The B&N YA Podcast

By Barnes & Noble

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Explore the stories behind the young adult books you love with the B&N YA Podcast. Join host Melissa Albert, editor of the B&N Teen Blog and bestselling author of The Hazel Wood, as she sits down with fellow YA authors to talk about books, life, their teen years, their pop cultural obsessions, and how they came up with the stories that keep us up at night. Subscribe to listen in on fascinating new conversations every other week.

Episode Date
Marisha Pessl

Marisha Pessl debuted in 2006 with Special Topics in Calamity Physics, a fascinating bestseller about a bookish girl and her charismatic whirlpool of a father. With its dark thrills and astonishing reveals, it made her an immediate author to watch. She followed it with Night Film, a horror thriller about a reclusive creator of cult "terror films" and the journalist who destroyed his career in pursuit of the filmmaker’s secrets. Now she’s releasing her YA debut, Neverworld Wake, a brainy supernatural tale about five teens who, following an accident that leaves them on the edge of death, must relive one day over and over, until they can vote on who among them will survive it.

Pessl’s books are dense with creation and hyper articulate, filled with invented cultural artifacts and singular characters. We sat down with her to talk about entering the YA world, cult fandom, and the killer concept behind Neverworld Wake.

Aug 02, 2018
Stephanie Garber

Stephanie Garber’s debut novel Caraval is a jewel box of a book, filled with unearthly delights. With its magical dresses, life-or-death riddles, and glittering carnival backdrop, it became one of 2017’s best loved fantasies. Now, Garber has returned with sequel Legendary, in which the magic is darker, the stakes higher, and the game of Caraval is played out across a far grander canvas. Garber is an author who’s funny and frank about her journey to publication and the battles she fights as a full-time author creating immersive worlds. We sat down with her to discuss worldbuilding, why she became a reader later than you’d think, and taking the wrong fictional roads so you can find the right ones.

Jul 18, 2018
Nicola Yoon

Nicola Yoon writes love stories that will break your heart, filled with all the hope, excitement, and uncertainty of first romance. Her characters fall in love through emails, from afar, or in the space of just one day. She explores the walls between them and the moonstruck optimism that guides them in effervescent, deeply humanistic prose that wraps itself around your heart. Her #1 NYT bestselling debut, Everything, Everything, was adapted into a 2017 film, and her sophomore novel, National Book Award finalist The Sun Is Also a Star, will be following it to the big screen soon. We talked about her process, immigration stories, and what it’s like to work on a love story with the one you love.

Jul 05, 2018
Rainbow Rowell

Rainbow Rowell is a literary chameleon. From a devastating teen love story to a magical realistic marital romance to her latest project, reviving Brian K. Vaughan's Runaways comics, she moves among genres, setting, and style, never writing the same book twice.  But what books from Eleanor & Park to Carry On share is imperfect, deeply real characters who leap off the page, whether they're high school students, dissatisfied office employees, or wizards in training; dialogue that crackles with humor and life; and funny, true moments that give you the feeling that Rowell is right on the other side of the pages, your funniest, most brilliant friend telling you a story.  In this episode of the podcast, Rainbow Rowell joins us from her hometown of Omaha for a wide-ranging conversation about comics, fan fiction, growing up in the pre-Internet world and the path from reader to creator.

Jun 28, 2018
Sabaa Tahir and Renée Ahdieh

Renée Ahdieh and Sabaa Tahir have been shaping the landscape of YA fantasy since the release of their debut novels in 2015. Ahdieh’s The Wrath and the Dawn folded elements of the Thousand and One Nights and Beauty and the Beast into a lush, sensuous love story, about a girl who’s more than she seems telling stories to her husband, a murderous caliph, to stay alive. Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes kicked off a bloody, addictive fantasy epic set against the brutal backdrop of the Martial Empire, built on the backs of the oppressed Scholar people. Their work explores, among other things, magic dark and light, fascinating villains, oppression and colonialism, and moral rot. Recently Tahir released A Reaper at the Gates, the third book in the Ember quartet, and Ahdieh released Smoke in the Sun, her fourth book and the second in her Flame in the Mist duology, set in a magic-infused version of Feudal Japan. We spoke to them about their books, their teen years, and the fast friendship that started with a two-hour phone call and has been going strong ever since.

Jun 14, 2018
Gayle Forman

Gayle Forman is an author best known for demolishing readers’ hearts. In books like If I Stay ( adapted as a film in 2014) and Just One Day Forman creates characters who feel utterly real, as they wrestle with everything life can throw at them: the explosive power of first love, the wrenching grief of a friend’s suicide, or the impact of cold reality on creative dreams. Her latest, the instant bestseller I Have Lost My Way, centers on the fateful meeting of three teens in New York City, each on the verge of a personal cataclysm. In this episode, Gayle Forman joins us to talk about the new book, her world travels, getting real for Seventeen magazine, and celebrating the connections that just feel like fate.

May 31, 2018
Cassandra Clare
Cassandra Clare is the creator behind the sprawling, beloved Shadowhunters universe, which launched in 2007 with City of Bones. The dark, unforgettable series centers on a race of angel-blooded warriors tasked with defending mundane society from demonic takeover.  More than a dozen books later, Clare’s is one of modern fantasy’s richest worlds, populated with deeply human, wickedly funny characters, and boasting a mythology that fans (and other writers) can’t stop exploring.  To kick off the B&N YA Podcast, Clare sat down with host Melissa Albert to talk about what made her a writer, how her ideas develop, and why she’s still mad at C.S. Lewis.
May 10, 2018