Saturday, June 7, 2014

On Receiving Expert Advice.

Today's the day I interview three YA authors in front of an audience of teens.

I saw this done last year at the Melbourne Writer's Festival, first with Morris Gleitzman and then with Andy Griffiths. Gleitzman was really interesting. He held the audience well, but Griffiths turned them upside down. He was like a writing rock star. A few bum jokes, a few gross stories and he had an autograph queue that was so long it had to be culled by his minders. No copy of his book, no signature.

At Continuum, I'll be interviewing Jim C. Hines, Tracy Joyce and Mary Borsellino. That can't be too difficult, can it?

Well I made this task a whole lot easier, last week, when I sought expert help. I asked a class of teenagers what they would ask their favourite writers.

I was pleasantly surprised by how thoughtful their questions were. Generally, they were about the creative process, about how ideas are developed and how stories are constructed. Of course, I then used that data to reflect on how I teach writing. And to write my questions for this afternoon.

I'm looking forward to this session. And should the audience get unruly, I have a book of detention slips with me.

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