YA Lit Fest Day 1

yall-fest-2014-charleston-author-lineup

On Friday,  I went to the YALLFEST. There were no workshops or anything on Friday, just signings, but because I only read eBooks, I had a problem. I’m a fan of 90% of the authors who attended YALLFEST. Not a small fan, like I’ve read everything they’ve ever penned, but I didn’t have copies of their books and their books are nearly $20 a piece. You see my dilemma? So I bought four books and a notebook for the other authors to sign with writerly advice.

A bit on the authors I got autographs from on Friday. Brandon Sanderson is 99% why I was there. I’ve said it more than once, and I’m not embarrassed to say it again. He’s a writing god. I love him, in a totally platonic way, I mean. So…less like love, more like I think I may worship him? 

 He wrote the Mistborn series, Elantris, and he finished the Wheel of Time series because he’s that amazing. He does a podcast called Writing Excuses where he talks a lot about his process, and as a human being he’s just pretty amazing. Example: Anytime he has a spare minute in an airport he goes to the bookstore nearest him and signs every copy of his books in stock so that the next person who buys his books gets an amazing surprise. He’s also pretty awesome to follow on twitter.

In person, he’s just as amazing. He signed my Mistborn book, my notebook of writing advice, and cards for members of my writer’s group when I mentioned how much they loved him as well and how we’re essentially his cult.

Here’s what he wrote in my notebook: Write what you love, finish what you write. You’re out of excuses.

Rae Carson was my next signature in the notebook. She wrote the Fire and Thorns trilogy, which I haven’t read, but I’ve been eyeing them on kindle for weeks now. I’m going to kick myself if I read them and they end up being my favorite books. But what can you do?

Her advice: Don’t waste time on projects you don’t love. Pursue passion.  

Melissa De La Cruz is most famous for writing Disney’s Descendents, but she also wrote the Blue Bloods series among many other books. I think she’s also the mind behind Witches of East End? She was on every panel I attended and she was pretty awesome in each of them.

Her advice: Never Give Up!

Margaret Stohl is famous for her Beautiful Creatures series. I was not the biggest fan of that book, because while I felt it had a great message for young women, (Claim Yourself), it fell short when the dark/evil girl’s only defining “evil” feature was that she was promiscuous. Like prior to being evil she wasn’t? I don’t like the message that sends, that everything that matters about young girls is wrapped up in their sexuality one way or another. So I was fully prepared to dislike this author, but after listening to her talk at a few panels (more on those later) I really like her. I’m really interested in where she goes from Beautiful Creatures. 

Her advice: Put your butt in the chair and do it.

It was an awesome beginning to a great conference. Just wait till you hear about the panels.

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