Despite suffering from a persistent cold, I spent my weekend at Wordstock, soaking in the glow of the writing and reading community. It was totally worth it!
Saturday was probably the most eventful. I was working the Ink & Paper booth, with Bowler Hat Comics, the press I intern for. It was really fun, and I learned so much about the other titles and members of Ink & Paper, and got to see some friends as well.
Despite my fun with Bowler Hat, I have to say the height of my Saturday was getting to meet Patrick Ness, the author of the Chaos Walking series (The Knite of Never Letting Go, The Ask and the Answer, and Monsters of Men). I haven’t read any of his books yet, but one of my roommates raves about them. However, what really impressed me was his presence as an author and speaker. He’s truly a pleasure to be in the room with, and I can only imagine his publishers love him. I saw him first on the panel of a YA-focus session, and then later at his own reading. He somehow manages to make the audience feel like they’re getting a personal connection with him, even when he’s one in front of fifty or more.
I also purchased his newest book, and shared some quick chatter as he signed it. His philosophy to writing is something to swear by: don’t write to the genre (or “the adjective” as he says), or your book will suffer for it. Write the story you want to read, the characters you feel whispering in your head. Let your editor figure out what genre t fits in. That is, after all, what we’re for.
It’s always inspiring to have an author encourage you to keep writing, and Patrick Ness is truly an inspiring author to meet.
Sunday was a quieter day at the conference, but I had fun sitting with my crew at RainTown Press. RainTown is Portland’s only middle grade/young adult publisher, and is brand-spanking-new (first title to be released in 2011). I’ve worked with RainTown informally since they launched at Write to Publish back in May, and now I’m stepping aboard in a more official light as their Associate Editor. It’s a very exciting time. RainTown is run by some great people, and I see wonderful things in their future. They’re currently actively seeking submissions, so if you’ve got a middle grade or young adult manuscript sitting on your desktop, give them a look-see!
All in all, it was an inspiring, wonderful weekend. I’m pumped for the writing year ahead, especially with Nanowrimo just around the corner. I wish I had more free time, but watcha gonna do?