Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Show of Support - Straight but not narrow.

For those who felt that no one had their backs, I say "I support you."

A Fine Fest

So, getting back to business.

Had the most stupendously awesome weekend. A friend and I went to the Texas Book Festival in Austin. If you’re not familiar with Austin, it’s kind of an anomaly in Texas – the weirdos outnumber the normals, they’re super green, party hearty (okay, that’s not unusual in Texas, but Austin just seems to do it better than the rest of the state) and music mad. Plus, being the state capital, it has a political slant that you don’t get elsewhere. Good town. If you happen to be there, the brisket hash is a-frickin-mazing at the South Congress CafĂ©.

And the Book Fest is pretty much awesomeness. If you ever wondered what the difference is between a nerd and a geek, a book fest and a sci-fi convention pretty much delineate things. Which makes me a neek? A gerd? A neerk? Anywhoodle. I got to see two of the top tier authors (Jeff Lindsay of the Dexter books, and Justin Cronin of The Passage who put the literature back in vampire lit. Total book world “It” boy of the moment.), and one of my personal all-time favorites, Holly Black. But I also got to listen to a lot of authors I didn’t really know. It was really fascinating to listen to different writers talk about getting words on paper. Some things I gleaned:
  • Most writers appear to prefer the morning for writing (with Lindsay getting up at an obscene 3:00 am to write. Ugh.)
  • The experienced writers were all about the outlining. Though the more character driven writers were looser about sticking to their outlines.
  • While being a published author is undeniably cool, the YA authors are undeniably cooler and funner than the others. And by all appearances, you don't have to grow up to be one.
Also, with bullying being on everybody’s mind lately, about 2/3 of the writers I saw mentioned bullying and specifically being a target of bullying. And if you were a bully as a child, you’d better hope that you didn’t bully a budding novelist. A surprising number of the authors had fictionally rubbed out their bullies in inventive ways at some point in their work.

And lastly, towards the end of Sunday, I ran out of people I specifically wanted to see and bumbled into watching Tony DiTerlizzi. Who was just way interesting. He co-wrote and illustrated the Spiderwick Chronicles. It was fascinating to see the way he looks at story and illustration. And his new book The Search for WondLa looks like a must read for middle readers (and slightly older, ahem, readers – my copy is on the way).

TIME: Quotes of the Day