True Friends: DDD Panel Discussion
It was great fun to participate in the Delacorte Dames and Dude (DDD) panel discussion at BookPeople today. The topic was “Everything You Wanted to Know about YA Lit But Were Afraid to Ask.” Author Sarah Bird was our lovely moderator. Members of the DDD are all published by Delacorte Press, Random House and live in Austin. From right to left are: Margo Rabb, Jennifer Ziegler, Varian Johnson, April Lurie, and Me.
Before we all took our seats at the table, I told the Delacorte Dames and Dude (DDD) that the reason my eyes are puffed out like plums is because I have an allergy to mangoes, and I touched a mango just the other day. (No, I didn’t know I had the allergy at the time.)
The Delacorte Dames and Dudes started in like a Greek Chorus: “Oh, you can’t tell in the slightest.” And “No one would ever guess in a million billion years!” After becoming thoroughly convinced, I decided not to let my hair fall in front of my eyes like I had originally planned. I pulled it back in a barrette instead.
Even though I was finally looking back to normal, I wanted to go ahead with my planned public service announcement, so after the introductions I told the audience, “In case anyone’s wondering, I’m recovering from a mango allergy.” Honestly, after the sweet reassurances from my co-panelists, I knew no one could actually spot a trace of the reaction on my face anymore. But you know how people take up whatever cause they’ve been scarred by? My new cause is mangoes! I want people to know that you can really be allergic to this seductive little fruit—not just the orange flesh but the skin—so you better watch out!
With that out of the way, the five of us on the panel had a good old time discussing everything from submissions, to editing, to marketing for YA lit. We talked about how to find an agent and how subjective the acquisitions process is. And we discussed swear words and sex in books for young readers.
Well, it wasn’t two minutes after the discussion ended that I was rushed by a half dozen friends who came to inquire as to my well being. “Oh, I’m so glad you said it was the mangoes. I was worried you were in a wreck!” “I thought you’d been crying all day.” And “I was so relieved to hear you look terrible for a reason” or something to that effect.
While Delacorte Dames and Dude are some of the best people on the planet, take it from me, you can’t believe a word they say!
You can catch the DDD at the Writer’s League of Texas Conference. Our panel will be held June 27th, 10:15am.
Photo Credit: Donna Bratton