The Morris Award winner will be announced’ at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting in Boston on Monday, January 18 from 8-10 p.m. at the Westin Copley Place Essex Center South, along with the winner and finalists for YALSA’s Nonfiction Award.

All six authors of the five finalists were interviewed here at the YALSA blog. Here are the links to the interviews:

Interview with Malinda Lo, author of Ash: “I did outline [Ash],’ and came up with long character questionnaires. At the same time, I was an anthropology graduate student, so I approached worldbuilding from an anthropologist’s perspective. That means I thought about rituals—cultural practices that can mark major changes in one’s life, like birth, marriage, and death.”

Interview with Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, author of Beautiful Creatures:’ Margaret Stohl:’ “By the time we got to the sequel, we practically had the guillotine of lost ideas set up in our office, and our editor just pointed out that we (meaning she!) cut twenty thousand words off of this last draft.” Kami Garcia: “Gatlin reminds me a lot of the small town in North Carolina where my grandmother and great-grandma grew up. But the thing about Gatlin is that it really describes a lot of small towns, all over the country. Because pie baking is pie baking and porch gossip is porch gossip regardless of where you’re baking the pie and dishing the gossip.”

Interview with Amy Huntley, author of The Everafter: “In college I took a class called “Physics for Poets.” I found the class fascinating, but terrifying as well. The thought that there might not be a god, that everything came down to this random event called The Big Bang, fascinated me in a horrifying way. What if I really was nothing more than matter and energy? What if that meant I’d spend eternity floating around in the universe alone? This notion nagged at me for years. Then one day, in the teacher’s lounge, my colleagues were talking objects they’d lost. One of them said in a very offhand way, “Wouldn’t it be hilarious if all those things showed up after you were dead? Just when you couldn’t use them?”.”

Interview with L.K. Madigan, author of Flash Burnout: “I needed a reason for Blake to say (about Marissa), “She had the most heartbroken eyes in the world.” That was a line pinging around in my head, and it needed to come out in the story. What’s the best way for someone to look closely at another person? Through the lens of a camera. So photography was a device, at first, for building their relationship. I had not made a conscious decision to expand it into a central theme. As I kept writing, the characters led me – as they are wont to do – in the direction they wanted to go.”

Interview with Nina LaCour, author of Hold Still: “A woman I knew in grad school had a coffee table book about tree houses. One evening I started looking through the book and was immediately captivated. Then, a year or so later, when I was searching for a way for Caitlin to channel her grief in an active way, I remembered them. The last thing I wanted was to write a book about a girl who sits around and cries. Caitlin does a bit of that, but I wanted her to create something, to move around, and the more I thought about it, the more fitting it seemed to have her create a structure that was all her own and that she could ultimately share with others once she was ready to let’  people in again.”

About Liz Burns

Liz is the Youth Services Consultant for the New Jersey State Library's Library for the Blind and Handicapped. Liz is active in YALSA and in the YA Services Section of the New Jersey Library Association. She was a member of the 2009 Michael L. Printz Award Committee. Along with co-author Sophie Brookover, she wrote Pop Goes the Library: Using Pop Culture To Connect With Your Whole Community, published in 2008 by Information Today. Liz blogs at Pop Goes the Library ( and Tea Cozy ( She holds an MLIS from Rutgers University, SCILS, and a JD from Villanova Law School, Villanova University. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is her favorite television show. Ever. Her favorite book is... well, it's impossible to pick just one. Or two. Or ten.

One Thought on “2010 Morris Award Finalists

  1. Lovely! This is an incredibly exciting award and I’m thrilled for the finalists.

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