Sunday, October 13, 2013

Books by the Banks: Focus YA

Yesterday, I attended Books by the Banks in Cincinnati! This was not only my first visit to Books by the Banks, but my first book festival overall. Cue the milestone marker! It was a great festival to have as my first, as it’s intimate, accessible and free.

Of course, I went for the YA authors. There were 17 of them! By far the largest number of YA awesomeness that I’ve been in the presence of. After perusing their tables and chatting up some, I attended a few panels, the last of which was YA Fiction in a Flash. The YA authors in attendance gave us the down low on their fabulous books, which was followed by a Q&A session. 

From left: Emma Carlson Berne, Jody Casella, Cinda Williams Chima, Liz Coley, Lorie Langdon, Carey Corp,  Lisa Klein, Maureen Lipinski, Rebekah Crane, Mindy McGinnis, Jennifer McGowan, Tim Mettey

Here’s some wisdom I gleaned from that session:

On Being a Plotter or a Pantser
I know the first line and the last line, but the rest is a mystery. –Mindy McGinnis

I only write scenes I want to read. –Jennifer McGowan

I don’t outline the ending, because if I know how it ends, I might get bored with the story. –Maureen Lipinski

I start each novel with an outline, but as I get more confident with the story, I become more of a pantser. –Lisa Klein

I like the process of discovery. –Cinda Williams Chima


On the YA genre
Nobody knows what the next big thing is until it happens. –Cinda Williams Chima

YA is read by all ages because teenagers are interesting. –Mindy McGinnis

You feel your teenage years so wholeheartedly, which may be why adults read YA. –Rebekah Crane

Being a teen isn’t easy, and if you think it is, then you have no business writing for teens. –Cinda Williams Chima

On Revision
Revision is a completely different skill set than writing. –Carey Corp

Step away for six months, if you can. When you finish a draft, you’re too emotionally invested to edit, which is what needs to be done. –Mindy McGinnis

Never let anyone tell you there’s only one right way to go about this. Writing is hard enough without trying to shoehorn yourself into someone else’s method. –Cinda Williams Chima

Wade through the first draft crap to get to the gems. –Rebekah Crane

On Reading
Becoming a writer changes your relationship with books. –Liz Coley

My mentor is any author whose books I’ve read, as I learned to write through reading. –Mindy McGinnis

On Being a Writer
Up until the third grade, I used to get in trouble for daydreaming, but now I get paid for it. –Cinda Williams Chima

We are told not to read reviews, but most of us do anyway. –Mindy McGinnis

Listen to your own voice. –Liz Coley

Write the book that you were meant to write. That gives you the biggest chance at being successful. –Cinda Williams Chima

Author Pavilion

This is an annual event, so you can bet that I’ll be back next year! Thanks to all the authors (not just the YA ones) that participated and thanks, Cincinnati, for being awesome!
DISCLAIMER: This post in an unofficial account of the YA Fiction in a Flash panel at the Books by the Banks event with the aforementioned authors on October 12, 2013 in Cincinnati, OH. The views that I present in this article are my interpretations of the event and are not direct quotations of the author’s comments. These paraphrases do not necessarily represent the opinions of these authors or their publishers.

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