May 27, 2014

Armchair BEA: Author Interactions & More Than Just Words


Author Interaction

The author, John Green, met Esther Grace Earl, a 16 year old with terminal thyroid cancer at a Harry Potter convention. Through his friendship with her, his latest best-seller, The Fault in Our Stars was written,the main character named after, and the book dedicated to her memory. 

Authors such as John Green often develop relationships with their readers and recognize them as people instead of a means to a paycheck. 

It makes me ask the surface question: 

How much interaction should the modern author have with the reader?
What constitutes too little or too much? 

In a "one click away" social media culture, we can connect with anyone, anywhere, at any time. Once we initiate communication, we want to be acknowledged. After almost every review, I post about it on Twitter acknowledging my thoughts regarding their books and I get that warm, fuzzy feeling when an author responds back positively.

Here's the real question: 

What does the modern reader want from the authors whose books they read and love?

Readers want another story with which they can fall in love.

We, as readers, seek out authors because we want to know more about them and any other books they have written. We want to pursue them further to find a connection with them. 

How have you connected with an author? I would love to hear them!

More Than Just Words

I never used to like free-verse written books until I received the ARC, Freakboy by Ellen Hopkin's protegee, Kristin Elizabeth Clark. The way she weaves her stories into different shapes on a page evokes depth and meaning more so than just words on a piece of paper.They're a style of telling a story. 

Despite being written in poetry, verse novels are quite appealing to more reluctant or busy readers because they're less intimidating to look at visually and because they read fairly quickly.Anyone who picks up an Ellen Hopkin's book can see her books are built on a visual layer in addition to the language used in the story.  

Since novels written in verse are constructed with a format and style in mind, rather than a genre, they can range from more recent, contemporary stories to historical, and they can include mysteries, fantasy, science fiction, or anything your heart desires, really.  Non-fiction can be written in verse, as well. If you're looking for YA non fiction check out Margarita Engle. 

Here are some of my favorite free verse novels: 

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I can't wait to read some of your favorite books!


  1. These books all look so interesting! And I had no idea Hazel Grace was named after a real person. I love your writing style and how fluidly you speak. I don't follow a lot of blogs yet, but I'd love to add yours to the list! (Which only just now officially became big enough to call a list, seeing as you're my second followed blog, haha)

  2. I'd never heard that story about John Green! How sweet! I love interacting with authors, whether through Twitter or email.

  3. Thank you for sharing some of your favorite novels in verse! One of my favorite middle grades in verse is May B. by Caroline Starr Rose and on the YA front I love any Ellen Hopkins and Lisa Schroeder.

    Amazing John Green story...he really did a wonderful job of honoring her in that book. So powerful.

    Hope you enjoy the rest of ArmchairBEA!

  4. I haven't read a novel in verse, but I'd like too! I didn't know the story behind The Fault In Our Stars. Very cool! I really like your take on the topic of author interactions. Before I started blogging, I never imagined interacting with authors to the extent we do today. I think you're spot on about readers wanting another story and a connection. When I interact with an author, I feel like I'm putting a face on the person behind a book and it can make a book I enjoyed even more special to me. Definitely one of the coolest parts of blogging :)

  5. I love how you've approached the "More Than Words" topic. I know very little about free verse novels, but I'm very much intrigued. Can you recommend a fave sci fi (or speculative fiction novel in general) of that nature?

  6. I love the books you picked for More Than Words. It's really interesting, and I enjoy free verse :)
    Also, yay for John Green! You made some really great points. That interaction did lead to TFIOS.


Friend, I am honored you stopped by my little corner of the internet and shared your thoughts. I do read every comment and I am paying attention to what is being said. I encourage the feedback. If you have a more personal question I ask that you email me. Thank you!