Event: The Boldly Bookish Tour

BoldlyBookishThis month I had the incredible opportunity to meet my feminist idol / spirit animal Emery Lord!

She decided to crash a few stops on the Boldly Bookish Tour and when I saw her announcement that in 2 days she’d be in Denver I. FLIPPED. OUT. I had David sell our Lumineers tickets for that night and I dropped everything and went!

Emery is just as lovely and hilarious in person as she is on Twitter, and as a bonus I got to see 3 other authors (Tara Altebrando, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Tiffany Schmidt) that I wouldn’t otherwise have met, including moderator Jessica Brody. There were far too many interesting things to cover in any sensible order here, but I’ll put in my highlights for you guys!

First, what they were promoting:

Tara Altebrando: The Leaving – A suspense story about a group of missing children that return to their hometown as teenagers-except for one-and have no memory of where they have been.
Jennifer Lynn Barnes: The Long Game – Sequel to The Fixer, about teenager Tess who solves political scandals among the students at an elite school in Washington, D.C.
Emery Lord: When We Collided – A contemporary summer romance between Jonah, a guy trying to hold his family together after his father’s death, and Vivi, a bubbly, adventurous girl without a care in the world–or so she seems.
Tiffany Schmidt: Break Me Like a Promise – Book 2 in her Once Upon a Crime Family series, this is a retelling of The Frog Prince. Maggie ends up trapped in a bargain to provide a kidney in exchanging for saving her father’s business computer.

Some tips:
I’m always on the lookout for unusual writing tips (as in, ones I don’t hear all the time), and this one struck me:  Create vocabulary lists for your characters so they each have their own vernacular. -Emery Lord

Some inspiration:

If this is what you want to do, you’ll find a way. Find a job that gives you the schedule you need, find a writing group that gives you the support you need, but prioritize this dream or it will not happen. Things that may not make sense to other people – odd jobs instead of a career – are for you, not anybody else, because you know what you want to accomplish. -moderator Jessica Brody

People always tell us now “Oh, you all grew up into such fine young ladies!” – We were good before, but nobody noticed…People think teenage girls are just giggling in a corner being annoying, and there is some of that, but each of my friends was also an incredibly complex person at that age. -Emery Lord

Some laughs:

I asked Emery how she can be so smart and funny on Twitter, even when it involves social issues, and that led to this anecdote:

“Normally with my editor I agree with the notes, like yes, I’ll cut that paragraph or yes, that could be clarified. But the one note that just bothers me so much, is when a joke is underlined, and next to it is the comment,”Could this be funnier???” And I’m like what–no, it IS funny! I wasn’t saving my funny stuff for later, I brought my A game!”

Why YA:

I hear a lot of the same answers to this question, usually something like the writer still relates to teens, or you’re allowed to do more within these genres, but this answer, although common (haven’t we all heard how much potential we have when we’re young?) gives some specificity to it that I appreciate now that I’m older:

Teens have so much potential – your life can change more dramatically and more quickly than it does as an adult. You change schools, you get your drivers license, you join a club or a sports team–suddenly that affects your freedom, your entire social circle, your own public persona. -Jennifer Lynn Barnes

This is true–honestly when we moved to Colorado part of what freaked everybody out is that we were changing our city and our jobs at the same time, just because we wanted to. For some reason, once you’re out of college you stop doing things just because you want to try them. Trying things is what makes life interesting!

What does it mean to be bold:
  • Writing what scares you because you don’t know what you’ll find. An issue, a topic, a question that you may not even see when you first start drafting that slowly evolves as your book does. That could be anything: trafficking in human organs, writing about bipolar disorder – things you’re afraid to explore, especially knowing you’ll end up discussing it in public!
  • Writing a book without knowing the ending. For The Leaving, Altebrando didn’t know where the kids had been all those years – for 2.5 years that she worked on the book! “I would’ve gladly asked anyone I talked to, where do YOU think they were? I have no clue!”
  • “I don’t think of it as writing about characters with mental illness. I want to write love stories between people who happen to have some mental health issues.” -Emery Lord
  • “The best part of your story is the part you want to whisper. Force yourself to say it louder. Then force yourself to write it.” -Tiffany Schmidt

This was such a fun and inspiring event, and my only regret is not having the time to read ALL of these amazing, bold books!


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: The Start of Me and You | To Live a Thousand Lives

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