I was so lucky to be able to go to an event tonight where James Dashner, Matthew Kirby and Brandon Mull were doing a question/answer panel. It was fantastic. They talked about their books, of course. But the thing that really made an impression on me was when they all talked about how many times they were turned down by publishers. Brandon said that he worked for four years to get Fablehaven published. I know it's easy for them to talk about it now, in retrospect, but it was still so great for someone like me to hear. They were funny and full of encouragement and advice for writers who are just starting out.
Another topic that they discussed was 'critique groups.' I read Josi's classes on this subject on W.I., too. I really think that a group is such a useful tool to improving your writing. It has been invaluable to me--even though I've had to grow some thicker skin.
All in all, it was a lovely evening and I was thrilled to be able to rub shoulders with some great writers that I admire. I guess it's hard to technically rub shoulders with someone so tall, but you know what I mean.
On a side note, the other handsome devil in this photo is my son, James who is an avid reader and turning out to be a pretty creative writer. I'm so proud!