The Texas Book Festival is a festival held at the capital every year. It is free to the public and it is tons of fun. This year was my first and it was a great experience. Authors that have published books come to this festival and participate in panels. They talk about their book and their writing experiences. On Saturday I visited the panel named "The Secrets That Girls Keep," the authors who participated in it were Jill Alexander, Rosemary Clement-Moore, and Jennifer Ziegler.
Jill Alexander wrote Paradise, a book about a young girl in a band who falls in love with a boy named Paradise. This novel is for young adults. Jill spoke about the topics that inspire her to write, and she said "You write what you know." Jill Alexander mentioned she writes about 1000 words on good days.
When Rosemary was asked if she ever felt discouraged to write she responded by saying,"If you're not discouraged when writing, you have problems."
This panel was very interesting because these women spoke about their struggles in life and what it was really like to be an author. They provided suggestions to people who wanted to know how to get started writing.
Rosemary also described how she goes about writing her novels. In the past she wrote Prom Dates From Hell, a novel for young adults. She likes to write the first line and let the rest of the story flow out. She has also written Texas Gothic, the Maggie Quinn: Girl vs. Evil Series, and her latest book is The Splendor Falls. Rosemary says that she sets the location of most of her stories in Texas because it is a great place.
Jennifer Ziegler is the author of Alpha Dog, Sass and Serendipity, and How Not to be Popular. She attended the University of Texas at Austin and studied Journalism and English. She says that the secret to writing a book for young adults is to write about first love and a journey that helps the characters find themselves. Jennifer is inspired by Judy Blume and Jane Austen. She spoke about one of the criticisms she received in the past which hurt her immensely. She was criticized about including hispanics in her novels when the novel was not solely about the "hispanic experience," and that she only did it as a way to help her get published.
These women were fascinating to listen to. They are amazing writers and they were inspiring. I have not read any of their books yet but after getting to know them I will be making a trip to the bookstore very soon!