Eight authors are set to appear April 22 at the sixth Authors Unlimited young-adult book festival for middle- and high-schoolers at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue, co-sponsored by the Public Libraries of Suffolk County. The authors will participate in a group panel discussion focused on the art of writing, and then kids will break into sessions with the different authors. Books will be available for purchase and signing.
WHAT Authors Unlimited young-adult book festival for middle- and high-schoolers, but adults welcome
WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 22 (doors open at 9:15 a.m.) at St. Joseph’s College, 155 W. Roe Blvd., Patchogue
INFO Free, but bring your own lunch or buy it in the St. Joseph’s cafeteria; advance registration recommended; 631-286-1600, authorsunlimited.org
Patty Blount: 'The Way It Hurts'
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW Author Patty Blount’s first children’s novel was terrible, she readily admits. It wasn’t published — the Farmingville mom wrote it for one of her sons, then in middle school, whom she couldn’t persuade to read fiction.
He “pinkie swore” that if she wrote a book that met his demands — small chapters, about hockey — he would try it.
So she wrote “Penalty Killer,” a mystery about two hockey dads who have a brawl in a parking lot and one ends up dead. She had it printed as a spiral-bound book. Her son Robert read it and passed it to his friends as well.
“All the kids figured out who the real killer was by the third chapter. That’s how I knew it was terrible,” Blount says. But, she learned a valuable lesson: “It taught me that I can finish a novel,” she says. Blount, 51, has since written five young-adult books — all either published or about to be.
HER LATEST BOOK “The Way It Hurts,” is scheduled to be released from Sourcebooks Fire in August. “It’s about two teens who really want to become famous,” Blount says. One of them tweets a photo of the other with a crude comment that goes viral and they do become famous — but not for the reasons they’d hoped.
Matthew Loux: 'The Time Museum'
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW Loux, 37, lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Abby, and their black cat, Meiji. He’s been to Japan six times; he says he is a big fan of Japanese culture and its art scene.
WHAT HE’LL TALK ABOUT “I’ll be talking about comics in general, a little bit about how they’re made. I’ll also be talking about the idea of time travel,” he says.
HIS LATEST BOOK “The Time Museum,” (First Second Books, $14.99) is a graphic novel about a teenage girl who discovers a museum that uses time travel for its exhibits. She is competing against five other kids from different time periods to win an internship at the museum, including a girl from Japan 200 years in the future and a boy from ancient Rome.
Mark Alpert: 'The Silence'
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW Alpert, 56, lives in Manhattan. He has two teenagers, 15 and 17, and says they inspired him to write books for kids who like STEM — science, technology, engineering and math.
WHAT HE’LL TALK ABOUT Alpert says he’ll talk about “how you, too, can write science fiction.” He’ll address how to use “really cool stuff” from the world of science to spark imaginative storytelling. “I make a big point never to dumb it down,” he says of his writing.
HIS LATEST BOOK “The Silence” is the third book in a trilogy called “The Six,” about six kids who are terminally ill, and it’s coming out in July from Sourcebooks Fire. The father of the main character is a genius computer scientist who scans the kids’ brains and downloads each into its own robot body so the kids can survive.
Zoraida Córdova: 'Labyrinth Lost'
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW Córdova, who is 29, lives in Manhattan with her brother, Danny, who plays guitar and sings in a band. She moved to New York from Ecuador when she was 5; Spanish is her first language. She’s been writing since she was 13 and published her first novel at age 24. Her parents live in Selden.
WHAT SHE’LL TALK ABOUT “I generally like to talk about not giving up on your dreams,” she says, noting that in the creative field that can be particularly challenging.
HER LATEST BOOK “Labyrinth Lost” (Sourcebooks Fire, $17.99) is about a girl witch from Brooklyn who accidentally sends her family to another dimension and has to go and rescue them. The other realm is “a very dark wonderland reigned by a demon witch,” Córdova says. She is working on a sequel called “Circle Unbroken.”
Adam Silvera: 'More Happy Than Not'
Brooklyn author Adam Silveras book More Happy Than Not is about a 16-year-old boy growing up in the Bronx.
Gae Polisner: 'The Memory of Things'
Greenlawn author Gae Polisner is the author of The Memory of Things, which takes place in the aftermath of Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Hebah Uddin (under the pen name Karuna Riazi): 'The Gauntlet'
Hofstra student Hebah Uddin is the author of The Gauntlet, which features a Muslim main character.
Deborah Heiligman: 'Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers'
Deborah Heiligman’s book “Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers” is out in April 2017.