is a print interview with the author of Anya’s Ghost available from Wired (published in 2011). In this interview Brosgol discusses Anya’s Ghost, life as a graphic novelist, and her career as a storyboard artist for an animation company (did you know she worked on the animated films Coraline and ParaNorman?). Bonus: it includes a photo!
If you’re looking for more information on Brosgol, her influences, and her artistic process, be sure to check out the FAQ page on her website. Here she answers (in detail) questions about her career and gives advice to aspiring comic book creators.