I am very excited to introduce today’s guest Sarah, who blogs in the kidlit world as Green Bean Teen Queen. Sarah is a teen and tween librarian who also reviews books for TeensReadToo.com. She has great recommendations for readers and writers alike so read on!
Hi, Sarah! What’s your favorite flower?
I’ve always loved the smell of lilacs and I really like pink gerber daisies — so pretty!
[FYI, Flower lovers. Purple lilacs are for the first emotions of love, and white lilacs are for youthful innocence in the language of flowers. And LOVE the flower in the your hair!]
Is there a quotation you live by or have posted at your desk?
I don’t really collect quotes, but I’ve read many I like. My family has always joked that we live by the Arnold Lobel poem:
“Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I’ll have a long beard by the time I read them.”
When I have my own personal library, that’s getting painting on the walls. 🙂
Which book do you wish you could live inside?
Harry Potter. I would love to be able to do magic and visit Hogwarts and of course be adopted by the Weasly family — they’re so great! Although I really don’t want to take part in any of the fight scenes, so maybe I’d enjoy a visit instead.
Who’s your favorite dead writer and why? (We don’t want to hurt the feelings of the living here!)
Lucy Maude Montgomery. I loved the Anne books when I was younger (I still do) and they were the first books I remember really getting pulled into and feeling like I was there with Anne on Prince Edward Island.
How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I’ve had my blog for almost two years. I started because I had seen other blogs I really admired and thought it would be a fun way to keep track of what I had been reading-especially for work, since I’m often asked to give booktalks. I wanted a place to keep track of what I had read and it’s grown into so much more than I ever could have imagined. I love the kidlit community and have met some amazing bloggers and authors because of my blog.
What do you love best about YA novels?
I love the characters and the emotions in YA. YA novels just feel more real to me — maybe because I’m still a teen at heart.
Do you have any predictions for the future of YA novels and writers?
I wish I could say that the paranormal romance thing would move away for a while and make way for a new trend, but they’re still popular at my library. I think it’s about time we see more regency romance in YA — my teens and I would love that!
What advice would you give to writers who appear at libraries?
Make friends with the teen librarian right away – we’re you’re biggest advocates. Also, understand that if you don’t get a large crowd at your appearance, it’s not you. It can be harder to pull in an audience at a public library then it is at a school, where you have a built in captive audience. We work as hard as we can to bring people in, but sometimes it doesn’t go the way we planned. Be flexible and have fun with the event you do have. And be prepared to answer the “any advice for writers” and “what inspired you to write this book” questions. And anytime you can talk about a common interest with the teens-a TV show you’re obsessed with, movies you saw, books you’ve read-they will be impressed and think you’re very cool.
What do you think teens love most in a novel?
At least the teens I’ve talked to at work, they love characters they can relate to. They enjoy seeing themselves in a character, even if it is a fantastical situation, because it’s good to know you’re not the only one who thinks that, does that, says that, etc.
What’s your most memorable moment as a teen librarian?
The best moments I have are when I recommend a book to a teen and they come back telling me they loved it and do I have any other great books? That always makes my job worth it.
I’ve also had a couple of moments where I’ve talked to a teen and found out I have an ARC of a book they can’t wait to get their hands on and I let them borrow it in exchange for a review from them. It’s so fun to make their day!
What book or books do you think aren’t read enough?
Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy. I have not stopped recommending this series since I discovered it-perfect for Harry Potter fans looking for a great new series to follow.
I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder. I give this one to my paranormal fans and I think everyone needs to read Lisa’s books-they’re beautifully written and full of emotion.
Any book by Elizabeth Scott. I love Elizabeth Scott; she’s a YA rockstar and her books need to get noticed more. She’s amazing!