October 15

Tantalizing Tidbits from Anderson’s 2015 YA Lit Conference

Thursday, October 15

2015 YA Lit Conf

Hopefully you haven’t gotten tired of my stories from the previous weekend yet – I just had such an amazing time, and I want to share all of it with you! As a side note – I apologize for the lack of graphics this week. Between the YA Lit Conference, a trip to Napa this weekend, and prepping for a training I’m providing at work next week, I’m hugely stressed out and limited with my time! Today I’m going to share some tidbits I either learned directly or gleaned over the course of the weekend (and I’m trying not to repeat myself with yesterday’s or tomorrow’s posts). Authors are a fascinatingly diverse lot!

  • I was shocked at the number of writers who previously practiced law (or at least attended law school). As someone who was convinced for a large part of her adolescence that she would be an attorney and who now has a dream to be a published author, I was intrigued by this correlation. I can’t give you exact figures, but at least 10% of the authors present were familiar with the practice of law.
  • I loved how many authors gave kudos to Nancy Drew as a prominent force in shaping their love of reading and/or writing. My 9 year old niece is currently a huge Nancy Drew fan, and I just loved the connections made to such an iconic literary figure.
  • Cherie Priest’s mom was an active cult member for a while while Cherie was an adolescent, and Cherie is very familiar with cult life. One of my novel ideas that is currently on the back burner has to do with life in a cult, and I would love the opportunity to talk with Cherie about her cult experiences in more detail.
  • As a fan of Broadway musicals, I loved that Marie Lu gave a shout out to Les Miserables as an influence in her writing. Yay for Broadway love!
  • Heather Petty grew up at the intersection of many hills and never learned to ride a bike. If you caught my post yesterday, you know that I also adored her story about making stories with her brother.
  • Alexandra Sirowy spent part of her time in graduate school in the Middle East, and she thought she would be going into foreign affairs in this region. She also applied to the police academy at one point in support of a friend of hers.
  • Both Antony John and David Anthony were musicians as well as stay-at-home dads. Even though they were very different people with very different writing styles, I liked the commonalities that these two particular authors shared.
  • Dawn Kurtagich lived in the small town in Wales featured in the movie The Holiday with Cameron Diaz. I just imagine it being so magical there! She also spent some time in Africa during her childhood – seriously…..how cool!
  • Todd Hasak-Lowy is not a Harry Potter fan! Whaaaaaaaaaaat?
  • Huntley Fitzpatrick has 6 children – I stand in awe of you and your accomplishments, Huntley!
  • More than one author expressed a dislike for Ernest Hemingway. I still haven’t read any Hemingway, but this tidbit shocked me.

What author tidbits are you aware of that you would like to share? I love tidbits, and I so want to hear!

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Posted October 15, 2015 by Lisa @ Reading, Writing, and Random Musings in category "Anderson's YA Literature Conference


    1. By Lisa @ Reading, Writing, and Random Musings (Post author) on

      I’m not surprised we picked up different tidbits…..there were so many different things to do and people to meet. Depending on someone’s interests, you can have a very different experience – that’s what I like about it!

  1. By Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight on

    I LOVE getting little bits of info about authors, so this is an amazing post! Cherie’s mom was in a cult!? That is so fascinating. Cults are so, so interesting to me, as it seems they are to you too! Todd and I can sit in the corner and get pointed at together for not liking Harry 😉

    An Huntley has SIX kids!? And she writes?! And maintains sanity!? HOW!? Did you ask how? And then like, worshipped her? Because that would have been my plan 😉

    So glad you had such a great time- and my goodness, your schedule is hectic! Hope it is all fabulous though 😀


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