The PLA Author Party with Chris Bohjalian, Bich Minh Nguyen, & More | Save the Date

All work and no play is as bad for Public Library Association attendees as it is for anyone else, which is why Library Journal is offering a PLA Author Party on Wednesday, March 12, from IMG_scally16:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the Alexander Hotel, 333 S Delaware Street, Indianapolis. Yes, there will be plenty of food, drink, and talk, but there will also be six authors, both well established and just emerging, whom I’m pleased to have the opportunity to interview.

Our six authors include Adi Alsaid, whose tender, mischievous YA crossover title, Let’s Get Lost (Harlequin Teen, Aug.), concerns four teenagers nationwide all linked by Leila and her bright red car. Alsaid, who was born and raised in Mexico and spent as much time writing fiction at the University of Nevada as he did earning his marketing degree, has come a long way since the small-press publication of his first novel, Somewhere Over the Sun.

In Pioneer Girl (Viking, Feb.), Bich Minh Nguyen—author of Short Girls, an American Book Award winner and an LJ Best Book—brings together two unlikely themes: America’s venture in Vietnam and the legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder. First novelist Nickolas Butler sets Shotgun Lovesongs (St. Martin’s, Mar.) in small-town Wisconsin, drawing on his own background and his Iowa Writers’ Workshop skills to offer a “warm and absorbing depiction of male friendship” (LJ 12/13). Another first novelist, Jacinda Townsend will speak about Saint Monkey (Norton, Feb.), which follows two teenage African American girls as it “portrays life in the Jim Crow South and Harlem’s heyday with startling immediacy” (LJ 1/14).

Two New York Times best-selling authors will also be making an appearance. Chris Bohjalian, whose last few novels visited the past, can tell us why he’s doing something intriguingly different by looking into the near-future in Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands (Doubleday, Jul.), which features a teenage girl in hiding after nuclear meltdown decimates the area where she lives. Shelley Shepard Gray continues her exploration of the Amish life in Thankful: Return to Sugarcreek, Book Two (Avon Inspire, Feb. 2014).

I hope that’s whetted your appetite. Start planning now; you can register for the party here. Meanwhile, don’t miss these two Association of American Publishers events, both at the Indianapolis Convention Center: Best in Debut Authors, Thursday, March 13, 10:45 a.m.–12 p.m. Room 103–104 (RSVP here for headcount only), and Mystery Authors Revealed, Friday, March 14, 10:45 a.m.–12 p.m, Wabash Ballroom 3 (RSVP here for headcount only).

Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president, treasurer, and awards chair of the National Book Critics Circle.