Cavalcade of Authors West will feature the following authors on May 2nd, 2015! Follow the links to the author websites and check out all the awesomeness you’ll get to enjoy at the conference.
Royce Buckingham is a working author who has ten published novels, including two international bestsellers and the Sasquatch Award winning middle grade book The Dead Boys. His recent releases include his 2014 YA novel The Terminals and his 2015 adult novel Impasse. Royce has also sold a screenplay to 20th Century Fox and written a storyline for an Xbox video game.
He played baseball in the Kingdome (Mariners old stadium) when he was a kid. He grew up next to a nuclear plant. He loves books where kids get eaten. He once had a puppy named Tuppy and later a dog named Milo after the main character from The Phantom Tollbooth.
Setups and Payoffs – Why they are the most important thing in the universe.
Audiences all want to be hooked. They’re like hungry fish. But with so much bait dumped into the water these days, how do you get them to strike? And when they nibble, how do you set the hook?
The answer is: Setups and Payoffs.
Small and large, short term and long, creation of opportunities and fulfillment of promises are what drive stories. This is eerily like what a successful writer does to cultivate a long-term career.
In this session, author Royce Buckingham will discuss the importance of setting up and paying off in a scene, chapter, novel, and, ultimately, the writing profession.
Royce will offer examples, techniques, and practical advice from a decade of writing novels for major publishers.
3 things you will learn:
1) Setups that get you noticed.
2) Payoffs that satisfy.
3) How to apply this theory to your work.
Kimberly Derting once wanted to be a “foxy lady trucker” but changed her mind when she took 7th grade journalism, and hasn’t looked back since. These days, she watches WAY too much TV, orders 20# boxes of Nerds gumballs off the internet, and loves to complain about the rain even though she lives in Seattle where it rains ALL the time!
Keep Your Reader on the Edge of Their Seats: How to Create Suspense on the Page
From that (breathtaking!) first kiss to discovering a killer hiding under the bed, Kimberly Derting will show you how authors ratchet up tension on the pages to keep you coming back for more!
Peggy Eddleman hangs out at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains in Utah with her three hilarious and fun kids (two sons and a daughter), and her incredibly supportive husband. Peggy enjoys playing laser tag with her family, toilet papering friends’ houses, doing cartwheels in long hallways, trying new restaurants, and occasionally painting murals on walls. She is the author of the post-apocalyptic adventures Sky Jumpers and The Forbidden Flats.
The Five Essential Elements
The Chinese have a philosophy that if meals have each of 5 different elements, then the food will be more satisfying— you won’t be searching the fridge thirty minutes later for that something that you’re missing. The concept is the same for writing a book. If you have all 5 things in the books you write, readers won’t finish reading then start searching their bookshelves for that something they missed— they’ll be texting their friends, telling them they have to read your book! We’ll talk about the 5 essential elements (psst! They’re humor, action / adventure, a sense of wonder, scariness, and mystery), as well as all the secrets you need to know to get the five of them into the books that you write.
Kevin Emerson once competed in a beauty pageant and lost (probably because he was wearing a suit of armor). He appeared in a Swedish TV commercial, won his town spelling bee, prefers donuts to cupcakes, and his least favorite candy is Skittles.
Follow Your Characters
How do we make awesome, believable characters who feel real? In this workshop we’ll explore ways to get your characters to think and act in heroic, and sometimes heartbreaking ways, that always feel true, and make them unforgettable for the reader! We’ll discuss how to get your character to drive the plot, and how to plan their journey through the story.
Kristin Halbrook is the author of the young adult novels, Every Last Promise and Nobody But Us. She resides in Seattle with her Scottish soulmate and a gaggle of pixies. She hides her favorite chocolates in her desk drawers, forgets she hid them, and is always delighted when she accidentally finds them again.
Empathy: A Tool for Character Development
A well-drawn character creates a connection with the reader, compelling the reader to invest time and emotion into your story. A well-drawn character can also challenge the writer, asking s/he understand not only the character they’re writing, but also themselves and the world around them. Empathy is the number one tool to understanding your characters’ motivations. In this workshop, we will discuss what empathy is and how to develop it; do short writing exercises that require the writer to broaden their minds with regards to character motivations; discuss how lessons in empathy are applicable to the writers’ own life; and create a reading list of books that challenge readers’ perceptions of character.
