On Sunday, April 6th, I had a fantastic time at the “Mega-Awesome Adventure” author event presented by Wellesley Books and organized by Disney Hyperion. The event featured four super-cool and hugely successful authors: Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson), Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl), Jonathan Stroud (Bartimaeus Sequence), and Ridley Pearson (Kingdom Keepers).
I arrived an hour early and a crowd had already lined at the Dana Hall School auditorium in Wellesley, MA. It was a beautiful day. I spotted excited kids in bright orange “Camp Halfblood” t-shirts (Percy Jackson fans).
Once inside, volunteers threw candy at the waiting audience. Dance music blared. Anticipation filled the crowd. Finally, each author was introduced on stage and the audience cheered. Host Seale Ballenger (publicity director at Disney Publishing) introduced the authors and posed a few interesting questions. Mr. Ballenger asked the authors to describe their best moment as a writer. Rick Riordan told us about the time he got a call from his agent while in a car rental place in Las Vegas, sharing the news that Percy Jackson had made the New York times bestseller list. Rick said that he'd started dancing right there on the spot.
“Enjoy it, keep going, don’t worry about what you’re actually doing; if it doesn’t actually work. I had endless projects that I started... and I used to think it was terrible; I’m never going to be a good writer. And slowly, all the time you’re getting better without realizing it.”
As an aspiring writer, I have several unfinished novels, short stories, and screenplays saved on my computer. Jonathan Stroud’s words resonated with me. I realized that all those attempts were not failures. Each one had contributed to making me a better writer.
“Everybody’s got that funny friend, and they say something hilarious - and what happens to that thing? It usually just flies off like a butterfly or something, maybe it gets repeated by someone else once and mangled. But if you’re a writer, it’s up to you to collect all those things, write them down on your notepad, and then don’t pay anybody for them and keep all the money yourself. That is my literary advice.”
Everyone left the event smiling - including me. I went home with a bagful of autographed books, the event t-shirt, and lots of inspiration to keep on writing. In other words, what a fantastic experience!