Truth and Consequences at Austin Teen Book Fest: Rob Thomas, Bill Koingsberg, Jenny Hand and Siobhan Vivian

Author, screenwriter and producer Rob Thomas has at times been mistaken as the other Rob Thomas, lead singer of Matchbox 20. After his record-breaking successful Kickstarter for Veronica Mars earlier this yea, and the massive amount of press covering it, it happens less often than it used to.

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Rob was on the panel entitled: Truth and Consequences at this weekend’s Austin Teen Book Fest. He talked a bit about his Kickstarter and Veronica Mars experience including the fact that he’d been trying to sell a book version of the series for years and couldn’t find anyone interested. After his Kickstarter campaign however he had publishers coming to him.

When we wrote it, Veronica Mars had a distinctive love story at the heart of it. When we watched the show and noticed where the chemistry lay, it changed.” -Rob Thomas

Rob shared that he’s never been tempted to write a books series.

He also said, “Romance is the high drama of teen life.”

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                   (Rob Thomas and me outside of the convention)

Author Bill Konigsberg may be new to young adult fiction, but he has spent his adult life as a writer. He was a sports writer for years and his book Out of Pocket published in 2008 won the Lambda award. With his new release, Openly Straight, this openly gay author is hoping that everyone will be able to relate to his book.

“I don’t think about relatability (when writing), I think about the heart of the character.” – Bill Konigsberg

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Authors Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian were at Austin Teen Book Fest together to promote their first book Fire with Fire of their new series. Jenny shared that she feels a sense of responsibility in her writing because there are still very few Asian American voices in young adult fiction. She wants to create her characters so that everyone can relate to them and feels that they should be especially poignant to immigrants and girls from or living in the South. Jenny shared that she is fond of series because she likes to see a person grow up and mature throughout.

“I love romantic stuff. It’s where my heart goes naturally.” –Jenny Han 

Siobhan Vivian (co-writer with Han), comes at romance from a different perspective. She explained that when she was in high school she was the kind of girl who could fall in love with a new guy everyday.

“The connections with my girlfriends were real. Boys were the Band-Aid.” –Siobhan Vivian

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