Pop Top Stage

The PopTop Stage features librarian favorites including mystery, humor, romance, technology, and travel, with readings, discussions, panels, and presentations.

Time Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016 Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016 Monday, Jan. 11, 2016
9:00am-9:50am Tracy Shaw-Westward Ho, Charlie Brown! Hank Phillippi Ryan & Joseph Finder-Mystery and Crime Garrett Robinson-Zoe
10:00am-10:50am Ashley Royer-Remember to Forget Francesco Marciuliano-You Need More Sleep Brenda Sprague-Learn How to Increase Revenue for Your Library and Grow Your Audiences with U.S. Passports
11:00am-11:50am Fantasy in Middle Grade We Need Diverse Books Emily Skrutskie-The Abyss Surrounds Us
12:00pm-12:50pm Robin Talley-What We Left Behind Stephon Alexander-The Jazz of Physics Katie Lynch-Confucius Jane
1:00pm-1:50pm David C. Taylor-Night Work Hirsh Sawhney-South Haven Ray Daniel-Corrupted Memory
2:00pm-2:50pm The Fantastic: A Conversation with Ken Liu & Kat Howard Charles Coe-Spin Cycles  
3:00pm-3:50pm Grady Hendrix-My Best Friend's Exorcism Rory Flynn & Edith Maxwell-Crime and Suspense  
4:00pm-4:50pm Booklist/AAP Middle Grade and YA Read 'n Rave Meet the Class of 2K16 Debuts  



Tracy Shaw-Westward Ho, Charlie Brown!

Tracy Shaw played the voice of "Lucy" in the beloved 1965 television special A Charlie Brown Christmas. She's been a school librarian for the last thirteen years in Washington state, where she also created a K-12 drama program that produced four shows a year for 17 years. Her books Hooray for Liberty, Charlie Brown!It's a New World, Charlie Brown!, and Westward Ho, Charlie Brown! will be released in June 2016.

Sponsored by Regnery Publishing


Ashley Royer-Remember to Forget

Wattpad Watty Award Winner and YouTube sensation, Ashley is a seventeen-year-old high school honor student. She was one of two people chosen to receive the first-annual Sonia Schreiber Weitz Upstander Award in the 7th grade for her role in befriending a student who was being bullied. A deginated Transitional Partner and Best Buddy in her highschool programs, you can find her work on YouTube callmeashley98 or Tweet @singsongash.

Sponsored by HarperCollins Christian


Fantasy in Middle Grade-S.E. Grove, James Riley, Monica Tesler, and Sharyn November

Grove is a historian and an aspiring explorer! Having grown up in Latin America and all over the US, she is used to living in different kinds of places. The Glass Sentence, the first book in her New York Times bestselling mapmaker's trilogy, is her debut middle grade novel.

Riley is the bestselling author of the Half Upon a Time trilogy and Story Thieves series. He lives in the Washington, DC area.

Tesler can often be found hiking or biking with her boys, writing on the commuter boat, or trying to catch a quiet moment for meditation. The first book in her debut middle grade fantasy/sci-fi series, Bounders, is forthcoming from Simon & Schuster/Aladdin in Spring 2016.

The session will be moderated by super star fantasy editor Sharyn November.

Sponsored by Viking Books


Robin Talley-What We Left Behind

Author of he critically acclaimed Lies We Tell Ouselves, is a Lambda Literary Fellow who writes young adult fiction focusing on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teenagers. When Robin's not writing, she's often planning communication strategies at organizations fighting for equal rights and social justice.

Sponsored by Harlequin


David C.Taylor-Night Work

David, author of Night Life and the forthcoming Night Work (April 2016), was born and raised in New York City. He spent twenty years in Los Angeles writing for television and the movies. He has published short stories and magazine articles, and has had an Off-Broadway musical produced in New York,  now dividing his time between Boston and the coast of Maine.

Sponsored by Tor/Forge Books

The Fantastic: A Conversation with Ken Liu-Paper Menagerie & Kat Howard-Roses and Rot

Ken Liu (http://kenliu.name) is an author and translator of speculative fiction, as well as a lawyer and programmer. A winner of the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy awards, he has been published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Asimov’s, Analog, and Strange Horizons, among other places. Ken’s debut novel, The Grace of Kings, the first in a silkpunk epic fantasy series, was published by Saga Press in April 2015. Saga will also publish a collection of his short stories, The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories, in March 2016.

