Well this post is embarrassingly late… Nothing like posting a book event wrap up 3 months after it happened. Oh well.
On April 14th, I attended the Ohioana Book Festival for the second year in a row. You can read more about my experience at this festival last year here → Book Event: 2017 Ohioana Book Festival + Book Haul.
Compared to last year, I wasn’t as excited about the author list for the 2018 festival. This could partly be due to the fact that I was unable to read many books by the attending authors prior to the event… BUT I really enjoy author panels, so I don’t mind making the 1.5 hour drive north to Columbus to sit in on the panels.
I am going to share with you the panels I sat in on during this event. I will only be going in depth about the YA panel, but I’ll share highlights from the other two.
Panel #1: Transcending Genres
Writers discuss the differences in writing poetry, fiction, nonfiction, etc.
Karen Harper, Tracy Lawson, Margie Shaheed, and Lucy A. Synder
I basically went to this panel because I had some time to kill and the topic sounded interesting. I wasn’t familiar with any of the authors, nor heard of their works. They were all very interesting women.
Panel #2: YA in the Spotlight
A discussion with some of the best and brightest YA fiction writers.
Cinda Williams Chima, Kristina McBride, Mindy McGinnis, and Josephine Rascoe Keenan
Cinda Williams Chima
- Joked that she used to get into trouble for daydreaming, but now she gets paid for it.
- She is a huge George R.R. Martin fan. She actually started writing because she wanted to do what he does.
- She originally started writing the Seven Realms series to pass the time while she was working to get her first books published.
- Despite the fact that publishers are weary to include adults in the YA genre, Cinda feels it is important to include the adult characters.
- Her advice is to relish the pre-published time for aspiring authors. It allows you to take your time with your writing & make it the best version it can be. Once you are published you’ll be subject to DEADLINES.
- Once someone told her she’d never get published because her font of choice is Times New Roman.
- “If anyone tells you there is one right way to write a book, you need to run!”
- Feels that community is important for a writer since writing is so solitary.
- If you are an aspiring author in search of an agent, she recommends finding out who represented authors of books similar to your own. You can usually find this by flipping to the back of the book and reading the acknowledgments.
- She really enjoys looking at the fan art for her books. She loves seeing how all her fans visualize the characters so differently.
- Before she became an author, she was an assistant librarian.
- She runs a blog for aspiring authors →Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire
- She describes her new book, This Darkness Mine, as “Fight Club in the band room”
- When asked how long it generally takes to write a book, she laughed and said it varies. She did admit that she wrote A Madness So Discreet in 3 weeks – but before you crucify her she did research for 18 month before she began writing.
- Recommends The Passage series by Justin Cronin.
- She suggests never re-reading your books once they are published… you will just make yourself crazy.
- When asked which comes first, the characters or the world, Mindy says it varies.
- She says that writing the book synopsis is harder than writing the entire book.
- Mindy feels that it is not her place to write a POC (person of color) main character, as that is not her personal experience, HOWEVER she feels it is her responsibility as an author to have a diverse cast of characters because everyone deserves to see themselves in books. She recommends for aspiring authors to be aware and ask questions. She also recommends getting on Twitter.
- A Million Times Goodnight was her most challenging book, structurally at least, to write.
- If you are an aspiring author, Kristina says not to worry about what category or genre your book falls into. Just write your story and the publishers will tell you where it will fit and sell.
- Kristina is an planner, but she doesn’t always stick to her outline. She always knows the beginning and the end of the story before she begins writing it.
- It generally takes Kristina 3 months to write a first draft. After editing and revising, the whole process of writing a book generally takes her a year.
- In regards to agent querying, Kristina suggests starting a spread sheet to keep track of potential agent. She also recommends looking into who each agent represents & what types of books they write.
- “Failure is just part of the game.”
- Josephine did all the cover art for her book covers
- Her series is a YA historical fiction series set in the 50s & 60s.
- It took her 5 years to write her first book.
- She never re-reads her books once they are completed. She said she would make herself crazy & try to re-do things if she did.
- “Write with passion!”
- She grew up in the 50s, so they didn’t have the YA selection that we have today. She started reading adult books as a young woman because there wasn’t anything else for her to read.
Panel #3: The Impact of Pop Culture in Our Modern World
From reality star presidents to superhero movies – a conversation on how popular culture has influenced nearly every aspect of twenty-first century life.
Hanif Abdurraquib, Bob Batchelor, Mark Dawidziak, and Dan Gearino
I attended this panel because it sounded fascinating. I was interested in hearing Hanif Abdirraquib speak specifically. From what I had read from the book he was promoting – They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us – I knew he has a beautiful way with words and a interesting perspective on pop culture. I had also heard Mark Dawidziak speak on a panel last year, and was fascinated by him. You can definitely tell he is a professor with a gift in teaching.
Ohioana Book Haul:
» The Demon King (Seven Realms #1) by Cinda Williams Chima
*Signed by Author*
» This Darkness Mine by Mindy McGinnins
*Signed by Author*
» They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us by Hanif Willis-Abdurraquib
*Signed by Author*
After the book festival, my accomplice took me to the infamous Book Loft book store in Columbus.
When they say 32 rooms of books, they mean it! I literally got lost in this bookstore… I know by the picture below it looks pretty straightforward, but I promise it is like a bookish maze in there. You could have easily spent hours here.
I was super impressed with their huge bargain sections throughout the store that were filled with awesome books at great prices! I found tons of brand new books CHEAPER than Amazon. This NEVER happens in independent book stores! Below I listed how much I purchased each book for, and what the Amazon price was…
The Book Loft Book Haul:
» And I Darken by Kiersten White
*Purchased for $7.99 ($13.12 on Amazon)
» The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
*Purchased for $6.99 ($9.45 on Amazon)
» Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1) by Laini Taylor
*Purchased for $4.99 ($5.00 on Amazon)
» 11/22/63 by Stephen King
*Purchased $8.99 ($13.22 on Amazon)
» The Wonder by Emma Donoghue
*Purchased for $9.99 ($14.99 on Amazon)
» Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
*Purchased for $3.99 ($8.57 on Amazon)
» The Pigman (The Pigman #1) by Paul Zindel
*Purchased for $4.99 ($5.99 on Amazon)
Total spent: $47.93 (Retail price of $70.34)
Have you read books by any of the author’s listed above?
Have you read any of the books from my book haul? If so, what did you think?