Tag Archives: #PTALive

#PTALive Melbourne: Monday 14th April 2014: Possible Rant Ahead

Unpopular Opinion Time! But first, the positive:

-Location: cinema at Melbourne Central
-Set-up: section for book purchasing
-Ordered agenda: slides to keep the presentation on topic and track
-Presenter: Ms. Felicity is old-hand at this, with plenty of experience presenting, and loads of enthusiasm
-Preview of PTA TV: interview with Richelle Mead, who has an announcement coming in a month or so
-Publication schedule: the most informed and varied part of evening
-Shout-out to the Australian YA Bloggers Goodreads Group

I have no doubt that most of the crowd had no quibbles at all, so I’m in the minority here. And I do understand that you can’t please everyone, so you may as well cater to the majority.

“The show everyone’s talking about”, “unmissable”, “[insert over-the-top superlative here]” – I have “Fear of Missing Out” (FOMO) at the best times, but not in these circumstances. The more that people seem to like something, the more I’m inclined to NOT like it. It’s not deliberate; just that our interests are different, and attempts at conversion are useless. I don’t think less of people because they like something I don’t, as long as they respect my views, too. Agree to disagree, and all that.

(Image from Family Guy Wikia.)

But the more something is shoved down my throat, the more likely I am to resist, and to vomit…as opposed to accepting, and learning to love the tentacle. (That’s a Futurama reference, though that doesn’t seem to be part of Penguin Teen Australia’s fandoms.)

I am not a fan of John Green, Hank Green, Nerdfighters, DFTBA, et al. The reasons are numerous and varied, but I figure we’re all stubborn people, and no one is going to change their mind because of something someone else says – so I won’t try to convert you, as long as you don’t try to convert me.

I understand that film adaptations bring more readers to books, and are great introductions for people who aren’t already familiar with the age group, genre, etc. That’s fine. But #PTALive is full of BOOK PEOPLE. Considering the film adaptation is of a book first published in…2012 maybe, by now people have decided whether they’re interested in the story or not. And when we’ve decided we’re not, but the book, the author, and the community are brought up regularly and consistently…it’s really farking annoying. And the constant pushing of it did not change my mind. Instead, I found myself disliking the product more and more.

(Image from Quick Meme.)

I was seething, people. Not aloud. But my eyes rolled, my jaw hardened, and my handwriting turned to all caps with exclamation marks. (Yes, I took notes throughout the event on my Post-It notes. No, I don’t have a smart-phone or tablet; I am poor.) At the end, we were dismissed, so off I went, then we were called back. I returned. Apparently, some guys did a good deed earlier, which is great. But then “Nerdfighters” were mentioned, and I stalked out. Fed up. Completely over it. Had I paid anything more than train fare and meal money, I would’ve been absolutely outraged, possibly demanding my money back because I was so dissatisfied. But it was a free event, so I can’t – and won’t demand – compensation for having to suppress my anger and frustration.

It could’ve been worse.

I like Richelle Mead, and am interested in all her series. I like Vampire Academy, though I’ve only read the first two books. But I’m old-fashioned: only interested in BOOKS – NOT their adaptations, NOT their book trailers. And not “ships”, either – I like world-building, and plotting, but I’m completely over reading about romance and love interests. OVER IT. And there was a lot of freaking talk about “Sydrian”, and the book trailers – because one of the actors was in attendance, and had a short interview. I wasn’t interested, but my affection for the books made this much more tolerable than…well, see my earlier gripe.

There was a little attention given to other books: Top 5, favourites, other publisher’s books, stuff the staff wants to read, and the wonderful publication schedule. If only the rest of the evening had been less fangirly, and more informational and varied as that schedule, I would’ve been quiet content. Unfortunately, there was no mention of Jessica Spotswood’s Sisters’ Fate, which is due out on 14th August in the US and UK…

The event could’ve capitalised on the large audience (350 people, reportedly) to give more attention to the lesser-known books and authors, but for the most part the well-known and popular books hogged the limelight. Though I was on the fence about Scott Westerfeld’s Afterworlds before, I definitely want to read it now.

The publication schedule came with a problem, though: Pittacus Lore. If you haven’t heard of James Frey and the way he treats his “writer sweatshop”, or his upcoming new series that sounds like a total rip-off of… well, the information is online.

And I disagree with the statement that Katie McGarry’s books are New Adult. To me, New Adult is about university-aged characters, whereas McGarry’s are in high school, so they’re more Young Adult.

Giveaways and goodie bags included a Vampire Academy film poster, Sally Green’s Half Bad, and Maya van Wagenen’s Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek, but I declined all these. (No point in accepting things I won’t use.)

