Second Star’s high school staffer and young adult advisory group superstar Aspen Coates pulled off a perfect 10 in her debut solo event at Second Star to the Right Children’s Bookstore this past Saturday afternoon. After working on previous author visits through her role at Second Star, Coates facilitated the store’s latest local writer event with Scott Bergstrom, author of the highly successful YA novel “Cruelty.”
Coates first laid eyes on the book through her participation in Second Star’s young adult advisory board and was immediately drawn to the novel. “I thought that book looks cool! So I picked it up and read it and I really loved it and wondered who the author was,” Coates said. “When I looked him up, I saw that he lived in Colorado and I said I’ve got to e-mail him!”
She was excited to find his e-mail address readily available and wasted no time before contacting him. “I e-mailed him not totally expecting something back. In my e-mail, I said ‘I read your book and I really loved it. I work at a bookstore in Denver and I saw that you live in Colorado and I was wondering if there is any chance that you could come and make an appearance in the store.’ He e-mailed me back within the same day and said that he loved the area and had been to the Cat Café with his daughters and gave me his publicist’s e-mail address. We arranged dates and that’s how it happened,” she said.
Coates invited fellow young adult readers from the area and Bergstrom’s appearance drew a full house in the Second Star Rumpus Room on Saturday, February 18. She fully fulfilled her role as event host, setting up the room to highlight Bergstrom’s books and creating a perfect seating arrangement for an author reading. Coates gave Bergstrom a rousing introduction before he read an extensive passage from his hit novel. Following the first reading, Coates guided an entertaining and engaging Q&A with the author who shared several anecdotes from his life and the writing process.
Bergstrom provided great insight in to his writing process, how to develop a full plot and create character development along with the inspiration behind his debut novel. Following the Q&A and readings, Bergstrom autographed books for those in attendance and a few special copies for Second Star to the Right before the event wrapped up.
Bergstrom, who is currently in the final stages of writing the sequel to Cruelty, was thrilled that the teenager reached to him and invited him to Second Star. “I’m so glad you did. This was really a blast for me. I enjoyed it,” Bergstrom told the Second Star staff and owners.
With one successful event under her belt, Coates looks forward to helping to bring more authors to Second Star.
“He was the first author that I’ve reached out to. We’ve had other author events that I’ve helped with but this was the first one that I got to reach and arrange myself,” she said following the event. “It feels great. I was really nervous this morning but I’m really happy now. We have another author coming. Len Vlahos, who wrote “Life in a Fishbowl” is coming in March so I’m super excited about that.”
Coates, a freshman at North High School, has been working at Second Star to the Right for just an under a year but has been a fan of the store for much longer. The 14-year-old is a member of Second Star to the Right’s young adult advisory board that helps to preview and select the books stocked in the store. If you or your child is interested in more information about Second Star’s youth advisory group, click here.
In addition to being an avid reader, Coates loves math, science and graphic design. A self-described “drama nerd,” Coates has an affinity for Shakespeare and monologues as well as kids.
For more on the book “Cruelty,” click here.
Click here to read Aspen’s full Q&A with Scott Bergstrom.