24 September 2012

Fierce Reads Event Recap!

When I first started blogging and really taking a renewed interest in the book community, I was often disheartened at the number of book/author events that happened elsewhere (especially when they were in Chicago and therefore closer to where I grew up than where I currently live). It seemed like St. Louis and Kansas City, both of which at about 2 hours from where I live, nevertheless seemed to draw YA authors. Then, magically, Ally Condie came to St. Louis courtesy of the plibrary and Puddnhead Books. That event was almost a year ago now and since then I've had the pleasure of attended three more events, including Lauren Oliver, HarperCollins' Dark Days of Summear, and now the fabulous FIERCE READS tour. Despite the stress and business of a new job and my final semester of my MA program, I knew that with such a fabulous 5 author line-up I couldn't miss this event and I'm so glad that I made the trip! The evening's line-up features Ann Aguirre, Jessica Brody, Elizabeth Fama, Lish McBride, and Marissa Meyer. How could you NOT want to attend that event?! I had the chance to chat with the ladies a little before the event and I have to say that they were fabulous. They make me want a third job with a publisher just touring with authors. (And can you identify the author who "doesn't belong" in the picture?)

Moving on to the actual event, the Audience asked some great questions and I will try to distill for you some of my favorite answers, tidbits, and random facts. (And I apologize for the poor quality pictures as my camera died right before the event and without spare batteries in tow--silly me--I had to resort to the iPad camera).

You really do learn the most interesting things at these author events.  For example, Ann started off the discussion talking about why she loves writing YA so much now that she's moved to writing for the age group.  She said the cross-genre possibilities are awesome but the best part is really the uncensored, enthusiastic fan-mail that comes from young readers. She says, "I really want to be an annoying 12 year old forever." Marissa Meyer talked a little about her fan-fic and short story background and it was really interesting to find out that the initial idea for the Lunar chronicles was inspired by a short story that she wrote at a young age about a futuristic, science fiction version of "Puss in Boots." Jessica Brody got the initial idea for 52 Reasons when watching a meter reader write a ticket and thinking "Wouldn't it be cool to be a meter reader for, like, a day?" Beyond that, she thought carefully about how to turn this idea into a "fish out of water story" with a character who would change the most throughout the course of the story and present the most comedy. Elizabeth Fama wrote Monstrous Beauty as a dare from her YA-age kids and they worked the outline out together on morning runs! (How fun!)  Lish set out to write a story about the nice guy because while badasses are awesome, that's not really the kind of guy that most of us spend out high school lives with.

I could spend a long time telling you about all of their awesome answers to the audience questions that spanned everything from the hardest part of writing to marketing a current projects.  I will leave you with this: none of them think that "writer's block" is a real thing!  Their advice to all of those aspiring writers out there is that you have to push through it!  If you feel like you're stuck, then there's something that needs changed or cut.  Step back (or away), think about it, and then come back and keep going.  Writing is a job if you want to make money at it. My favorite quote (as an educator) was probably this: "Teacher's aren't allowed to get teaching block, and then sit at their desks all day because they just don't feel inspired today."  So writer friends, go forth and write!

Thanks to the absolutely fabulous people being the Fierce Reads tour I have an AMAZING giveaway for you today!  Take a look at the awesomeness that's up for grabs...

Prize Package:

  • Signed copies of: Enclave, Outpost, Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, Necromancing the Stone, 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, Cinder, Monstrous Beauty
  • Swag: "Spoiled Heiress" t-shirt and sunglasses, 52 Reasons bookmark, Unremembered sneak peak, Monstrous Beauty buttons, Cinder/Scarlet bookmark and stickers


So, here's the details: To win, you must be in the US and over the age of 13.  Other than that, it's easy! Just enter away using the Rafflecopter form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

3 comments:

Mandee said...

Thanks for this awesome giveaway! :)

Elizabeth Fama said...

Ha! Your iPad camera did very well given the low light. I'm just sorry there's no photo of you with us (which is what I tiptoed over here to steal). What were we thinking? It was lovely to meet you, Jessi! Good luck with school!

Christina said...

Argh... I can't believe I was working during this event. I'm so glad you got to go but sad I missed you! What an awesome giveaway :-) Hope to catch you at the next event!

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