Recap of MTL YA Fest

Earlier in the week you got to read my recap of the first ever YA Fest that took place this past weekend in Montreal and today I am sharing Jennifer’s thoughts on the event.

I am so happy that my bestie invited me along to the YA Fest! I knew that we were planning on going, but when I heard that she had won tickets, well, I didn’t presume that I’d be the invitee.

I had no idea what to expect, other than I’d get to listen to a panel of authors throughout the day.  Well, it was so much more than that. Held at the Jewish Public Library, one had a chance to interact intimately with the authors.  No one was in a rush and no one hurried you along. This was a real treat!!! How many people get to have an actual conversation with numerous authors in one afternoon?

Cindy and I sat through the first panel together, so I won’t say too much about this talk, to avoid repetition. It is worth mentioning that one cannot presume to write a book, have it published, and meet Opera.  It takes a lot of work. I am so grateful that these authors took time out of their busy schedules to travel to Montreal and be a part of this festival.

After lunch, the topic I chose was “Far off places, daring sword fights, magic spells…a prince in disguise!” The authors on this panel included Danielle Paige, Sarah Mlynowski, S.M. Beiko, and Karl Kerschl.  Well, what I learnt from this panel is that there is no one formula to creating your own fantasy world. Some authors create an entire outline of their world and then write to fill in the blanks, as does Sarah.  However, Karl loves creating a world and watching the characters change as the world evolves around them during the creative process. Some authors write to music and film scores while others write to the sound of silence.    The worlds they create are as different as the authors themselves. All authors agreed that they write and continue to write in hopes of continually pleasing their audience.

The last panel topic I attended was, “Uncharted Territory.” This panel included Chantal Guertin, Adi Alsaid, Brendan Kiely, and Sarah Mlynowski. Whether or not to have your main character travel is completely up to the writer.  These authors used personal travelling experiences to include in their novels. Most touching was Brendan’s journey. He wrote about his Granddad who suffered from Alzheimer’s and the journey they took in Ireland. Needless, to say, I was sold and felt compelled to purchase the book, “The Last True Love Story.”  I am also grateful for the humorous storytelling of Chantal. I could relate to her vacation in Disney World and the goal of staying organized and on time. No pausing for bathroom breaks, one must be on the next ride. The reason of whether or not the main character travels is different depending on the author.  Some may want the character to find themselves when put in a completely new environment. Others write to demonstrate how a character will interact with their companions or interact with complete strangers.

All in all, listening to these panel discussions was invaluable to my writing career and instilled greater inspiration in my life to continue my writing journey.

In closing, I’d like to give a huge shout-out to Monique Polak.  Monique was my teacher at Marianopolis College and has played a pivotal role in my education and a huge encouragement to the developments in my writing.  Her novels are heartfelt, and her smiles are contagious. Thanks for the hugs, Monique!