Over three hundred best-selling authors will be attending the 2012 AJC Decatur Book Festival. The seventh annual book extravaganza starts August 31st and wraps up September 2nd in beautiful Decatur, GA. It’s like the Lollapalooza of book fairs. This is no exaggeration. There are actual stages, and the schedules on Saturday and Sunday could rival Lolla’s music lineups.
With so many stages and so many authors in attendance, it might be a little overwhelming at first glance. Here’s some new and some popular YA authors you should definitely stop by and see.
Saturday at the Teen Stage:
David Levithan, Every Day — “Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.” With this unique premise penned by a seasoned author (Boy Meets Boy, The Lover’s Dictionary), a stop at 12:00pm to see Levithan will be worth postponing lunch.
Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia, Beautiful Chaos — The international bestselling Beautiful Creatures series was optioned for film by Warner Brothers and just wrapped production. Jeremy Irons and Emmy Rossum among other notable faces will star in the film adaptation. Without a doubt, Stohl and Garcia are the biggest YA names at the festival, seeing these two will be a special treat. Beautiful Chaos was just released in paperback, but their fourth and final book in the series, Beautiful Redemption, will be available October 2012. Swing by at 2:00 pm to see the impressive duo.
Kendare Blake, Girl of Nightmares — Her debut novel, Anna Dressed in Blood, rocked the blogosphere upon release. Blake returns with the sequel Girl of Nightmares to her series that frightens in an oh so good way. The tagline of Anna? “Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story…” Yep, it’s that kind of paranormal romance. Find Blake at 3:00 pm.
Saturday at the Local Prose Stage:
Jackson Pearce, Fathomless — the 28-year-old graduated from the University of Georgia and is already the author of five young adult novels: You Wish, Sisters Red, Sweetly, Purity, and in September Fathomless. Of course checking out a local star is the first reason why you should hightail it over to the Local Prose Stage. But beyond her residence, Pearce showed her talent with breakout Sisters Red that launched her Fairytale Retellings series. Fathomless, a retake on mermaids, is the third installment. Find Pearce at 3:45 pm.
Sunday at the Teen Stage:
Maureen Johnson, The Name of the Star — Named one of TIME magazine’s most influential tweeters, Johnson is the author of ten YA bestselling novels (13 Little Blue Envelopes, Devilish, Let it Snow). I have no idea where she finds her time to tweet. While I’m writing this she’s at 47,057 tweets. That’s insane. But they are clever.
ME: It's CALLED Random House. It's a publisher. FEDEX: Yeah, but we can't send to a random house. It needs an address. ME: It HAS one.—
(@maureenjohnson) March 21, 2012
Her murder mystery series The Shades of London about Jack the Ripper received praise from fans. Why should you stop by? Maureen Johnson should be just as entertaining as her tweets. Find her at 2:00 pm.
Melissa C. Walker, Unbreak My Heart — I’ve already been told to read this sooner rather than later. If you love Sarah Dessen (Just Listen), then Walker’s YA contemporary should be up your reading alley. In Unbreak My Heart, a young girl sets sail with her family after a boy breaks her heart. She meets another young boy along the way who wishes to heal her fractured heart. Swing by at 4:00 pm.
Jessica Khoury, Origin — This hyped debut novel will be in store September 4th. Besides the cover, I love how Origin has been promoted: a “debut novel that blends the awakening romance of Matched with the mystery and jungle conspiracy of Lost.” Oh yeah, I can totally stand behind that. Khoury was born and raised in Georgia so be sure to stop by and give her some support for her debut! She’ll be one of five authors at 5:00 pm representing strong heroines in YA fiction.
C.J. Redwine, Defiance — Defiance is another highly anticipated debut novel with a brave female heroine who can wield a sword. If that cover doesn’t propel your body to the Teen Stage at 5:00 pm, then the premise of Defiance surely will. “When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father’s apprentice, Logan—the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same boy who handed her heart right back to her.” With dystopian novels still going strong, Defiance looks like another great addition to the popular genre. Find Redwine at 5:00 pm with Jessica Khoury and three others.
Which authors spark your interest? Will you be attending the Decatur Book Festival?
– Becca Ritchie