This is the blog of children's book author and third grade teacher, Stacy Barnett Mozer. I blog about my own writing journey, the journey of other kidlit authors, my classroom, and talk about books. Thanks for stopping by. Your thoughts are always welcome (and encouraged).

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Recap of Avon Teen and Middle Reader Author Festival

On Tuesday, July 12, I went to Avon, CT to take part in the teen and middle reader night of the Avon Author festival.

The theme of the night was developing characters. Padma Venkatraman spoke first and took us through the inspiration behind each of her books. When she was telling us about A Time to Dance, she spoke about a life changing experience of being bitten by a snake and not knowing whether she would survive. She was also inspired by Smt. Shoba Sharma, a women who danced and taught dancing despite a physical injury.

Next, Caragh M. O'Brien chose three teens from the audience to act out a scene from The Rule of Mirrors so she could talk about character through dialogue. The teens were terrific. They really took on their roles.

I spoke next. I focused on how to turn a who is character based on yourself into a unique individual. In my case, I had my main character Sam be great at something that I have no talent in, sports. I shared a picture from my childhood to get things started and then talked about how Sam became a baseball player.

Liz Delton came up next and talked about developing characters based on setting. Her dystopian novels take place in a world with five distinct cities, each with their own personality characteristics.


Last to speak was Deborah Ann Davis, author of Fairly Certain. Dressed in medieval garb, Deborah shared with us how her love of fairs turned into a book series and how each character in her books came from someone she's met in the world. She told stories about students and strangers that have become characters.

Once all the authors had presented, teens and adults were able to ask questions and get books signed. 

Finally, all authors signed the Avon Free Public Library's Wall of Honor. 

It was a wonderful event. I enjoyed presenting to the very receptive audience and hearing the presentations of the other authors. Thank you to librarians Tina Panik and Cynthia Larson for putting the whole thing together.

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