All summer, Bryant Park Reading Room hosts author’s panels every Wednesday afternoon. This week’s panel was titled ‘Mid-Summer Musts’, and focused on a special set of books that are essential must-haves for your summer reading list. Throughout the panel, the authors were often asked tough questions.
Anna Pitoniak, the author of Necessary People, was asked about the negative relationships that her characters have with one another. In response, Pitoniak described the importance of capturing ‘the true essence’ of real relationships and emulating the toxic relationships that exist in the real world in an effort to help the reader understand them better. Another member of the audience then asked a question about how the setting of the story impacts the characters and the readers.
Author Felicity McLean quickly responded, as the setting of her book, The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone, is an essential aspect. Since her book is based in Australia, McLean explained that she only intended for her character’s experiences to be relatable to Australians but discovered that readers from all over the world could relate to her characters.
Katherine Howe, the author of The Daughters of Temperance, added to McLean’s answer and described how important the setting of Salem, Massachusetts is in regards to her characters and their interactions with the environment around them. Later, Howe was asked whether The Daughters of Temperance was a sequel to her first book, and she clearly established that her newly published book is definitely not a sequel, rather it is a ‘stand alone follow up’ to her first novel, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane; featuring almost all the same characters, though not requiring the reader to have read its predecessor.
Another question was directed at the authors, this time the audience member asked what were the inspiration behind each of the author’s novels. Basil Hero, author of The Mission of a Lifetime: Lessons from the Men Who Went to the Moon, automatically answered and recalled on the strong feelings and the impact that the moon landing made on not only the world-famous astronauts but on the rest of America; this strong feeling is what inspired Hero to write his book.
Another panelist, Justin Kuritzkes, also explained the inspiration behind his book Famous People. Kuritzkes was interested in how just one aspect of a person can make them drastically stand out from the rest, especially the aspects that the public does not see.
The panel continued with interesting questions and answers until it ended with all of the authors reading the last line of their books. Although the temperature was reaching the mid-nineties, the panel was very interesting and most importantly shaded from the blazing heat.
More information on the weekly author’s panels can be found on the Bryant Park Reading Room website https://bryantpark.org/programs/Authors.
Featured Image Via Jovanna Reyes