Sep 23, 2009

Sarah Dessen book signing

I was fortunate enough to meet three absolutely amazing women writers at Tuesday's signing. Marianne Gingher, Sarah Dessen, and Courtney Jones Mitchell all came to a local Barnes and Noble to discuss their new works and give advice to writers.

Marianne Gingher just edited and released a collection of short stories by 65 North Carolina authors, including Dessen and Mitchell, entitled Long Story Short. The stories range in length from a paragraph to a few pages and also run the subject gamut.

Sarah Dessen spoke about her newest novel Along for the Ride, which came out this June. Check out my thoughts about it here.

Courtney Jones Mitchell is a soon-to-be published author who just finished her first novel.

The ladies took turns explaining how they go about writing. Some prefer to outline each chapter, while others prefer to have just the skeleton laid out. All agree that the first few pages were the easiest with increased difficulty as the page count got higher. They also advised that if you really want to be a writer, then you have to do just that, every day. Make it a point to write something, anything, every single day.

Getting published the first time takes a lot of work and you receive many rejections, but these ladies encouraged the audience to continue their search because the perfect agent/publisher is out there somewhere. Also, they strongly suggested surrounding yourself with other aspiring authors; sometimes they are the only ones who truly understand what you're going through.

After they gave their wonderful advice, we all got to line up to get our books signed. I chose to have Sarah sign my copy of Along for the Ride even though I own most of her books. All in all, despite the torrential downpour, it was well worth the trip.

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