This year at the Texas Teen Book Festival we have some of the best writers of teen dystsopian, science-fiction, and fantasy! This is a panel that features authors who write about high-stakes, daring tasks, and strong characters. Here are our panelists:
Claudia Gray has written the Evernight series, the Spellcaster series, and numerous standalone books. Her latest books are Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens Lost Stars and the first two books of the Firebird trilogy, which is about a girl named Marguerite Caine whose parents invent a device that lets that user jump through multiple universes. When her father is abruptly murdered, she uses this device, called Firebird (hence the name of the trilogy), to track down his killer, but ends up getting tangled up along the way. Also, look at how cool that cover is!
Before becoming an author, Claudia Gray had held jobs as a journalist, a disk jockey, a lawyer, and a waitress. Her hobbies include hiking, traveling, reading and listening to music, and her favorite song is “This Ol’ Heart of Mine” by the Isley Brothers. Her name is actually a pseudonym that she took up just for kicks, which is the best reason to have a pseudonym if you ask me. She thought of the name because the miniseries I, Claudius was in her DVD player when she picked it.
Sophie Jordan is the author of the Firelight series and the Uninvited series. Her next YA book, Reign of Shadows, will come out in 2016. In the Uninvited series, the protagonist, Davy, tests positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome. After this, everyone she’s ever loved abandons her, terrified of who she might become. She gets placed into a special class for HTS carriers and her entire world is turned upside down.
Sophie Jordan is a former high school English teacher who lives in Houston. She loves lattes, crime and reality tv shows, and cooking. She’s also a New York Times bestselling author of historical romances and writes paranormal romances under the name Sharie Kohler.
Jenny Martin‘s debut YA book, Tracked, came out last May and has received excellent reviews and word-of-mouth. It’s about Pheobe Van Zant, a teenage girl and rally-racer living on the planet Castra, which is ruled by multiple corporations. She ends up getting blackmailed into racing for one of the big corporations and has to take them down.
Jenny Martin is also a librarian and the guitarist of a band called Chain Mail Bikini. She loves music and books, and she’s written multiple books before Tracked, but it’s the first of her books to get published. She lives in Dallas with her husband and son.
Rick Yancey has written many books, including The Monstrumologist series, The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp series, The Highly Effective Detective series, and a few stand-alone novels. His most recent book, The 5th Wave, came out in 2013. Since then, it’s received numerous awards and is soon going to be made into a movie to be released January 15, 2016. It stars Cassie, a sixteen year old girl living in an apocalyptic world. Humanity is being killed off in waves, and she has made it through the first four but soon the fifth one will arrive. In order to survive, Cassie travels alone and trusts no one—until she meets Evan Walker, a mysterious boy who may just be the key to saving her brother.
Rick Yancey lives in Florida with his wife and son. His favorite children’s author is Ronald Dahl, and Charlie & the Chocolate Factory is one of his favorite books. Before becoming a writer, he did some acting and directing for a community theater, taught a few English classes and worked for the IRS for a while.
Pierce Brown‘s debut book, Red Rising, is the first of a trilogy and is a New York Times bestseller. It’s set in the future, in a society with a color-coded system that determines what your purpose is and who you are. Darrow, the protagonist, is a Red, the lowest caste whose people live & work in the mines beneath the surface of Mars. He wholeheartedly believes that their work will make the surface more hospitable for future generations, until he finds out that it’s all a lie. It turns out that his kind are being abused by those above them, so Darrow joins a resistance group to fight back. The second book in the Red Rising series is titled Golden Son.
Pierce Brown lives in Los Angeles, California. He got the inspiration for Red Rising from the Greek play Antigone, in particular the part where the protagonist must make a sacrifice. He’s been a Star Wars fan and overall geek since his childhood, and rumor has it that he might be writing a Star Wars book of his own.