A.S. King on being A.S. King, on her birthday

Monday, March 10, 2014

A.S. King (we call her Amy) and I met a long, freaking time ago in a town call Lititz. She was wearing rubber boots and talking about chickens. She had interesting things to say, said them interestingly. I found her intelligence and wildly sui generis life story daunting, frankly (especially as compared to mine), and I liked her all the more for being her.

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.


K. M. Walton said...

Amy was the first YA author I met in person, at the Exton Mall's Borders Express (may it rest in peace). She was there signing PLEASE IGNORE VERA DEITZ and I was there fangirling. That signing was days after learning that my agent had sold CRACKED, and I shared the news with Amy, who didn't know me from a hole in the wall. She jumped from her chair and double-high-fived me.

Happy birthday, Amy.

And, Beth, you are a lovely human being. How honored am I that you chose a photo with me in it for this blog post?


A.S. King said...

Beth, you are the shiniest star in my sky. I live in a house with few mirrors and I don't go looking at myself much. You make me sound like someone I'd like to meet for dinner. (As long as she made it and I don't have to do anything but help her load the dishwasher afterward. Always with the jokes.)

Thank you. xoxo You are a fantastic and kind friend.
You too, Kate Walton! I remember high fiving you! I love success stories.

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