By Jennifer Goble
This past weekend I went to heaven without dying. I attended the Tucson Festival of Books.
I heard panels, conversations, and workshops from authors I have never heard of, and those I have admired for years. They were so generous to share their experiences, show their vulnerabilities, and parent our author endeavors.
When it ended, I was exhausted and exhilarated.
With a magic wand, I could share very word, emotion, and vision. Unfortunately, I can only give highlights. Enjoy.
- J.A. Jance: I start with someone dead and spend the rest of the book trying to figure out how s/he died and who did it.
- Anne Hillerman: Truly know the people and cultures of your stories.
- Margaret Coel: Find characters who are the same as you. Feel their heartbeat.
- Jeffery Deaver: Writing is a job. I write eight to ten hours a day. I rewrite everything fifty times.
- T Jefferson Parker: Writers are paid to be actors - to become someone else.
- Kevin Hazzard: We must find humor in dark moments.
- Sara Hepola: It is a myth to believe all people in addiction treatment have bad parents.
- Thomas Perry: As a writer you can write what you wish you would have said.
- Reed Coleman: If the writer is not interested, the reader will not be interested.
- Libby Fischer Hellmann: We must write about the protagonist's private life as well as their careers.
- Paula McLain: You need to be overwhelmed to write a novel. Historical fiction is like a living wax museum.
- Faye Kellerman: Honing your craft is very solitary.
- Jonathan Kellerman: We write about what bothers us.
- Alan Zweibel: What makes a joke is something surprising and something you know.
- Luis Alberto Urrea: American reader’s favorite word is home. Joy and loss are great unifiers.
- Andrew Milward: There are things short stories can do novels cannot do.
- Bryn Chancellor: A novel is a house, a short story is a room, and a short-short is looking through a peep-hole. (source unknown)
- Agent Clair Gerus: Don’t praise your writing. Don't hurt children or animals.
- Agent Ron Hogan: Boom - get to the story in the logline.
- Agent Jeff Kleinmen: Create new, original settings. Grab us emotionally, immediatley.
- Social Media: Devote as much time on social media as you spend writing.
What do you learn from the masters?
Until the next time: Live while you live!
Columnist: South Platte Sentinel