Last week I was lucky enough to attend an event at Hachette Australia with my daughter Holly and fellow young adult reader & writer Kat Colmer. We were invited for a Young Adult Bloggers evening with Laini Taylor, author of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series.
Click HERE to read my review of Daughter of Smoke and Bone – its an awesome read!
It was such a fun night! Who wouldn’t love a night surrounded by books, lollies, prizes, a photo booth, meeting other YA bloggers face-to-face, and an introduction to some great new titles from Hachette Australia? And their new Young Adult pit stop for hot new YA books But, to top it all off was the talk and question time with Laini Taylor, followed by a book signing and fabulous goodie bag
at the end with two new books The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black, & The Secret of Ella & Micha by Jessica Sorensen, some cute ‘Date a Book’ badges, and treats from Natio, Lanolips & Spotted Cow Cookies along with a few other treats. There was a little bit of excitement when Holly & I went through our bags. Thanks Hachette Australia!
Author talk – Laini Taylor
Laini had always wanted to be a writer and spent many hours of her childhood creating fictional worlds, drawing maps, dreaming up ideas and writing, but never quite finished a book until the age of 35. She urged writers to power through with their writing when the shine comes off – to push through the doubts and to keep writing. She’d been slogging away at a book for 3-4 years, but wanted to become more spontaneous so she put aside days to write whatever she wanted and began co-writing on a blog where people posted their writing from writing prompts. For Laini, each story in the Lips Touch novella’s came from a writing prompt.
When it came to the writing of Daughter of Smoke and Bone Laini had a vision of a blue haired girl raised by monsters and she wanted to push the boundaries with her writing. She did free writes about wishes and teeth and kept a writing book with words she liked – like the word wishbone. Ideas and questions were raised from this seed and the story took on its own momentum. When the story of blue haired Larou, her family of monsters and her fiery angel Akiva began Laini didn’t know how long it would be. One book became 2, and 2 became 3.
Laini wrote scenes and pieced them together and it took a few goes to get it right. She could never see the full story and figured it out as she went along. Every time she attempted to outline the book, she couldn’t, and followed the path as the story led her along. Laini talked of not knowing where the story was going until she was in the scene. When it came to writing the end scene for Book 3 – Dreams of Gods and Monsters things happened in the last two pages that she didn’t expect.
Laini’s advice for aspiring writers is great advice for anyone – don’t do what she did, don’t spend years half doing things – have a habit of finishing things, a habit of completion and put 100% effort in. This is great advice – what writer doesn’t have a few short stories half written, a few book ideas half formed. And she’s right, this can go on for years – I am proof of that. I have one finished novel that I keep re-writing, another two novels 1/4 written, and numerous half written short stories. Next year will by my year to complete some of these projects. It about time!
Check out these great new titles by Hachette Australia.
- Red Rising by Pierce Brown
- The Earth is dying. Darrow is a Red, a miner in the interior of Mars. His mission is to extract enough precious elements to one day tame the surface of the planet and allow humans to live on it. The Reds are humanity’s last hope. Or so it appears, until the day Darrow discovers it’s all a lie. That Mars has been habitable – and inhabited – for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down on Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought. Until the day that Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside. But the command school is a battlefield – and Darrow isn’t the only student with an agenda.
- The Darkest Park of the Forest by Holly Black
- Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for. Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.At the centre of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking. Until one day, he does…
- The Walled City by Ryan Graudin
- There are three rules in the Walled City: Run fast. Trust no one. Always carry your knife. Right now, my life depends completely on the first. Run, run, run. Jin, Mei Yee, and Dai all live in the Walled City, a lawless labyrinth run by crime lords and overrun by street gangs. Teens there run drugs or work in brothels—or, like Jin, hide under the radar. But when Dai offers Jin a chance to find her lost sister, Mei Yee, she begins a breathtaking race against the clock to escape the Walled City itself.
- Found by Harlan Coben
- A new Mickey Bolitar novel following on from SHELTER and SECONDS AWAY. It’s been eight months since Mickey Bolitar witnessed the tragic death of his father. Eight months of lies, dark secrets and unanswered questions. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Mickey’s sophomore year of high school brings on a whole new set of troubles. Spoon is in hospital, Rachel won’t tell him where he stands, his basketball team-mates hate him. Whilst searching for Ema’s missing boyfriend(who may not even exist!), Mickey gets roped into helping his nemesis, Troy Taylor, with a big problem. All the while, Mickey and his friends are pulled deeper into the mysteries surrounding the Abeona Shelter – until the shocking climax, where Mickey finally comes face-to-face with the truth about his father.
Thanks again to Hachette Publishing Australia for the invitation to their Young Adult evening with Laini Taylor – and for the awesome goodie bag!