Just the other day, one of my seventeen-year-old son’s friends came through the door wearing a t-shirt with Jaws on it. After I recovered from the trauma of childhood flashbacks from the movie, this started a conversation about why I don’t particpate in Discovery Channel’s Shark Week . But last night Shark Week tricked me . . .
When I was fresh on the writing scene, one of the first people I met in the League of Utah Writers was Jodi L. Milner. Jodi immediately impressed me with her enthusiasm and love for writing. While Jodi and I are no longer in the same writing chapter, we still see each other often at writing conferences and author events. She recently released a YA dark fantasy Stonebearer’s Betrayal, so this was the perfect opportunity to get together with Jodi and find out more about her writing process and her book.
When I ask new writers if they are planning on attending an upcoming conference or not, I’m often taken by surprise when they say they’re not ready to attend writing conferences yet. Whether you are a new writer or a seasoned writer, here are 5 reasons why you should consider attending a writer’s conference.
I admit it. I love going to the DI (Deseret Industries) and browsing their book section for paperbacks and hardcovers. And because there are so many books my eyes are scanning the covers for those hidden gems. I do judge a book by its cover, so if the cover is amazing, I’m quickly drawn in. I started buying books back when my kids were little and times were tight. Back in those days there were no such things as ebooks or permafree books. I made regular trips to the library with my kids to check out books, and there was no way I could afford to pay full price for a board book. So going to the DI and paying twenty-five cents for a book sounded about right for me, seeing as dining out once a month at Taco Bell was a luxury.
Christmas is a week away and in my typical ADD fashion, instead of working on my list of things to do, I’m procrastinating and writing a blog post instead. Don’t worry though, this postponement will just make me more effective in the long run, causing my brain to kick in to high gear and get all my things done in record speed.Actually, I’m fooling myself. It will probably just trigger a migraine and set me even further behind, causing me to slash even more things off my TO DO list. That’s okay, I probably shouldn’t have half the things on my list in the first place. I mean, do my kids really need Christmas presents?
They say opposites attract. When Brett and I got married we were the perfect couple when it came to this idea of opposites. I’m the serious one, he’s always joking. I love romantic comedies, and he loves the stupid ones (especially if the movie has Jim Carey in it). I love cats, and he loves dogs.
Haven't we all been there at one time or another? Facing down that certain someone who can't believe we haven't read their favorite book?
Reading can be so personal, that when someone suggests a book or a genre to us and we say, “No thanks,” they can take it as though we've rejected THEM personally. Which is NOT the case. It kind of reminds of the look my kids give me sometimes. You know the one . . . the "You're ruining my life" look?
In a couple of weeks I'm participating on a panel speaking about Paranormal and YA Fiction. Some people think Paranormal fiction and Fantasy are the same thing, and I'll admit the two genres have been known to crossover at times. If you look Paranormal up though, you'll see books highlighting primarily vampires (hence my joke, Paranormal fiction sucks). But the genre also includes ghosts, supernatural creatures, werewolves and psychics. Most people think of the Twilight series when they think of paranormal. But another example would be the popular book, now turned into a movie, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. While some people say that vampire and werewolf stories are dead, they're very much alive in the romance section. Just do a search on amazon to discover how undead in today's world these creatures really are.
But don't mention Twilight to my sweet hubby. He's hoping to make it through life never having watched any of the Twilight movies. Then again, he's also hoping to never watch The Sound of Music, or The Princess Bride. I can let the first two slide, but The Princess Bride? Inconceivable! That's a classic movie I think everyone should watch.
As for the best-selling books of all time, you may or may not be surprised to discover that it's fantasy books which appears several times on this list of 25 books:
#1. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes.
#2 Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities.
#3. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.
#4. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
#5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling.
#6 And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie.
#7. The Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin.
#8. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.
#9 She: A History of Adventure by H. Rider Haggard.
#10. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.
#11 The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown.
#12 Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.
#13 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling.
#14 The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.
#15 The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
#16 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling.
#17 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling..
#18 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling.
#19 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling.
#20 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling.
#21 On Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
#22 Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov.
#23 Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery.
#24 Charlotte's Web by E.B. White.
#25 Black Beauty by Anna Sewell.
Out of the twenty-five books, twelve clearly classify as fantasy. So it seems to me that in terms of the best-selling books of all time, fantasy rules! Are you surprised by this? I was a little surprised at first, but then as I thought about all of the millions of copies of these books sold representing all the people out there like me . . . who love fantasy . . . well, it warms my heart. And I'll be honest, it helps me stand a little taller when I tell people I write fantasy.
Share what your favorite fantasy book is either in the comments below, or on twitter @RobinGlassey.
This past week I had the chance to spend some time with my family at Lake Powell. This meant sleeping in, doing a little writing, floating in the water, watching movies with my kids in the evenings, and taking some time to read. Can life get any better than that?
Because I have a huge pile of books in my to-read pile, I have this horrible tendency of not being up-to-date on the current reading trends. But I'm okay with that. If a book is worth reading today, it'll be worth reading a few years from now when I eventually get to it.
I had picked up a copy of Tales of the Dragon's Bard: Eventide by Tracy & Laura Hickman a while back when it was on sale at Deseret Book. And of course, it sat in my to-read pile for a really really long time as I made my way through several other books. When I was looking for books to pack in my reading bag, I decided it was time to finally give this fantasy a chance. Because I'm working on a middle-grade dragon story (along with several other stories) and the title had dragon's bard in it, I thought, "Why not?" Maybe it would be a helpful research book. It wasn't. But that didn't mean I wasn't entertained.
When I first started reading, I was immediately amused by Edvard, the Dragon Bard, and his egotistical personality. This fantasy isn't a fast-past action as some stories go, and it threw me off at first as I was waiting for the main character, Jarod, to leave the town and go on an epic adventure in an attempt to win the heart of the woman he loves. Then I realized the cleverness of the story was that everything was taking place in the town between all of the townspeople. All their stories were intersecting in unique and unexpected ways. Just like in our own lives, the characters were discovering that the past has a way of sneaking up on us, gossip never does anyone any good, and mistakes can have horrible consequences or wind up benefiting you in the end.
If you're a fan of Tracy and Laura Hickman, or you love clever stories, you'll enjoy Eventide. If you haven't yet read this story, you can get a copy in either paperback or eBook at amazon.com:
Robin Glassey is a clean YA fantasy author of The Azetha Series. Get the prequel and first three books in the series in a book bundle! What if you discovered your whole life was a lie? Tika's world is turned upside down and she is forced to leave the only home she's ever known. Discover Tika's world:
If you're like me and you're looking forward to summer and Exploring New Worlds, let me suggest some books for you. I've teamed up with 40 Science Fiction and Fantasy My Book Cave authors and for a limited time we're offering our books for free (until May 15, 2017). You pick and choose which books you'd like to download. Download here.
The League of Utah Writers Spring Conference is just around the corner—less than two weeks away on April 8th, 2017 at the Taylorsville campus of Salt Lake Community College (4600 South Redwood Road, SLC, UT 84123).
We had an incredible turnout last year with amazing presenters and classes, and this year the league has expanded the classes, panels and presentations from twenty-five to thirty-five, giving attendees even more to choose from. Not only can you attend classes, but you can sign up for practice pitch sessions with agents as well manuscript critiques with experienced editors.
The cost for the Spring Conference is only $25 for League members and $50 for non-league. Because an annual membership to the league is only $25, joining now would be your best value! At the door price for the conference is $75.00.
Are you ready to join us? Click here to register.
Not quite sure? Click here to see the schedule.
Want to find out more about the League of Utah Writers and find your local chapter? Click here for the League’s website.