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FYA Stalks: Libba Bray

Smarty Pants Alexis is here to recount FYA DC's latest stalking exploits. In this special Halloween episode, Libba Bray, author of the mega-creepy The Diviners drops in.

FYA Stalks: Libba Bray

Please welcome Alexis G to the Smarty Pants stage! A member of DC chapter of FYA, a book club with an unstoppable desire to stalk ALL the authors, Alexis is here to tell you about their latest, spookiest adventure. With giant hay spiders, fairy pumpkins, and All The Side Ponytails, FYA@DC does Halloween UP.

When Mike Mullin, author of YA legit-creepfest Ashfall and Ashen Winter and lucky target of FYA@DC’s first major author stalking, makes public declaration of your FYA club’s ability to drink grown-ass men under the table, you’re pretty much required by FYA law to throw a boozy, author-stalking-y Halloweenfest to live up to the hype.

And when YA goddess Libba Bray, fresh queen of the ambitious and über, über creepy makes a spectacular appearance at your local bookstore and literally exclaims over your being in any way a part of the local FYA community, you’re pretty much required by human being law to beg her to Skype in to said Halloweenfest.

And when one of your number lives in the most rural of rural Maryland neighborhoods, surrounded by mounds and mounds of fall-perfect foliage and nearby pumpkin patches, it would be a crime to have the party anywhere else.

And when you run into a tumblr dedicated largely to gorgeous visual renderings of 90s YA fashion idol, Claudia Kishi, anything less than a Claudia Kishi costume-off would be next to criminal.

And, of course, anything less than Skyping Alix in on a second computer for the whole Libba Bray/Claudia Kishi extravangaza would be the ultimate tragedy.

Thus, the DC chapter’s full-day Libba Bray-Claudia Kishi-Salem Witches-Buffy Summers-Scotland Alix-Kid Kit Jungle Juice-Lumpy Butterbeer-a-palooza.

I know, I know. We had you up to “lumpy butterbeer.” Let’s just say, hand-whipped cream on top of rum-spiked cream soda? Delicious. Cream hand-whipped with clarified butter (for that extra, buttery KICK!)? Rum or no, not so much. Word to the wise.

However, our chat with Libba Bray, author of the recently released The Diviners and she of the unrivaled patience for technical jolts and jiggery and generosity with precious sequel-writing time, was more than lovely (and funny!) enough to make up for any amount of lumpy butter-cream. Plus: spooky haunted house stories of a childhood well-lived, and the very best kind of anecdote for the DC crowd: the tireless work of superhero copy-editors and the proper etymology of the slang word “honey.”

On screen, The Diviners scream-queen Libba Bray; in front, our intrepid, Kishi’d-out DC FYA crew; on tap, KBC pumpkin beer; in the goody bags, glow bracelets, bit-o-honeys, and Ruta Badovsky’s eye(gum)balls. As one does.

Specialest thanks go, of course, to Ms. Bray and her lovely publicist, but in very close second we have to thank FYA’s own Alix, who not only Skyped in all the way from Scotland in the middle of freakin’ GRAD SCHOOL, but did so in full, metallic-legging’d, Claudia Kishi regalia.

And while we spent the rest of our day watching Hocus Pocus and Buffy and the Notre Dame game and not drinking each other, let alone any supervolcanoe apocalypse experts, under any tables, we DID have a very quenching spread of YA-inspired spooky brews, including the (semi-failed) butterbeer; Everybody Sees the Ants Jungle Juice (transported in an honest-to-goodness KID KIT, people!); and ooey, gooey, worm-filled The Diviners limeade swamp water.

And, while I can’t think of any ghostly YA books with shrunken heads as a central image, our shrunken apple head cider wouldn’t be out of place in Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood, which we also had represented in a very successful batch of Kettle Corn Dressed In [Hot Tamale] Blood.

So Mike Mullin, thank you for thinking we’re all cooler than cool; Libba Bray, thank you for lending us your valuable The Diviners sequel- and screenwriting time; Hocus Pocus, thank you for giving us a true Halloween treasure; and Joss Whedon, thank you for giving us scares that live up to EXACTLY WHAT THE BOOK SAYS:

Because books, they’re always right.

Happy Halloween, all.

Alexis.'s photo About the Author: Alexis grew up in Wyoming, where she did NOT ride horses to school, but did write her IB extended essay on the youth of heroism in Peter Pan and Stargirl. In spite of this, she was shocked years later to realize how seriously she loved YA lit (blame the snobbery of academia for the blindness). She now lives in Washington DC, where she reads so much YA and MG she built a whole scavenger hunt around it.