Kat Howard lives in New Hampshire. Her short fiction has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award, anthologized in year's best and best of collections, and performed on NPR. Roses and Rot is her debut novel. You can find her on twitter at @KatWithSword. 

Sponsored by Simon & Schuster

Grady Hendrix-My Best Friend's Exorcism

Grady's first novel, HORRORSTOR, an illustrated novel about a haunted IKEA, was named one of the best books of 2014 by NPR. HORRORSTOR was translated into 10+ languages, television rights were optioned to producer Gail Berman of The Jackal Group. He has also written for various magazines. Bonus trivia: Grady and his wife also own and operate the acclaimed vegetarian restaurant "Dirt Candy".

Sponsored by Quirk Books


Booklist/AAP Middle Grade and YA Read 'n Rave-Sophie Brooker, Steve Fowler, Karen Ginman, Jennifer Hubert Swan, Joslyn Jones, Rebecca Vnuk

At this Read n Rave librarians gather to talk about their most recent discoveries on the exhibit floor, and upcoming middle grade and Young Adult works they are looking forward to sharing with their patrons. Five collection development librarians, including moderator Rebecca Vnuk, Booklist's Editor, Reference and Collection Management, will pitch their top discoveries in lightning rounds.

Co-Sponsored by Booklist and the Association of American Publisher's Children's Library Marketing Committee


Hank Phillippi Ryan-What You See & Joseph Finder-Killer Instict

Hank is the investigative reporter for Boston's NBC affiliate, and has won thirty-three Emmys and thirteen Edward R. Murrow Awards. A Boston Globe bestselling author, Ryan has won two Agatha Awards, in addition to the Anthony, Macavity, Daphne du Maurier, and Mary Higgins Clark Award. She is on the national board of directors of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime and is the author of The Other Woman (an Indie Next List Selection), The Wrong Girl, and Truth Be Told.

Joseph is the New York Times bestselling author of eleven previous novels, including Suspicion, Vanished, and Buried Secrets. Finder’s international bestseller Killer Instinct won the International Thriller Writer’s Thriller Award for Best Novel of 2006. Other bestselling titles include Paranoia and High Crimes, both of which became major motion pictures.

Sponsored by Tor/Forge Books & Penguin


We Need Diverse Books-Kody Keplinger, Malinda Lo, Adam Silvera, Heidi Heilig, Marieke Nijkamp

The panelists, from exciting debuts to established NYT-bestselling authors, are all committed to diversifying library shelves, one book at a time. After a discussion on how their books add to the diversity of children's literature, the authors will discuss how best to introduce LGBTQIA+ and disabled characters to library patrons. They'll discuss issues of privilege, bias, and the importance of the ongoing need for these stories.


Francesco Marciuliano-You Need More Sleep

Francesco is the author of the bestselling humor books I Could Pee on This, I Could Chew on This, and I Knead My Mommy--poetry by pets. He writes the internationally syndicated comic strip Sally Forth and the webcomic Medium Large. He was the head writer for the Emmy Award‐Winning children’s show SeeMore’s Playhouse and has written for The Onion News Network, Smosh, McSweeney’s, and the New York Fringe International Festival. He lives in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter at @fmarciuliano.

Sponsored by Chronicle Books


Stephon Alexander-The Jazz of Physics

A theoretical physicist and jazz musician combines his two loves to present a new theory of the universe: sound as the link between Einstein's relativity with quantum mechanics. Stephon is a theoretical physicist specializing in the interface between cosmology, particle physics, and quantum gravity. In 2013, Alexander won the prestigious American Physical Society Bouchet Award for “his contributions to theoretical cosmology, in particular the interface between fundamental physics and early universe cosmology.” He is also a jazz musician, and recently finished recording his first electronic jazz album with Erin Rioux.

Sponsored by Basic Books


Hirsh Sawhney-South Haven

Hirsh's writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, The Guardian, The Financial Times and numerous other periodicals. He is the editor of Delhi Noir, a critically acclaimed anthology of original fiction, and is an advisory editor at Wasafiri, a London-based journal of postcolonial literature. Visit the stage as he presents his debut novel South Haven.

