(Just in case there’s a writers conference 2010 that I write about next year.)
Yesterday, I had the awesome opportunity to go to the Book Academy’s writers conference at Utah Valley University (my collegiate alma mater). It was a great experience. I got to meet a bunch of cool authors. Most notable to me are Brandon Sanderson author of Mistborn and the guy that was asked to finish dearly departed Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time Series, James Dashner, the author of the 13th Reality Series as well as The Maze Runner (which is due out in 11 days from Random House), and J. Scott Savage (who is more an up-and-coming author in the Young Adult/Teen fantasy genre). Also, for those girls who like the chicky LDS books, I did meet Anita Stansfield and Rachel Ann Nunes.
But, on to the important stuff. I sat through the conference thinking a lot about my book. I had one question that I was hoping, without directly asking, I would be able to receive some sort of inspirational answer. Well, if you’re wondering what that question is, it’s: “Do I redo my book so it’s just a stand alone young adult novel that doesn’t cliffhang like it does currently?” And for those wondering, I received my answer through the words of the inspired Brandon Sanderson, the awesome James Dashner, and the hilarious Jeff Savage. The answer was: yes. Now, I actually went up to James Dashner and told him that my book was geared to the same audience as his novels, but that it’s problem was the cliffhanger ending that Mary (my wife to those who don’t know), Heather (my co-worker), and Elizabeth (Mary’s sister) all told me they hated. James Dashner actually stated it’s very difficult to break into the market with a book that ends like that.
So as my title has changed from The Kingdoms of Arrassnel to The Amethyst of Esam Alee to Eli and the Amethyst so too has my story. Now, instead of writing a book that is a series from the beginning, I intend to write a book that stands alone but leaves minor hints towards sequels. I sadly have to kill storylines (or at least do a story-ectomy and remove it from my current book). I like the possibility of what I’m doing a lot better as I found out that I have a greater shot with a stand alone novel to begin a series. I’ve read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Fablehaven, Magic Kingdom for Sale-SOLD, and intend to read The Maze Runner. Each of those stand alone as a novel perfectly fine. You’re left with questions, but none of them are that important that you’d feel unsatisfied not having read more. My co-worker was very sad to hear that I was disregarding a complete storyline (almost to the point that I think she’s in mourning today), but I promised that if Eli and the Amethyst sells, then I’ll be able to do a sequel where the side storyline that’s being removed gets to have its own novel. That, of course, is if I am published in the first place.
So, it was an awesome day yesterday. It was worth going to for any aspiring author as there were loads of useful networking opportunities and insightful information. Good job to UVU for putting on a great conference. Even though I’m LDS, it would’ve been nice to have non-LDS authors/agents/publishers in attendance. But that’s just me.
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