P.S. These links are relevant if you’re interested in understanding why I don’t like certain things:

http://bibliodaze.com/2014/04/say-no-to-james-frey-why-im-boycotting-full-fathom-five/
http://bibliodaze.com/2014/03/green-tinted-glasses-filtering-ya-through-a-narrow-lens/
http://bibliodaze.com/2014/02/john-green-privilege/
http://carriemesrobian.com/2014/03/this-is-very-upsetting/
http://www.thebooklantern.co.uk/2013/10/how-do-you-read-book-any-way-you-want-to.html
http://www.thebooklantern.co.uk/2012/09/the-green-brothers-and-white-boy.html
http://www.thebooklantern.co.uk/2012/09/the-green-brothers-and-white-boy_5.html
http://www.thebooklantern.co.uk/2012/07/minority-warriors.html

#PTALive Melbourne, with Penguin Teen Australia

On Monday 12th August 2013, Penguin Teen Australia hosted #PTALive at their Melbourne headquarters. Among other things, it was to launch their new website. (NOTE: Feedly, my current blog reader, isn’t recognising this URL – or any variations of it. So if anyone finds a compatible RSS feed that will work with Feedly, please let me know.)

Got to be honest, I felt rather odd at the event, because…I’m not really a fangirl. Nothing to do with my age (mid-twenties), and everything to do with my personality. And a lot of the books that were highlighted, I just have no interest in. And for the others, I’m interested in Veronica Roth‘s and Marie Lu‘s series, but I haven’t read them yet. And I’ve only read Richelle Mead‘s first two Vampire Academy novels.

Marissa Meyer‘s Scarlet was featured out of two “underrated” titles. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been selling as well as some of the publisher’s other titles. Which is a real shame, because I rather like the Lunar Chronicles series. Admittedly, I read library copies of Cinder and Scarlet, so I haven’t put my money where my mouth is.

There was a shout-out to bloggers in general, and my site was one of twelve to be visually specified. Yeah, that surprised me, too. And seeing my name among the others really made me stand out, not necessarily in a good way, because I don’t have branding or a specially made banner. My entire blog is much like that.

I’ve been book blogging since 2007. Let that sink in. It’s currently 2013. And I’m rather unprogressive πŸ˜‰

But I digress…

Guest authors interviewed were Will Kostakis (author of The First Third) and Jennifer Kloester (author of The Cinderella Moment). Not entirely sure why, but Jen reminded me of American author Jackie Morse Kessler (also known as simply Jackie Kessler). Maybe because of their initials, and they both write YA fiction and practice martial arts. Also, they’re contracted to the same US publisher (Month9Books)… πŸ˜‰

Anyhoo, it was reported that Melbourne’s #PTALive had the most attenders, beating the other events around the country. Batmanians, unite! πŸ™‚ Also, surprising to learn that Vampire Academy’s biggest market is Australia. Would’ve just assumed the US was. But Australia has a lot of scary fangirl to give, apparently πŸ˜‰

Penguin Teen Australia: Facebook Twitter YouTube Tumblr

Will Kostakis: Facebook Twitter The First Third

Jennifer Kloester: Facebook Twitter Blogspot The Cinderella Moment

PENGUIN BOOKS I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO (YA & ADULT)

CONFIRMED RELEASE DATES
Marie Lu – Champion (Legend, Book 3) – 6th November 2013
Richelle Mead – The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, Book 4) – 19th November 2013
Rachel Caine – Daylighters (Morganville Vampires, Book 15) – 20th November 2013

UNKNOWN RELEASE DATES
Nancy Holzner – Hellhound (Deadtown, Book 5) – 29th October 2013 (in the US)
Marissa Meyer – Cress (Lunar Chronicles, Book 3) – 4th February 2014 (in the US)
Jessica Spotswood – Untitled (Cahill Witch Chronicles, Book 3)
Sylvia Day – Captivated by You (Crossfire, Book 4)
Heather Brewer – Soulbroken (Legacy of Tril, Book 2)
Richelle Mead – Untitled (Age of X, Book 2)

PENGUIN USA PUBLISHED IT, BUT AUS MAY NOT
A. D. Robertson – Captive – 22nd October 2013
Lauren Dane & Megan Hart – There All Along – 3rd December 2013
Andrea Cremer – Snakeroot – 10th December 2013
Lydia Kang – Control – 26th December 2013
Rachel Caine – Prince of Shadows – 4th February 2014
J. Nelle Patrick – Tsarina – 27th February 2014
Seanan McGuire – Half Off Ragnarok – 4th March 2014
Andrea Cremer – The Inventor’s Secret – 22nd April 2014
Seanan McGuire – Sparrow Hill Road – 3rd June 2014