Disclaimer: This post will be messy. And filled with spelling mistakes. Everyone who has ever spend a day at a comic con convention will understand how hard it is to be coherent/alive after, but at least I'm trying!
So today was the first day of YALC - the Young Adult Literary Convention that takes place at London's Film and Comic Con. It was my first YALC and my first Comic Con and I'M IN LOVE. It was insane. I'm not a geeky person (I hardly understood half the things I saw), but I loved the atmosphere at a Con. Everyone is so happy and so passionate.
I loved it so much, that I barely took pictures. Good move, Emma. I'll try to be less overwhelmed tomorrow, but for now you'll have to settle with what I wrote down at the talks.
Talk one was Apocalypse Now with Virginia Bergin, Marie Rutkoski (YESSS FROM THE WINNER'S CURSE), Francesca Haig, Moira Young and Teri Terry. The talk was basically about dystopia as a genre and whether or not it works.
First all authors agreed that they never intended to write dysoptian - Marie believes her book is more fantasy (but then without the magic) and Moira was inspired by the great depression in America.
This also means all authors struggled with the question whether dystopia is a genre or a setting. Francesca said that actually it isn't all that important for a writer, she called genres "marketing tools" that she never considers while writing. Virginia agreed and said that genres are actually really limiting for readers. The writers proved this by the example of Star Wars: how many people don't watch Star Wars, because they "don't like that sci-fi thingy?" It's the same for dystopia and the negative connotation the genre has for some people.
The ladies then all mentioned their favourite books:
Marie: Feed by M.T. Anderson + The Hunger Games (she especially liked Katniss)
Moira: The Drowned World- J.G. Ballard
Francesca: The Road - Cormac McCarthy
Terry: The Adoration of Jenna Fox - Mary E. Pearson
Virginia: 1984 - George Orwell
Then the floor was opened to the audience and a very interesting question came up: why are strong female characters so associated with the dystopian genre? Virginia said it was because dystopia is all about struggle and overcoming struggles and young women in our societies just have more things to overcome. Francesca seconded this and mentioned that it is very satisfying for a writer to write a female that rises up against all odds. Further, she said she was annoyed with the fact that strong female characters seem special, while we never talk about strong, male characters.
There was a long discussion about whether or not dystopia would last as a genre and all authors said they hoped it would - it has been along for so long, can it ever disappear? What do you think?
I then walked around Comic Con a lot and went to a really interesting author/agent talk. I wrote stuff down, but basically they only had one real piece of advice: always be polite to everyone - including agents you turn down. There was a lot of talk about the route to publication, but having been to so many of these talks by now, I've learned one thing: there's no clear route to publication. I loved listening to the talk, but I think as far as advice goes for you (and me), there's not much to say. Except be nice.
And then I finally, exhausted, got to go home WITH ALL THE AMAZING FREE STUFF I GOT! I also bought books (duh), but I'll show them at the end of the weekend when I have all the books I want. But let's end this post by ending the gorgeous free stuff I collected: