Discussion: What Makes An Author Truly Great?

I’m about 3/4 of the way through my book right now (Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, if any of you were wondering) and it’s amazingly good and nearly impossible to put down, but I was struck with a sudden blog post inspiration and had to put it on hold to write my thoughts down. Basically, it occurred to me that Liane Moriarty is perhaps one of the greatest authors of all time, because all of the books I’ve read by her so far have been absolutely incredible (What Alice Forgot Review // Truly Madly Guilty Review). One of the books I gave five stars, the other was a high four star (bordering on 5) and the one I’m reading right now will almost certainly be a five star, unless she decides to go off the deep end and totally wreck the ending.

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Boston Teen Author Festival 2017 Recap

Last month while I was on hiatus I went to the Boston Teen Author Festival (which is actually in Cambridge, but we won’t be too picky) and it was SUPER FUN!! It was my first bookish event that I’ve ever actually gone to, and so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I knew this one wasn’t exactly “huge” so it seemed like a good place to start, and overall it was a positive experience.

The day was supposed to start at 9:30, but I had basketball practice so I got there late (ugh) and wasn’t able to make the first two panels of the day.  It also meant that I didn’t get a goodie bag of free stuff *sob* since by 1:00 they had already run out of everything (or else I was just looking in the wrong spot, who knows).

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Dream Author Worldbuilding Panel

I always hear of bookish events where people go and meet their favorite authors, or have book signings, or other exciting things, but for some reason I’m always super out of the loop and never get to participate in any of them.  If you hear about any good ones near CT hit me up 😉 but anyways, I decided to create my own dream panel, filled with all of the authors that I’m dyinggg to meet but will probably never have a chance to.

The Name of the Panel…

My favorite thing about books is when they have great worldbuilding, and so if I could create a panel, that’s what it would be about.  I’m not very good at names, but here are some ideas:

  • The World of Creation
  • Building the World
  • Writing the World
  • Creating a Kingdom

These are all borderline terrible so it’s a good idea I’m not really being asked to make a panel.

The Authors…

  1. JK Rowling– she’s the queen of creating a world.  I mean, how in the world did she create the entire wizarding world and make it feel so so so so so real?  I want to be able to talk to her about how she made it so full and whole.
  2. Rin Chupeco– I just read her book The Bone Witch, and I was blown away by the level of detail that she poured into it.  The entire thing was incredible, and I know she pulled a lot from Asian culture, which is something I’d never thought of doing before.
  3. Cassandra Clare– I love the shadowhunter world, and I love how she has multiple series inside the same universe
  4. Philippa Gregory– I know she writes historical fiction, which is very different than the other authors on this list, but I think it’s amazing how she takes a world that is only known through history books and makes it a breathing mechanism.
  5. Stephen King– His imagination and the way he makes monsters and magic a part of real life are insane, and it’s what makes him great.  I’d love to know more about the way he realistically incorporates the most unrealistic of things.

Questions to Ask…

This is really hard for me because in life in general I never know the right questions to ask, so I really really really have to think this through.

  1. How did you create enough detail about your world to make it real, even beyond exactly what you’ve written? For example, JK Rowling always knows the answers to people’s questions about what happens before and after her story, and how everything works in your world.
  2. When you draw from other cultures, how do you make sure that you are not just copying everything completely?
  3. When you make up a world, do you create the characters first or the world itself?
  4. When you reuse worlds for other novels, do you ever have a problem with something that you want to happen in your new novel contradicting what happened in the old?
  5. How much planning do you do before you start writing?

I know that’s not a lot of questions, but I was struggling, and I’d really like it if other people could fill in the gaps.

The Moderators…

I don’t know who should moderate a panel, but I guess book bloggers would be cool because they would know the best questions to ask and it would give them the opportunity to meet some really cool authors.

The Location…

Ideally it would be located somewhere close to home, so that I would actually be able to go.  I think it would be cool to be somewhere picturesque, like on a mountain or at the beach or something.  Maybe Cape Cod, that would be beautiful.

Thank you so so much to Eventbrite– an online self-service ticketing platform where you can register online for events— for contacting me to do this.  It was so much fun to think about a dream panel, even if it’ll never be reality.  Make sure you guys go check them out!

What would your dream panel look like? Would you attend mine?

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