So yesterday, I went along to the New Day, New Normal talk featuring David Levithan and Lisa Williamson in my local Waterstones. Needless to say, as a HUGE David Levithan and Lisa Williamson fan I was ridiculously excited! And I have to say, it was probably one of the most enlightening talks I’ve ever been too. So, for this week’s Top 5 Tuesday, I’ve written about my top 5 moments from the talk.
- When David Levithan and Lisa Williamson both revealed they were writing new books!
I freaked out when Lisa said casually “I’m writing my second book” and David Levithan revealed he was planning another book based around his books “Every Day” and its kind of sequel “Another Day”. But I was in the front row so I had to contain my glee and excitement because if I started fangirling I would probably have to be forcibly removed from the shop.
2) When both authors gave awesome LGBT book recommendations!
This was sparked by a girl asking about the seemingly lack of lesbian/bisexual/pansexual books to which both authors gave a massive list of awesome lesbian/bi/pan books – I wish I had brought a pen & paper with me!
3) The questions from the floor!
So with experience from previous book talks, I was kind of expecting the usual questions such as “What advice do you have to aspiring writers?” etc..and while they’re good questions, all the ‘advice’ tends to be the same. So I was so glad that awesome questions about diverse YA, sexuality and reactions to those sorts of themes. Also, David Levithan and Lisa Williamson answered all questions flawlessly!
4) How awesome Sarah Churchill was!
The talk was chaired by vlogger Sarah Churchill, who asked amazing and though provoking questions about gender in literature and the use of gendered pronouns, particularly when talking about ‘Every Day’ which focuses on someone called A, who changes gender and race every day. It has definitely inspired me to check out her vlog!
5) When David Levithan shamelessly promoted a book he edited…and when both authors talked frankly about diversity in literature.
One moment in particular which made me laugh was when David Levithan kept bringing up ‘George’, an MG book about a transgender person, which he edited. To quote him, he said “I’m going to keep bringing up ‘George’ so you’ll all buy it when it comes out!” This, along with other floor questions, prompted a serious, intelligent and enlightening talk about diversity in literature, especially YA which I absorbed like a sponge. (Bad analogy I know.) The one quote that sums it up was when Lisa Williamson said, “I wanted to create diverse characters, but not in a tickbox kind of way”.
So thank you so much to Lisa Williamson, David Levithan, Sarah Churchill and Waterstones Cardiff for putting on such an awesome talk – I enjoyed every second!
You can find the rest of the dates for the ‘New Day, New Normal’ Tour here.