Recently, I was posed the question by the website Eventbrite*: Who would be on your dream author panel? And I was more than happy to take up the challenge of answering that question.
As a writer and an avid reader, there is no genre I enjoy more than young adult fantasy. I aspire to write my own novel in this genre and I always seek out every scrap of knowledge there is when it comes to writing these books.
For these reasons, I want my Dream Author Panel to focus on Young Adult Fantasy novel writing. Although I was able to experience a panel similar in caliber to this one when I attended BookCon last year, I want it to specifically focus on the writing craft within this panel, as to help out other aspiring young writers that want to break into the publishing industry.
With so many fantasy novelists out in the world, it was difficult to choose just who I would want on the panel. In the end, it came down to my top young adult fantasy authors (biased, I know)! The authors that I chose are on this dream panel for a variety reasons, scaling from writing style, to world building, to diverse stories. These three are some the main aspects that I look for when it comes to the books that I read.
So, without further ado, let’s talk about these authors for my dream panel titled “How to Write Young Adult Fantasy.”
If you spend a lot of time with me, you would know that I am constantly calling Cassandra Clare (well, her and Sarah J Mass) my queen of fantasy writing. I would want to bring Cassie to the panel because she doesn’t deal with high-fantasy writing; rather, she writes in low fantasy – otherwise known as magical realism. In addition, she crosses genres with The Infernal Devices and delves into the genres of young adult, fantasy, and steampunk. Her books cross genres so effortlessly and I would love to get her advice on how to blend them all together, as that is one of the hardest feats to accomplish as a writer.
Sarah J Maas
When I read a Sarah book, know that you will not be seeing me or getting a verbal response from me for a good day or two until I finish the novel. There are two elements that I love about her books: the writing style and the world building. Her style is smooth, beautiful, and immersive – hours simply disappear anytime I read her novel. More importantly, her world building is impressive. With two major series in the works of being completed, it is not an easy thing to keep two massive worlds separate in her mind. I definitely want to know how she keeps the worlds separate and so well developed.
Of course, I had to add JK Rowling to the list! She was the author who made me the bookworm that I am today. I first read Harry Potter when I was in elementary school and from that point onwards, I began devouring every book that I came across. (Without those books, I probably wouldn’t be writing this blog today!) I want JK on this panel to share more about the hardships she faced while writing the books – I want to know about her writer’s block, about how she developed her writing style, how many drafts of the books she had to write before they got published. More importantly, I want to know which book was the most fun to write.
When I was dealing with a massive writing block a few months ago, it was Reneé’s duology that helped me to write again. Although she only has two books published – with another dropping within the month of May – they were beautiful retellings of One Thousand and One Nights. Both Reneé and Sarah have worked with fantasy retellings of classic stories and that trend is something that I have always had a great amount of interest in. I would love to hear her thoughts on how to balance the retelling with the overall story that she is striving to tell.
Sabaa is one of my newest favorite authors from the past year or so. I had waited to read her books – reason unknown to even me – and they were some of the best books I have read in a long time. One of the aspects I enjoyed the most was the fact that these books were historically inspired by the Roman empire. With those elements in mind, she built a high fantasy world for readers to enjoy. Her characters are alluring, new surprises are coming at every twist and turn, and I just want to learn her secret to writing. How did she push on her inspiration and what drove her to write these amazing novels.
In the end, I just want to know more from my favorite young adult fantasy authors. I want to hear their honest advice about writing and know what it is that drove them to keep working hard until their dreams of being published came true. With all of these bestselling authors in conversation, I believe that readers and writers will learn a lot from all of them!
Maybe one day this dream panel of mine will come true, whether it’s at YALL West or BookCon, or one of these other conferences! And hopefully I will have the chance to attend it myself.
Thanks for reading and see you next time!
*Eventbrite is a website that provides services for businesses or individuals that are looking to create events or conferences. For more information, visit their website!