Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Girls of Summer-A Conversation Between Authors Meg Medina & Gigi Amateau

We are really excited to present an upcoming event for the Summer Reading Program. Authors Meg Medina and Gigi Amateau are going to be at the Main Library, June 19th at 7 pm for a program called, Girls of Summer. The authors are going to share their summer reading list of 18 book titles for girls of all ages. Below is a conversation the two shared about the upcoming event. 
Gigi Amateau & Meg Medina
Meg: You and I met in a critique group, of course. Even though the group has long-since disbanded, we've stayed professional and personal friends. Girls of Summer is just one of the projects that I love working on with you. It's a pile of work, but somehow I look forward to it all year long. I think it's because it's like going on a treasure hunt with a good buddy. What do you like about it?

Gigi: Yes, a treasure hunt or a road trip! In our family  - yours, too, I bet – we keep a long-standing tradition of taking bags of books with us when we go to the ocean or on a long road-trip south. Part of the fun of summertime is answering the question “what books should I bring” with the best answer: “all of them!” Summer would seem so empty without great friends and great books. Meg, when you look at our Girls of Summer books to share with readers what do you think they all have in common?

Meg:  Hmm... well to me the girl in the story is unforgettable. There's something about her voice or her situation that makes her take the reins in a way that makes me cheer inside. But you know, I think the girl readers have things in common, too. To me, there is a particular kind of girl willing to curl up with a book and escape inside the pages during the summer. Think of the million things that compete with books for our attention today, right? Someone who still wants to go inside their imagination and connect with another girl's story is someone who has some substance to her, some grit and nerve -- regardless of whether she's shy, outgoing or whatever. I love that. Now, here's something I've always wanted to ask you:  When you're reading books throughout the year, how do you know when a book is going to make it on to Girls of Summer? There are a ga-gillion good books out there. How do you choose?

 Gigi: You know, that’s a great question for all readers: What inspires you to chirp about a book ‘til the sun sets? When I’m thinking about books I want to share through Girls of Summer,  I’m drawn to tales of girls on inner or outer adventures. I seek out books that evoke the atmosphere of summer - that scattering of doubts . In summer, all those things previously thought impossible are suddenly right there in the line of sight. I don’t just mean books set during summer time, either. Can a girl reach the stars? Yes! Save a species? Yes! Dress like a princess and catch a frog? Yes! Survive a hurricane in her neighborhood or a storm in her heart? Yes! I love telling people about such books.

Meg: This is how I choose. Step one:  No brainer. The main character is strong-willed girl. Step two is more mysterious. When I close the book, I am really sad that it's over. So sad that I have to stop myself from starting at the beginning again. Also, I recommend books that I can remember and talk about as the weeks and months go by. I don't know about you, but sometimes I'm reading so many things that I start to forget plot lines or  even authors' names. Sad but true. (Shh, don't tell anybody).  The GOS books stay clear in my mind. That's how I know they spoke to me. 

Gigi: Meg, I’m so excited that Wendy Shang, author of The Great Wall of Lucy Wu, will join us at the Main Branch of Richmond Public Library on 6/19. That book makes me laugh out loud. What are you most eager to ask her?

Meg: I love meeting the authors through Girls of Summer, whether  in person, the way we'll do with Wendy at the launch or through the weekly Q & As on the blog.  I feel like I have a special magic door into their thinking. Last year I was perfectly start struck to have a chat with Sonya Hartnett, one of my heroines of writing. This year, meeting Wendy Shang live is going to be a treat for everybody. She is charming, smart -- and, of course, hilarious.(Plus you'd be surprised how much Chinese American and Cuban American families like mine have in common. (You'll have to wait to find out what I mean.) 

Anyway, I want to ask Wendy about the secret of writing funny -- mostly because I can't do it myself, to my eternal frustration. For me, the funniest scenes are always the ones that touch of something that is true, a little sad and really ridiculous all at once. She always hits the mark.

If you are looking for more information, here is a video about 
We look forward to seeing you at this wonderful event.

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