Hello from another YALLFest! As in the past two years, it was magical and inspirational and hopeful and all that jazz. Pictured above: me (very sweaty in the unexpected Charleston humidity) and the very nice Brandon Mull! Followed by me (less sweaty) rocking mini Thoth and Ammit pins. I also had a Dionysus patch on my back. (I got a lot of compliments over the weekend.)
- I met Roshani Chokshi AND JC Cervantes AND Stephanie Lurie–2/3 of the current authors for Rick Riordan Presents + their incredible editor! I managed to behave like a normal person and they were all super nice. If anyone out there reading this hasn’t jumped on the RRP train with The Pandava Quartet and The Storm Runner series, this is your sign.
- I finally got to meet Alex London! I’ve skipped his signings a few times in the past to attend panels, but this year I figured if I keep doing so I’m just going to miss my chance entirely. I picked up a copy of Black Wings Beating and am both excited and slightly scared to begin it.
- I added a number of books to my to-read list, including: The Hazel Wood, Where She Fell, Not Even Bones, and Light Years (described by the author as gay Ender’s Game???!!!).
To leave you with some quick wisdom, here are some pithy, paraphrased takeaways from various authors who spoke:
- Don’t try to impress yourself with your writing, just try to tell the story. — RJ Palacio
- Stories of futility don’t bring anything into the world; stories of hope do. –Neal Shusterman
- Good fantasy shakes loose our assumptions. –Alex London (I think)
- A protagonist takes control of their own story. –JC Cervantes