Guest Blogger

Author! Author! #PLA2022

I spent Thursday totally fangirling over the abundance of authors present everywhere – in the exhibit hall signing autographs, at the children’s author breakfast, and participating in panel discussions such as the Mystery Author Panel and the Press Play Audiobook talk.

The authors in the audio book panel discussed the challenges of finding voices for their characters and how to make the storytelling come alive. Brian Selznick spoke about the challenges of translating a book like The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which has such a large visual component into an audio book. Jordan Ifueko, author of the Raybearer series spoke about growing up in a family with a strong oral storytelling tradition and how to successfully weave the components of that tradition into her audio books.

What I remember the most about the day was that each of the authors talked about the real world events that influenced their stories and the challenge of moving that story from the idea into an extraordinary work of fiction that keeps the reader spellbound until the very last word.

Walking around the exhibit hall, it’s common to see a very well known author sitting at a table, signing books and chatting with people as they walked past. You know, you’re walking down an aisle and you see Alex Gino chatting up passersby as they sign books. It feels a little like you’ve walked into an alternate universe!

There’s one problem. I had promised myself that I wasn’t going to pick up any books. I brought one bag with me to Portland, and only wanted to take one back. I held fast to my decision until around 8 am Thursday Morning. Now, do I ship these home, or do I try to squeeze them into my bag?

(Photo courtesy of guest blogger)

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

Guest conference blogger Bettina Wesloh (she/her) is a Librarian at the Owings Mills Branch of the Baltimore County Public Library. Bettina is looking forward to discussing how library services have evolved in the wake of the pandemic and effective strategies for bringing back into the doors of the library. She is eagerly anticipating the children’s author breakfast and learning how to play the ukulele. Bettina and her little black cat Hermes share a passion for breakfast food.

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