Sunday, April 25, 2010

Writing is Work, Even When it's Paranormal Romance.

My husband and I just got back from the LDSStorymakers Conference.  The cool thing about writing conferences, is that when I come home, I am all jazzed up to write hard and get published.  Writing can be a lonely thing, and with no one but myself to monitor deadlines and keep me on task, it can get pushed down to the bottom of my priority list. 

I bought way too many books at the conference bookstore.  I stacked them all up and told my husband that there is nothing better in the world than a delicious stack of books, waiting for me to read them!  So you will be seeing a few of these titles showing up for reviews in the coming months:

Of all the classes I attended, my two favorites were the ones taught by Aprilynne Pike, author of Wings and Spells, and Bree Despain, author of The Dark Divine.  Both women write in the same genre that I do, and I found them inspiring and down to earth at the same time. 

Bree talked about what's hot in YA right now, and what is over used.  She had not been a fantasy fan when she began her book, but eventually found that she could use the paranormal as a metaphor for themes in her book that were hard to express.  Bree said that successful paranormal is all about the yearning of the characters.  She blended paranormal fantasy and religous themes in her book, something that I aspire to in my own writing.  And, if I didn't learn anything else at the conference, I learned that my own story falls into the paranormal fantasy genre.  It seems obvious now, but I honestly didn't know where my character fit in. 

Aprilynne asked us frankly who we are writing for: ourselves, a niche market, or a national market? She said that all the markets are different, with different approaches.  She said, "Keeping an audience in mind while you write is just as valuable as keeping grammar in mind when you write."  When Aprilynne began seriously writing, she decided that she wanted to become a NYTimes bestselling author.  And what do you know?  She is one!  Way to go Aprilynne.  She told us that writing is work, even when it's fun.  When it stops being fun, that's when you know your work is getting good.   In regards to what a writer should do next, Aprilynne said that will depend on where you want to end up. 

I learned so much at the conference, and met so many new people!  I am so excited to get to know all of you! 

So what did you learn at the conference?  Did you love it as much as I did?  Have any nuggets of wisdom to share?


  1. My suitcase has a copy of Wings and Spells too. It was a great conference and I thought Aprilynne's advice was awesome.

    The biggest thing I took away from it is that the only thing separating unpublished authors from the published ones is patience, hard work, and um...well, more hard work. Hard, sure. But not impossible.

  2. I tried to get into Bree's class, but it was already out the door by the time I got to the room. I'm glad for your notes on it and so glad you had a good time. I'm on the same high--excited to get back to work!

  3. Josi, I enjoyed your character class. I truly wanted to meet you but missed your book signing. Perhaps another time. :) If you would like more detailed notes about Bree's session,I'd love to shar. Email me

  4. I was sad to miss that class. It sounds like it was a good one. I'm glad you had a good time!

  5. There were so many, MANY good classes to choose from this year that it was really tough to pick. The ones I attended were excellent, and it sounds like you had great ones, too.

    But by far the best part of the conference was the people. It was great to finally meet you, even if it was just for a brief moment or two. Thanks for stopping me and saying hi!

  6. Thanks Don, it was great to meet you too! The conference inspired and humbled me. I'm already looking forward to next year. My goal is to have a manuscript finished and ready to pitch.

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