Book Con is a great event for so many different reasons — readers from around the country come together to share in their interests, authors get to interact with their old and new audiences, and books are just the best.
I attended the Magic of World Building panel on Saturday (June 3) morning, a discussion featuring Marie Lu, Renee Ahdieh, Melissa de la Cruz, and Danielle Paige. (As an aspiring author, panels like these are ambrosia — I love hearing what inspires authors and listening to their guidance on how to be a better writer. )
The topic was really interesting to listen to, but even better than that was the fact that every single woman on that panel is a woman of color. As a woman of color myself, I was thrilled by this realization.
The room applauded when the panel moderator, Bustle Book Editor Cristina Arreola, pointed this out. She noted that she was sure the arrangement was no accident.
That led me to think about the fact that I’ve never taken the time to really acknowledge just how much women RULE at this Con. From young adult to romance to thrillers to fantasy, the names and faces of female authors are on signs, panel listings, and book covers everywhere in the convention center. I absolutely love it. It makes me excited for the future of publishing and for the role that I plan to play in it as an author myself.
All of this to say, if you’re a woman (especially a woman of color) with dreams and aspirations of becoming an author, sitting on one of these panels, and signing autographs for devoted readers of your work, hold onto it. Use it as a catalyst. Write your novel. Write your series. Most importantly, don’t give up when things don’t pan out the way you hope.
Below are some quotes from four awesome female authors to inspire you:
1. “Don’t forget what you love about books. You need that passion to finish your draft. What makes you fall in love with the story?” – Renee Ahdieh
2. Don’t be too hard on yourself. There’s a lot of pressure to be original in the beginning, but mimicking can be your foundation for the original ideas.” – Melissa de la Cruz
3. “Write from your heart.” – Richelle Mead
4. “Put your butt in the chair and finish the first draft. It’s so much easier to edit words that are already there than to write a perfect first chapter.” – Victoria Aveyard