Posted in Book Festivals

Dark Fantasy

On this panel about Dark Fantasy were: Rena Barron who is famous for her breakout fantasy The Gilded Ones. J. Elle is famous for her fantasy Wings of Ebony. Finally Kiersten White is famous for many books, including the And I Darken trilogy.

Moderator: How do you decide what readers’ first impression is going to be of your fantasy world?

White: It’s more about the soul of the story.

Barron: Dark doesn’t mean bad it just means unknown.

J Elle: What is the most intriguing entry point into the book? How you want to introduce the reader. The hook.

Moderator: Contemporary or full fantasy?

J Elle: I prefer contemporary fantasy

Barron: You get to throw some magic into the regular world.

White: It’s fun to get stuff from other people’s worlds.

Moderator Why Dark Fantasy?

White: I’m telling the story because it has integrity

Barron: I don’t mean to tell a dark fantasy I’m just trying to tell a story.

J Elle: When you go back to stories at different points in your life you get different answers. Darkness is just exploring the unknown.

White: Writing books is also a personal journey for the author that no one but the author can see but they know it’s there.

Moderator: What is everyone currently reading?

Realm Breaker by Victora Avyard

Counting Down with You by Tashie Bhuiyan

Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston

Moderator: When adding element from other cultures how do you do so respectfully?

J Elle: Lightly inspired if not your culture. Let Own Voices deal with it if its a major element of the plot.

White: If you are looking at history be careful of your sources. Why are you using these people as a jumping-off point?

Engage things with integrity, responsibility, and love. Also, throw out any extreme sources from either side of a conflict.

Photo by Karsten Würth on Unsplash

Posted in Book Festivals

Worldbuilding:Setting the Stage

Worldbuilding is such an important part of writing. I went to this panel for that reason and plan to go back review the other one offered when I don’t have Zoom fatigue.

The authors on this panel are known for their worldbuilding. Lisa McMann famous for her work on the Unwanteds Universe. Namina Forna best known for her book The Guilded Ones, the first part of a trilogy. and James Ponti, bestselling author of many books but currently working on the City Spies.

Moderator: How and why do you choose the settings?

James: I think about it like TV. Transportation and getting places without adults

Namina: I knew it was going to be set in an African world because I knew I would use my childhood in Benin as a jumping-off point.

Lisa: Environments and experiences.

James also recommended to start a story bible to keep up with all your worlds rules.

Moderator: Would you like to live your world or any other.

Namina: Any world by Holly Black but get out before things get serious because she’s worried she might die.

James; From The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basel E. Frankweiler, because who wouldn’t want to spend the night in the library.

Lisa: Artime.

At the end of the panel, they just had some general advice. Namina pointed out the importance of research because you never know where information will come from.

James pointed out some cool fact he learned from researching with real spies. Like they play Assassin on board a ship before its commissioned.

Lisa pointed out the importance of using something you are familiar with as a jumping off point.

Finally they all agree that the world serves the story, it should help push your story along and that logic within your story matters and that you should always follow your own logic. Finally don’t overcomplicate the world you build.

Photo by Samuel Ferrara on Unsplash

Posted in Author Recommendations, Recommendations, Updates

Yallfest (YallWrite)

Are any of ya’ll come to the panels at Yallfest. Usually it’s a book festival held in Charleston SC. But this year due to COVID they are focusing on writing instead. There are so many great writers coming to share their knowledge and they are doing all sorts of contests and author chats leading up to it. It’s going to be the weekend of November 13th through the 14th, but there are some panels on Friday as well.

In their own words with YALLWrite is a craft-themed, online festival for readers, writers, illustrators & storytellers to stay connected and inspired despite our social distance.


They have lots of great panels that can be found here.

The couple that I’m looking most forward to are Fantastic Fantasy and Astonishing Adventure

How do you build a world for middle grade readers, establish magic, and supernatural phenomena, avoid info dumps and engaged middle grade readers with the wildest flights of your imagination? How do you keep your fiction grounded in the emotional reality of being a middle grade person, when you’re casting them far from the reality they know? Basically, how do you make stuff up and make it feel real?

Moderated by Soman Chainani with John August, Sayantani DasGupta, Kwame Mbalia and Claribel A. Ortega

The Story Corpse


One because V.E SCHWAB! And two because the description sounds amazing This class will look at drafting as the construction of a body, from the bones of plot, to character muscle, to the flesh of prose. Attendees will hopefully leave feeling more ready to conquer the always strange and sometimes overwhelming necromancy of bringing a book to life.

Seriously theses are just a few of the panels that are available, you all should really go register.

This post was not sponsored by YallWrite just an excited fan looking forward to meeting people.