and like me for crying out loud! You don't have to "Love" me, there's no button for that as far as I know. Just Like me.
Now, on to other things. I spent last Saturday hanging out with some of my favorite people at Teen Author Boot Camp. It seriously is one of the coolest things I've been blessed to do. I, along with tons of other awesome authors (not saying I'm awesome because that would be vain), presented workshops to almost 400 teens in the Utah County area. Shannon Hale was there, people! Author of the Goose Girl and Princess Academy and Austenland (soon to be a movie this summer.) Kiersten White was there! And so was J. Scott Savage, Tyler Whitesides, Marion Jensen, Tess Hilmo, Cindy Bennett, J.R. Johannsen, Janette Rallison, Aprilynne Pike, Chad Morris. Amy Jameson (Literary Agent) presented as well. She's amazing! And of course Writer's Cubed (Jo, Tahsha, Lois, Jennifer, Margie, and James) who put on the show. These guys can all write like banshees and they know how to throw a shindig. What the heck did I just say?
It was crazy and awesome and overwhelmingly fun. Here are some pics:
Me holding a book like a sandwich. Mmmm...
Chillin' with the geniuses (J. Scott Savage and Tyler Whitesides)
Look at all those future bestsellers!
Proof that authors are people too.
Just not human people.
My Harlem Shake Moment.
Ah, look at them. All tuckered out.
And now a Writing Tip from the workshop I presented at Teen Author Boot Camp, "Finding Your Characters".
How important is dialogue, particularly when writing for Middle Grade audiences? Well, let's put it this way: Rick Riordan, author of Percy Jackson and the Olympians (yeah, you've heard of those) sure seems to think dialogue has some value. Of the 375 pages of his first NY Times Bestselling book, The Lightning Thief, 93% of those pages contained dialogue. It is a critical piece of character development. If you find yourself drifting through pages and pages of descriptive scenery without a break or even a hint of a quotation, you may want to rethink your plan. How does your main character react to the scene? What are they thinking? What do the secondary characters have to say about it? Not all books have to be brimming with dialogue, but if you're struggling to find your writing rhythm or you discover your readers are zoning out, take a look at your dialogue.