Sponsored by Akashic Books


Charles Coe-Spin Cycles

Coe is the author of two books of poetry, "All Sins Forgiven:Poems for My Parents" and "Picnic on the Moon" (Leapfrog Press). His poetry has appeared in literary reviews and anthologies such as "Poesis," "The Mom Egg," "Solstice Literary Review," and "Urban Nature." Charles won a fellowship in poetry from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and his poems have been set to music by a number of composers. Co-chair of the Boston Chapter of the National Writers Union, Charles was selected by the Associates of the Boston Public Library as a "Boston Literary Light for 2014."

Sponsored by Gemma Media


Rory Flynn-Third Rail/Dark Horse & Edith Maxwell-Delivering the Truth

Rory Flynn is the pseudonym of Stona Fitch, the author of five critically acclaimed, noir-inflected novels. Novels including Senseless, Printer's Devil, and Give+Take have been published widely throughout the world. He writes msteries under his pseudonym Rory Flynn, author of the Eddy Harkness series which debuted with Third Rail in 2014 and will be followed by Third Rail/Dark Horse in 2016.

Edith is the vice-president of the New England chapter of Sisters in Crime and a long-time member of the Society of Friends. She is the author of the Local Foods Mysteries, the Lauren Rousseau Mysteries, and the Country Store Mysteries. You can find her blogs at wickedcozyauthors.com.

Sponsored by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Midnight Ink Books


Meet the Class of 2K16 Debuts

Class of 2K16 YA Debuts - First loves, second chances, time travel and otherworldly realms are just a few experiences our teen protagonists navigate through.  Four young adult debut authors introduce their books, share their story’s inspiration, and offer comparable titles already in the market.  The panelists include: Elizabeth Briggs, Roshani Chokshi, Dana Elmendorf, and Emily Martin. 

Garrett Robinson-Zoe

Garrett Buhl Robinson has enjoyed watching the lines of script unspool from the tip of the pen for as long as he can remember.  At a young age, he found a musical quality in the twirls and dashes of the letters he wrote, the lines becoming strings on an instrument that he will play for the rest of his life. In 2014, Garrett adapted his second novel into a play with music: Letters to Zoey and made his stage debut performing the world premiere at the United Solo Theatre Festival in October 2015. He is thrilled to perform pieces from the adaptation on the Pop Top Stage.

Sponsored by The Crowley Company

Brenda Sprague-Learn How to Increase Revenue for Your Library and Grow Your Audiences with U.S. Passports

Did you know your public library could gain revenue by accepting U.S. passport applications?  Brenda Sprague, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Passport Services with the U.S. Department of State will speak about the benefits that come from being designated as an official location where U.S. citizens may apply for their passports.  The Department of State currently works with libraries across the country who are authorized to perform this service in their communities.  Brenda will share success stories, review the requirements for becoming authorized, and provide details about the fees kept by the libraries for each application that is accepted.  Given that Department issued over 14 million passports in 2015, this could be very good news for libraries looking to supplement their budgets.    

Emily Skrutskie-The Abyss Surrounds Us

Emily has had her short fiction published by Harper Teen and currently attends Cornell University. The Abyss Surrounds Us is her debut novel we are excited to have presented on the Pop Top Stage.

Sponsored by Flux Now Books


Katie Lynch-Confucius Jane

Katie is the Coordinator of the MTS Honors Program at SUNY Rockland Community College, where she also serves as the Chair of English, Philosophy, and Religious Studies. OMG Queer, the anthology of LGBTQI short fiction that Lynch co-edited was awarded a place on the 2013 American Library Association's Rainbow Book List. Confucius Jane will appeal to underserved readers who are interested in diverse books with LGBT and Asian-American characters. Readers of Jodi Picoult’s Sing You Home, Sarah Waters, Jean Kwok, and Sarah Addison Allen will all find lots to love here.

Sponsored by Tor/Forge Books


Ray Daniel-Corrupted Memory

Ray writes first-person, wisecracking, Boston-based crime fiction. His story Driving Miss Rachel (published in Blood Moon by Level Best Books) was chosen as a 2013 distinguished short story by Otto Penzler, editor of The Best American Mystery Stories 2013. Daniel's work has been published in the Level Best Books anthologies Thin Ice, Blood Moon, and Stone Cold. For more information, visit him online at raydanielmystery.com/.

Sponsored by Midnight Ink Books