Monday, March 10, 2014
In Philadelphia, at an NCTE cocktail party, there she was (What are you drinking? This is what I'm drinking.). On an asphalt drive in Orlando (I'm heading that way? You heading this way?). We took an epic drive across our sweet PA together. I found her flocked by loving fans in Boston (twice). At Chester County Books, at Children's Book World, at events large and small—there was Amy. She gives good readings. She gives thrilling talks. Ask any librarian at the fated event in western PA. I leapt to my two well-heeled feet. (Tears in my eyes.)
Today is Amy's birthday. Today we're celebrating this fearless writer with the legions of fans whose books have earned enough stars to fill a separate galaxy, whose talks get people going, whose very personage wakes up a room. A few days ago she wrote a blog post called "Who's Afraid of A.S. King" that is so smart, so unafraid, so laying it on the line that it deserves many second readings.
Here's what we don't need in The Land of YA: Writers Who Write To Pre-Package-able Themes. Writers Who See Writing As A Halfway Step Toward Bigger Things. Writers Who Religiously Reproduce The Formula—Their Own Or Someone Else's.
A.S. King has never pre-packaged, gone halfway, fit a formula, and we love her for that. Check out that blog post. Check out her books. And wave her a happy birthday for me.
Pictured above: Yours Truly, A.S. King, and K.M. Walton, at Children's Book World.