This month, TheReadingRoom was able to attend a book panel and signing with the twelve authors in Stephanie Perkin’s anthology My True Love Gave to Me. The authors each read an excerpt from their story and had so many wonderful things to say about how the collection was formed. David Levithan, co-author of Will Grayson, Will Grayson with John Green, led the lively discussion. He described the collection as it “started as a labor of love and spread—it’s rare in an anthology when the authors know and care about each other so much.”
Levithan read from his story “Your Temporary Santa”, making us laugh with lines like: “‘The suit won’t even need to be altered!’ he promises,” after his character’s boyfriend asks him to play Santa. Responding, “This is, of course, what I am afraid of”.
When it was Stephanie Perkins’ turn to speak, she was “terrified she might cry, pee, or vomit…and potentially all at once”. The delightful author of Anna and the French Kiss explained how this whole plan came together. Stephanie and Myra McEntire (Hourglass series) both love cheesy Hallmark holiday movies (as does Ally Carter) and they tend to watch them in marathon fashion. They thought it was strange that there are not a lot of holiday stories in Young Adult literature, so they decided to create one!
(Left) Myra McEntire and (Right) Jenny Han, reading excerpts from their stories.
The authors that were at the event included David Levithan, Stephanie Perkins, Ally Carter, Gayle Forman, Holly Black, Kiersten White, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, and Jenny Han. The three authors missing were Matt de la Peña, Rainbow Rowell, and Laini Taylor—but their stories are just as good when not read aloud.
10 Things We Learned About My True Love Gave to Me
1.) Holly Black (The Spiderwick Chronicles) has a themed New Year’s Eve party every year. This was part of the inspiration for the NYE party that happens in her story “Krampuslauf”.
2.) David Levithan and Stephanie Perkins occasionally take road trips together.
3.) The actual characters in My True Love Gave to Me are featured ice-skating on the front cover.
Courtesy of Stephanie Perkins
4.) Stephanie Perkins, Myra McEntire, and Ally Carter love the Hallmark channel—like, love-to-watch-Christmas-movies-on-Halloween, love.
5.) Stephanie Perkin’s new favorite Christmas movie is Black Christmas which is essentially a sorority girl slasher movie.
6.) Ally Carter (Gallagher Girls series) “writes for 12 year old Ally—that’s where the id lives”. Agreed, Ally.
7.) Kelly Link is overwhelmed by the idea of Christmas, which is probably why she does such a fantastic job writing about a census-designated place (not even large enough to be a town) that is overwhelmed with Christmas in “Welcome to Christmas, CA”.
8.) Stephanie Perkins thinks the best thing about being an author is reading books early—which we think is amazing.
9.) Ally Carter wrote the story she’d always wanted see in Hallmark movie form—Star of Bethlehem.
10.) Krampus is basically the devil version of Santa Claus—and is featured in Holly Black’s story.
To find out more about these amazing stories, we guess you’ll have to read them!