Naugatuck Valley Community College Associate Professor of English Steve Parlato has a lot to celebrate these days. The Young Adult (YA) author just returned from Teen Bookfest by the Bay in Corpus Christi, Texas, where he was joined by other nationally-acclaimed YA authors and illustrators. Parlato, who is the author of 2013 YA novel The Namesake writes about young characters coping with traumatic life events. As such, he was invited to be part of a panel titled “Survivors,” where he joined three other authors to discuss the themes of “survivor-hood”—including the presence of resilience and hope—in their writing. Celebrating its third year, the annual Teen Bookfest by the Bay is a non-profit organization which was formed by a group of Corpus Christi Bay-area librarians. This year, the day-long event was held at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi and included writing and illustration workshops, panels, book signings, and readings. The book festival is an educational event where teens can meet published authors, learn about the writing and publishing process, and interact with their favorite writers.
“Spending a weekend in Corpus Christi was exciting—the scenery and weather were beautiful—but speaking with readers who were touched by The Namesake made it truly special. They reminded me my work has a life outside myself—and even outside the pages of my books. The trip left me inspired to return to the classroom and help my students to tell their own stories,” said Parlato.
Parlato is also anticipating the release of his second YA novel, The Precious Dreadful, the story of Teddi Alder, whose decision to join a library writing group leads to unexpected romantic and dramatic consequences. The Precious Dreadful comes out this September, from Merit Press, an imprint of Simon and Schuster.