So this past weekend was so much fun at the Boston Book Festival! I was only able to attend two of the talks but they were both great!
The first I attended was the discussion about the Ancients. Caroline Alexander started off discussing her new book The War That Killed Achilles that looks into the epic the Iliad (one of my favorite books). It was interesting to see the take on just the aspect of war and not read into what people think of the symbolism etc. I do plan on purchasing her book to read with the Iliad next time I read it. Then Sir Peter Stothard discussed his book The Spartacus Road. It was interesting how he made us all think back to how the people of the time lived, it was common for wars and slaves. He also discussed about how when you read these epic poetry books that you must read it from the thinking of the time and not how we look at things like slaves and war now. The final author who spoke was Stacy Schiff who discussed her book Cleopatra. She touched on the process of researching when there is little to go on. She talked about how she had to research not only Cleopatra but also other important figures of the time in order to fully grasp the time and live of the figure of her book. Another book that sounds interesting and I may have to read at some time.
My hubby and I then took a lunch break at a local restaurant/bar called Vox Populari. It was fantastic food and drinks! The best lobster bisque I have ever had!!
And then the main event I attended for, the Young Adult authors!! The first speaker was Noni Carter, she read a brief passage from her book Good Fortune. It has an interesting flow to the book but not exactly my cup of tea. Then Kathryn Lasky, author of the Guardians of Ga’Hoole series (the owl books that just became a movie). She discussed how she brings real events into her fantasy books. Some of the battles that the owls fight are based in actual historical battles. She discussed how she must spend many hours researching each of her books, ie. how owls fly, what they eat, where they go, etc. The next presenter was Francisco Stork, author of The Last Summer of the Death Warriors. He chose to discuss how he chooses to write a book by coming up with people who wouldn't normally be together and putting them into a situation where they meet and how they interact with one another.
She then talked about how her work is crap, how all authors work is crap and it only gets to be a good or great book thru numerous revisions and a lot of work. She made it very clear that it was a lot of work to put a good book out there and how by the end of the process you pretty much hate the book because you have looked at it so many times!
One of the questions that was asked of her was how long it took for her to decided on the land (map & terrain) and she laughed "not as long as I should have spent on it." she said I decided Katsa & Po needed to take 3 weeks to get from point A to point B but it wasn't going to take that long so I threw up some giant mountains and an impenetrable forest. Now in the process of writing Bitterblue I am having to get down details of the landscape that should have been done in the first book.
She said that Graceling took her about a year and a half to complete and Fire a little longer. She said that it was more difficult to write Fire because she had to get into Fire's head and it was a dark and scary place.
She was fantastic!
It was a very exciting and motivating experience! I returned home feeling absolutely thrilled, and looking forward to reading the books again!
On top of reading again I have finally given into some of my friends and joined the NaNoWriMo. For those of you who aren't aware this stands for National Novel Writing Month. Aspiring writers and already accomplished writers are encouraged to join a one month challenge to write 50,000 words of a novel. Now I have had an idea for a fantasy novel floating around my head for some time now and thought this would be a good opportunity for my to really get it down.
So here we go, all signed up and looking forward to November 1st! As we are not allowed to begin writing until November I have taken the time to gather several notebooks and a notepad/planner. I have begun detailing each of the main characters so that I wont be stumbling over who has what eye and hair color. I have also started a basic outline that will cover roughly the first half of the novel, and I will just see where the book goes from there. I am hoping to finish my main characters today and possibly get some major plot points down that I want to make sure I hit.
I woke up this morning feeling very excited about this project but even more nervous that I may fail as I have on many other similar projects. All I can do is hope that I can keep the words flowing!
Wish you all an amazing day filled with words!