Kazu Kibuishi thought he would have to quit drawing when he grew up, so he drew as much as he could while he still had a chance. Now he is asked by his publishers to draw every single day.
Writing with Pictures
A workshop for creating graphic novels.
*Lish is basically a hobbit.
*She never, not once, managed to save the princess in the original Mario brothers video game.
* Lish McBride has two cats : Tempest (nicknamed Kitty ‘Pest), and Captain Ninja Fish. Lish also has a new dog, Athena Vincent McBride Aman. Despite the dog being a female, her son thought the name Vincent “went well” with the rest of her name.
* Lish’s brain can hold onto movie quotes forever, but she can’t remember actually useful things like geography or history. (Unless the history is weird or disgusting in some way. Her mind is a sewer.)
What makes a story funny? And how can you make your writing funnier? In this workshop we will discuss humor writing and how it can help balance other emotions (Make them laugh AND cry!), make your story more enjoyable, and keep your reader coming back for more. We will look at examples from well-known authors and do some in class writing exercises!
Mindy McGinnis has a huge scar on her leg from sliding into home while wearing shorts. She didn’t make it all the way to the plate and was tagged out. Not worth it.
Richelle Mead is the international bestselling author of the Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series. Before becoming an author, she had a lot of different jobs, ranging from teaching to selling hypnosis classes. She now writes full-time in Seattle and is currently at work on Soundless, a new novel coming out in fall 2015. When not writing, she can be found hanging out with her family, dress shopping, and obsessing over Reign.
Point of View 101: Putting Life, Sass, and Emotion into Your Writing
What is point of view? What’s the difference between first and third person? How does voice affect your writing? Get all these answers and more as we go over the different ways point of view plays into writing great stories. We’ll look at examples from lots of popular books and give students the chance to experiment with some writing of their own!
Marissa Meyer got her start writing fan-fiction for the popular magic-girl anime Sailor Moon, and she thinks it’s kind of amazing that there is now fan-fic based on her own books. She also loves Firefly, any occasion where she gets to wear a costume, and telling people the little-known gory versions of Grimm’s fairy tales. She lives in Tacoma with her husband and three cats. She may or may not be a cyborg.
Old Tale, New Twist
Playing around with characters, settings, and reader expectations in order to give new life to old stories.
Alyson Noel is a #1 New York Times bestseller and author of THE IMMORTALS series. Alyson’s books are often inspired from her own life experiences, and she’s undergone past-life hypnosis, a shamanic journey to the Lowerworld, and enrolled in psychic development classes all in the name of research.
When she’s not writing, she’s usually traveling the world, going to yoga and/or boot camp, reading, catching up on her favorite TV shows on her DVR, or contemplating a new haircut. She lives in Southern California with her husband, where she is currently working on the first book in her new series. UNRIVALED, in stores early 2016.
Learn more about Alyson and her books at: www.alysonnoel.com www.immortalsseries.com & www.soulseekersseries.com
Follow her on Twitter: @AlysonNoel
From High School Slacker to #1 New York Times Bestseller
A conversation with Alyson Noel. Alyson will discuss her books, her journey from high school slacker to best selling author of 20+ novels, and answer your questions on the craft and business of writing.
Lisa Schroeder is the author of over a dozen books for kids and teens, and enjoys making stuff up for a living. She lives in Beaverton, Oregon with her family and walks her dog, Stormy, every day. Sometimes, depending on the song on her iPod, she dances down the sidewalk and fortunately, Stormy doesn’t mind. She loves baking sweet treats, and loves eating them even more. One of the best days of her life was when she got to be a cupcake judge at a big event called Cupcake Madness. If you ever need a cupcake judge, you know who to call.
Revise Like a Pro
Revision is a necessary part of writing, but it can be overwhelming knowing what elements to tackle and when. In this workshop, Lisa will break down the process of revision, complete with a worksheet students can take home and use for their own writing. She will also share examples from her own novels to show how a book changes after revision.
Liesl Shurtliff grew up in Salt Lake City, UT, the fifth of eight children. In high school she was forced to drive a giant blue van to school every day with a license plate that said 8SGREAT. She almost died of embarrassment, but it turned out to be the inspiration for her first published story in a magazine. You never know how childhood torture can pay off later.
