Let me start by saying that last Saturday was an amazing day. I could try to put together an orderly proper report, but I'd rather give you that head spinning feeling I had while attending. So.........
Here are some of the notes I jotted down throughout the day:
Judy Blundell: Does entire first draft without any rewrites (and then goes back).
Ellen Hopkins: Goes back immediately if a change is needed due to something unforeseen occurring. She also said the longest revision for an editor she's done was -- 8 hours. She also said it's because each poem has to be perfect before she moves on. Still -- 8 hours -- WOW!
Lisa Yee listens to sad songs while writing? (That's what the notes say.)
Ellen likes quiet.
Libba Bray does an IPod playlist for each book.
James A. Owen is a total inspiration -- on writing -- on life.
Lisa Yee wrote the jingle "Pass the Old El Paso" (and a YA book about a girl who worked on a taco truck).
Libba says that YA matters because we never stop coming of age.
Libba is very funny, by the way.
Gennifer Choldenko mentioned another Al Capone book: "Al Capone is My Librarian"
James A. Owen: The secret of drawing is making lines and choosing where they go. That's kind of how he spoke of life in general too. (If ever you have the chance to hear him speak -- GO!)
Libba Bray loved DARK SHADOWS.
James A. Owen writes 4 pages/day every day. He outlines, but only a page. He also does thumbnail sketches.
I was fortunate enough to grab a seat next to Lisa Yee for all the non-breakout events (5 featured speakers and lunch). Unfortunately, my flash was off for the picture I had taken with her, so it's not the best....I'll post it anyway. You might note that Peepy is not in the picture. My theory is that Lisa was afraid Peepy might spill the beans about whatever Lisa might have planned for her next contest on her blog. (I did see Peepy briefly.)
Mary Harris Russell reviews three books including one by fellow Illinois-SCBWI member Esther Hershenhorn. I might add Esther recently stepped down as Regional Advisor for Illinois SCBWI (after serving for 17 years). She will always, however, be my writing Mom! Her book sounds wonderful.
'S is for Story: A Writer's Alphabet' By Esther Hershenhorn Illustrated by Zachary Pullen Sleeping Bear Press, $17.95 Ages 9-14
'The Ask and the Answer' By Patrick Ness Candlewick Press, $18.99 Ages 13-15
'All the World' By Liz Garton Scanlon Illustrated by Marla Frazee Beach Lane Books, $17.99 Ages 4-8
I write primarily middle grade fiction, although I do have a picture book submitted. As for subject matter: ghost mystery and time suspension would be the best general descriptions for my two novels currently in re-writes.