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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Louisiana Book Festival 08 Notes


Happy Wednesday! If you're a writer, poet or happy dabbler, how's your work coming along? Hope you're not having one of those midweek slumps when nothing seems to go right, but if that's the case, take a break from your writing, change the scenery (or add some music), or bring out a different project and see if your fingers don't start dancing on the keyboard. My new semester with poet/professor Ava Haymon began tonight. Whoopee!

I had the pleasure recently of attending the LA Book Festival once again. The weather was perfect and the speakers were fired up. Below are a few notes I took during various sessions you might find interesting:

  • Author of many books including The Secret Adventures of Charlotte Bronte, Laura Joh Rowland's topic was "True Lies: Writing Fiction about Real Characters." She said good fiction is a mixture of fact and pure balderdash, and advised writers to do lots of research on the time period, people, customs, fashions and people their books revolve around, so that they will know their characters inside and out. Everyone gets rejections. Even after having agent Pam Ahern for 7 years and publishing 10 books, Rowland still got 30+ rejections on the Bronte book.
  • State Poet Laureate Darrell Bourque advised those who write poetry to "Keep it real, keep it simple, keep it close." {I love that!} The people close to you, neighbors, parents, family and your upbringing make excellent subjects and muses.
  • A panel of mystery/suspense authors had a lively discussion about what distinguishes their genre and niches within Mystery. The speakers were C. S. Graham, C. S. Harris, Deborah LeBlanc, Erica Spindler and Barbara Colley:

I don't know about you, but when I get to spend a leisurely day in the company of poets and authors, I feel like this:

Can you remember something you heard at a conference, in a class, etc. that really stuck with you? If so, please share the wealth!

And if you're looking for something really good to read, please check out The Rose & Thorn Literary e-zine's Fall 08 issue, fresh off the press today, as well as the newsletter which you can find linked to the new cover here ---> http://www.theroseandthornezine.com/

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great day. glad it went well.
Oren

Terri Tiffany said...

WOw--wish I could have gone.I'm feeling the need for a little mid-week boost right now! Thanks for the information especially about keeping it close-- I believe that same thought runs true for short stories.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Thanks, Oren.

Good comparison between poetry and short prose, Terri. Now, here's a cup of coffee to get ya over the slump: (__)?

Janna Qualman said...

Sounds like a fantastic time! And I agree with that feeling, the one that has you running merrily with a beautiful balloon. :) Thanks for sharing! Hearing those details is inspiring.

Janine said...

Sounds like a great event! Wish I could've checked it out.

tut-tut said...

The Southern Festival in Nasville was the first one I've attended. I wish I had known what to expect a bit better; I would have scheduled myself to hear lots more writers!

colbymarshall said...

Child running from the ball makes me laugh so hard...It hurts!

Rachel Burton said...

I love reading about what people take away with them from conferences and publishing events! And that photo is just awesome!

Adam James Nall said...

Sound advice from an enjoyable blog. I do wish the book festivals I can attend would be graced with such good weather (though there's nothing like trying to keep several new/very old dictionaries under your coat out of the British rain!).

All the best,

AJN
http://adamjamesnall.blogspot.com/

The Paper Whisperer said...

Rejections? Really? Great...thanks for bursting my bubble! *major winkage* Here's my first "keepin' it close" poem: Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, STOP Rejection, before it gets to you. hahaha I sent in a few pages of my last novel, Hairy Trotter, for consideration, now I'm thinking I shoulda never signed it Vicky Rolling. Sigh.......I REALLY DO TRY to be serious, I just don't know how. My waste is a terrible thing to mind.

WendyCinNYC said...

Glad you had a great time. Nice pictures!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Janna, I'm with you. It's a good thing there's not a conference of writerly convention/festival every weekend -- I'd get nothing done!

You should attend if you ever get the chance, Janine.

Tut-tut, when I read your post about the Nashville event, it reminded me a lot of the "flavor" of ours. A great annual event.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Colby!!!!!! L.O.L. You made me look at that photo in a whole new way. (PS Thanks for the captions running through my mind the rest of the day too.) ;)

Thank you, Rachel.

AJN, thanks for visiting! Might I suggest a rainproof sachel? Surf here :) ---> http://aspire.win.mofcom.gov.cn/www/32%5Caspire%5Cimg%5C200832991242.jpg

Angie Ledbetter said...

PW, I'd buy Hairy Trotter. These agents/publishers. Sheesh...no taste! LOL And, BTW, my WAIST is a terrible thing to mind!

Merci, Wendy.

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Love that about keeping it real, simple and close!

Kathryn Magendie said...

At Pen to Press, Alexandra Sokoloff explained the novel in terms of how a playwright looks at writing a play - she did this thing on the board that when I read it, I had a "oh, that's cool" moment- since most of those kinds of things do not work for me - since I tend to just sit and let what comes come how it does....

I haven't looked at my notes since the conference - also like me---but I do want to find that diagram again --

Angie Ledbetter said...

Ditto me, Carrie. Especially like it because it's easy to remember. *grin*

Kat, if you uncover it, maybe you can put it up on your blog?

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