Saturday, October 10, 2015

27th Annual Southern Festival of Books--Day 1

Oh, there's so much to say in so little time! Today was beyond amazing, filled with inspiring authors, encouraging panels, and LOTS of books. So first of all, I'll list off all the authors that I had the pleasure of hearing today.

  • CJ Redwine, author of the Defiance trilogy. Her newest book--the Shadow Queen--is a modern retelling of Snow White and will be released in February. 
  • Courtney C. Stevens, author of Faking Normal. Her newest book, The Lies about truth, started off with the question "is there such a thing as a good lie?" and will be released November 3rd. 
  • Kristin O'Donnell Tubb, author of the 13th Sign, is working on a mass project with under which she and several other authors take on the pseudonym of E. F. Abbot to write historical fiction biographies of amazing historical people who's stories need to be told. Her story, about a little drummer boy in the Civil War, will be released in February. 
  • Jeff Zentner, debut author of The Scorpion King, releases his first book in March. The Scorpion King is based in rural Tennessee and centers around three very different friends, one of whom is the son of a disgraced Pentecostal snake-handling pastor. The three of these friends must find strength in their outcast status together. 
  • Lindsey Lane, author of Snuggle Mountain and her first YA novel, Evidence of Things Not Seen, which is told in the form of interconnected short stories fitting together with the disappearance of a physics nerd from the local high school. 
  • Moriah McStay, author of Everything that Makes You, a novel exploring the reality and alternate reality of a girl who endures a horrible accident. Readers see how Fiona's (known as Fi in this other reality) life would be different if she had not been "the girl in the accident." 
  • Cammie McGovern, author of Say What You Will and most recently A Step Towards Falling. Both of these books are told from the point of view young adults with mental of developmental disabilities. 
  • Julie Murphy, author of Side Effects May Vary and most recently Dumplin. Both of these books endure travesty and confusion and have to bounce back and learn how to live life right again. 
  • Martha Brockenbrough, author of Devine Intervention and most recently The Game of Love and Death, in which she throws in a surprising twist. Love is the male character, and Death is the female character.
  • Erin Bow, physicist turned author of Plain Kate, Sorrow's Knot and very recently, The Scorpion Rules, a post apocalyptic novel in which six royal children are sacrificed every year to keep global peace that is enforced by a robot overlord. 
So, I met ten amazing authors today. They are barely a fraction of the total authors that speak at the festival. The authors spoke on everything from their own favorite books to the nitty gritty details of their varying writing processes. They were so engaging, friendly, funny, and vivacious, a true pleasure to listen to. 

I don't want you to grow bored with such a lengthy post, but I just want to share a few quotes that really stuck with me today, some funny and some very useful and encouraging. So don't go anywhere:
"We put too much focus asking kids what they want to be when they grow up. We should be asking them, what do you want to be right now?" ~Kristin Tubb
"Throwing away pages is a mark of professionalism." ~Courtney Stevens
"Fail upward." ~Jeff Zentner
"It is so, so important to read both inside and outside of your genre." ~Lindsey Lane
"Let your kinds find their way to their books." ~Cammie McGovern
"Characters are the funniest when they're not trying to be funny." ~Cammie McGovern
"Even in the most serious moments, life is absurd." ~Julie Murphy
"If you're gonna create a world, create a freakin world!" ~Martha Brockenbrough
"Reading is a great way to experience choices." ~Sharon Cameron
"When things slow down, a dragon can land on the roof." ~Erin Bow

I could say so much more about today, but I'll cut myself off there! I highly encourage you to check out ALL these authors and buy ALL their books. Stay in tuned for tomorrow! 

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