Friday, May 6, 2011

Mystery author panel

I had the pleasure of being on a mystery author panel last evening at Towne Center Books in Collegeville, PA. The writers all belonged to the local chapter of Sisters in Crime. There was quite a range of talent there. Elena Santangelo, an Agatha winner, writes historical paranormal mysteries. J. J. Murphy launched his Algonquin Round Table mystery series with a book centering on writer Dorothy Parker. Jane Shaw writes YA mysteries. The audience was very well read when it came to mysteries. I was even able to sell a few books. Speaking of YA literature, I was wondering how adult authors make teenagers in their stories sound authentic in terms of speaking style and vocabulary. I don't have any young people at home, so it's difficult for me to listen to adolescents without being called a stalker. Just wondering in case I decide to write in this genre.

Gus Cileone


Sally Carpenter said...

I belong to Sisters in Crime, too, the Los Angeles chapter. We have an active speakers bureau that sets up panels. I've moderated two panels and I hope to be on some myself later this year! As writing YA dialogue, watch the YA shows on Disney channel and also YA movies. You'll hear how teens talk (or at least how they talk in Hollywood).

Sunny Frazier said...

Great to see you out there on panels and doing book signings, Gus! Many of the Sisters in Crime chapters actively look for speakers, especially authors. You can join Sisters (we have Mister Sisters) or join National where you can announce upcoming book titles, awards, events and such. You'll also be in the directory.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Another way to see how teens talk is to read YA novels--be careful of using too much slang though, as it changes quickly.

And I belong to 4 chapters of Sisters in crime and have been on panels and spoken to various chapters. All good ways to get name recognition.


Kevin said...

I have teenage granddaughters who help a little with words like, "like, whatever, rediculous and dude." A good place to pick up the lingo is at a skateboard park or high school athletic event. One disturbing thing is that I'm noticing an increase in the use of profanity. Best of luck.

Robert O'Hanneson said...

The last posting signed "Kevin" was from me. Sorry, but I started another Google acount to use for blogging and forgot to sign out.

Holli said...

Depending upon the type of book you would write, I would watch the MTV or Teen Nick shows for true teen speak- Degrassi, Skins, even 16 and pregnant. While most of these shows focus on "teen issues", the language is pretty authentic. I would be careful with Disney, my girls, 9 and 11, already make fun of the dialogue. And stay completely away from anything on ABC Family, which is owned by Disney, because all of their shows with teens have the absolute worst dialogue I have ever heard. It's like listening to my grandmother try to talk like a teenager. (My grandmother's dead, so that's really more illustrative than fact-based, but you get the idea.)

Good luck. Teens/young adults are a tricky bunch to keep up with.

Holli Castillo
Gumbo Justice

Gus Cileone said...

Sorry it took me a while to respond. I was on vacation in Charlottesville, VA. (They have a number of terrific independent book stores there). I appreciate all your comments on the YA question. I have an idea for a book about teens, but I obviously have to do some research.