Her first book, Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin, won over kids and critics alike, with Kirkus Reviews declaring it “As good as gold” in a starred review.
Liesl lives in Chicago with her husband, three kids, and a cat named Felix.
A hands-on workshop where the group will develop their own group story, discussing elements of plot and character in a fun and interactive way. After the “first draft” we’ll then discuss the importance of revision. Liesl will show students her own marked up manuscripts, editor’s notes, and revised paragraphs.
Terry Trueman has been writing seriously since he was about 17 years old, now going on 50 years. Yes, even if math ain’t your strong suit, you can tell Terry is older than you! Most of those years he was writing poetry (not a great way to make a living, but a tremendous way to learn to handle words/writing). Terry got very lucky with my first novel, Stuck In Neutral, a book marketed for teens and young adults that made him a lot of money. And also made him kinda famous and stuff. It also opened the door for Terryto publish a bunch more novels, all of which deal with things he cares about deeply. Terry’s presentations are always based on what his audience wants (largely Q&A). So, if you want to know some things about writing/life/fame/fortune/egomaniacs/love/hate/etc… then you should come to his workshop.
Making Signals Thru the Glass
This workshop will explore how the role of realistic young adult fiction is adding to understanding and communication between teens, peers and others.
In second grade, Leslye was known to be a bit of a liar. She always felt bad about it afterward, but usually forgave herself because, after all, she was only eight and wasn’t yet old enough to be considered interesting.
Failure & Creativity
This workshop will explore a wabi-sabi theme (a Japanese world view centered around imperfection and the acceptance of life’s impermanence) that is based on a keynote speech J.K. Rowling once gave. Failure and creativity (and sometimes success)–can often derive from previous failures.
Stasia Ward Kehoe grew up dreaming of becoming a ballerina but she didn’t grow quite enough (she is 5’4″) or have sufficiently good knees (they are peppered with surgery scars). Instead, she got a BA in English from Georgetown University, worked at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and Random House Publishing in New York, City, then got anr MA in Performance Studies from New York University. After having four sons, she started writing with a vengeance, publishing her first novel in 2011. Stasia also enjoys artichokes, chocolate (but, come on, who doesn’t?), parentheticals (obviously) and turning on her car to an explosion of music because the last person to drive it was one of her teenagers–especially if the song is about heartache and healing and has a good dance beat.
Getting From “Great Concept” to Finished Novel
The first trick to getting published is completing a manuscript. This workshop will help you develop strategies for getting beyond those first 20 or 100 “easy” pages to a completed novel. The session will include writing exercises, analysis of your writing style, reading, and sharing.
When Jim Whiting was a 7th grader, his PE class of 60 boys ran a 100-yard dash. He was dead last.
Over the years, he became faster and wound up winning more than a dozen races. However, as Jim grew steadily older, he started slowing down.
Several years ago he began coaching middle school cross country. He’s sure that if he ran another 100-yard dash with his 7th graders, he’d be last again.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Jim began writing young people’s nonfiction in 2001. Since then he’s written more than 170 books, which almost certainly makes him the state’s most prolific author of any genre.
Non-Fiction: Not Just for Reports
Many students read fiction for fun, and nonfiction–well, because they have to. Yet as a nonfiction author, I believe that my stories are as fascinating, often frightening, and certainly as much fun as those of my fiction colleagues. And all of them are true!
My audiences will hear a variety of stories that may include
– Doing a 180 about Snoop Dogg
– The father of the mystery story, and two enduring mysteries surrounding his death
– The world’s first rock star musician–more than 100 years before the Beatles
– Gong farmers–their “crop” is crap–and other nasty jobs you’ll never have to do
– The big brass button that saved one of the holiday season’s most popular pieces of music
– Maggots, the Medal of Honor, and the Father of Medicine–the connection between our nation’s highest military honor and a Greek who lived 2,500 years ago
– And more!
So what’s in it for YOU?
– Learn how to make your reports better and more interesting.
– Learn a few tips about improving any type of writing you do.
– If your goal is to be a published author, your chances are much better in nonfiction. Then your book (or more than one) can pave the path to publishing a novel.
– The more you know about the real world, the better the decisions you make.