Writer in the Wild: Fantasy Author Event

Writer in the Wild: Fantasy Author Event

I mean, it’s not exactly New York City, but I do find that authors (and other events and shows) often come though the Triangle (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill). This month, a group of fantasy writers on a whirlwind tour together blew through and held an event at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh. I have become a Quail Ridge regular partly because much of my life happens (unexpectedly) in Raleigh during this stage, a result of both my kids being in school (high and college) in west Raleigh.

The group of authors included four authors and another as a moderator, all of whom have new books to promote. They were: T. Kingfisher (the host, an NC author famous for Nettle & Bone), Veronica Roth (Divergent series), Nghi Vo (a series of stand-alone novellas called The Singing Hills), Andrea Hairston (a multi-faceted rebel whose newest book is expended from Dr. Funkenstein and the P Funk Mothership), and Rebecca Thorne (self-pubbed author who was inspired by Legends & Lattes).

It was a full house, at least two of the authors (Roth and Kingfisher) providing plenty of star power, enough even for a book event. (And since there was more than one author, I was thrilled to see people purchasing books left and right, afterwards, to stand in line and have them signed.) I had to wiggle my way into a seat in the middle of a packed row, even though I was a few minutes early. I was alone, so that helped, but I was also fighting rush-hour between cities.

I thought it was fun and entertaining. While some of the authors were much feistier than others, and some more extroverted, I think it really helped the others to be in a group. The interactions between them was most of the fun, and they were all a little worn out and sorta punch-drunk because of it, which also made it more entertaining. I found both Kingfisher and Roth to come across as down-to-earth, people I might jive with. Harriston was a real spitfire.

Here are the points and quotes (not sure on most attributions) I wrote down:

  • Sometimes writing a book is like pushing a boulder down a hill and hoping it gathers good things (plot, characters, etc.), and if there are a lot of screaming villagers at the bottom, all the better. (Vo)
  • Time compression can lead to shorter books and more excitement.
  • In playwriting, it’s just “Does this work?” (Harriston). Aristotle said a play’s time should be 24 hours.
  • Sometimes you just need more space to work in.
  • “All you need in life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.” -Mark Twain
  • “Go out and do things that are not about writing.” -Hayao Miyazaki
  • Finished and done in better than perfect.
  • You should have something behind your story—your love or your spite.
  • This is my world. I write the rules.

A list of recommended reading from their conversation, including their books:

  • Divergent trilogy (Divergent, Insurgent, Allegient, Veronica Roth)
  • Carve the Mark and The Fates Divide (Veronica Roth)
  • When Among Crows (Veronica Roth)
  • Poster Girl (Veronica Roth)
  • Nettle & Bone (T. Kingfisher)
  • Thornhedge (T. Kingfisher)
  • The Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking (T. Kingfisher)
  • Paladin’s Grace (T. Kingfisher)
  • Swordheart (T. Kingfisher)
  • Clockwork Boys (T. Kingfisher)
  • The Singing Hills Cycle (The Empress of Salt and Fortune, When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain, Into the Riverlands, Mammoths at the Gates, and The Brides of High Hill, Nghi Vo)
  • On the Fox Roads (Nghi Vo)
  • Lonely Stardust (Andrea Hairston)
  • Archangels of Funk (Andrea Hairston)
  • Redwood and Wildfire (Andrea Hairston)
  • Tomes & Tea Cozy Fantasies (Can’t Spell Treason Without Tea, A Pirate’s Life for Tea, Rebecca Thorne)
  • The Gilded Abyss (Rebecca Thorne)
  • The Day Death Stopped (Rebecca Thorne)
  • The Secrets of Star Whales (Rebecca Thorne)
  • Legends & Lattes series (Bookshops & Bonedust, Legends & Lattes, Travis Baldree)
  • The Murderbot Diaries series (All Systems Red, Artificial Condition, Rogue Protocol, Exit Strategy, Network Effect, Fugitive Telemetry, and System Collapse, Martha Wells)
  • Animorphs series (beginning with #1, The Invasion, K. A. Applegate)
  • Song of the Lioness series (The First Adventure, In the Hand of the Goddess, The Woman Who Ride Like a Man and Lioness Rampart, Tamora Pierce)
  • Immortals series (Wild Magic, Wolf Speaker, Emperor Mage, and The Realms of the Gods, Tamora Pierce)
  • Watership Down (and the animated movie, Richard Adams)