Braving the aftermath of yesterday's blizzard, I went to Symphony Space this afternoon for a discussion on Rebecca Stead and R.J. Palacio's new novels, Goodbye Stranger and Auggie & Me.
I love hearing authors speak about their own works. I'm guilty of putting my favorite writers on a pedestal, so going to these talks helps me remember that everyone started out somewhere, and writing a good book has no better formula than 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.
Ms. Palacio (whose real name is Raquel Jaramillo) talked about the little girl who inspired her to write Wonder, and Ms. Stead gave an inspiring talk about how it took her many years to revise and edit her first novel, First Light, before it was published. She also discussed why she chose to write in the second person viewpoint for Goodbye Stranger. I was a little inspired to try it out myself -- maybe for a short story. I did read a lot of Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid.
Most people in the audience were children, so the moderator Madeline Cohen set forth a POV exercise for the kids to try out. I was so impressed by the writing samples they read -- definitely some budding writers on the UWS!