Book Con – The Panels
One of the highlights of Book Con was definitely the Epic Storytelling panel with Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, and Maggie Stiefvater. If nothing else amazing had happened at Book Con this would have made it worth it for me (but yes, we did get to do other marvelous things!). The line for this panel was insanely long, but luckily, we showed up over an hour early and were able to make it in. My favorite thing about this panel was definitely the humor. I laughed a lot. All three women are absolutely hilarious along with being crazy talented. I took a ton of notes during this panel (but honestly, they don’t all make sense to me now), and I’ve condensed them into several top moments/comments below!
- Maggie Stiefvater talked briefly about why she wrote Sinner. She said that while Sam and Grace’s story was complete Isabel and Cole still had more (to which I nodded emphatically and screamed, “THANK YOU,” in my head of course).
- Holly Black & Cassandra Clare talked about the inspiration for their new collaboration (The Iron Trial). It centers around a big twist -they couldn’t talk about that though ha! – but did go on to discuss how it plays on the concept of a heroic arc, idea of a chosen one, etc. Apparently, they came up with the idea in an airport when Holly Black was super crazy without coffee (lol).
- “All good writers start out as good readers.” Awesome thought although I can’t remember who said it (but they all agreed). Along the same lines – write books you wish you could find on a shelf.
- There was a whole conversation about Maggie Stiefvater’s father being a flight surgeon, and -I believe it was Holly Black- asked if flight surgeons were on civilian flights. However, if you’re a civilian you’re going to die as they’re on military flights. This was a hilarious little tangent that had the audience cracking up.
- Lights suddenly came on over the table they were sitting at which triggered awesome responses from Holly Black (“visited by the light of elves”) and Maggie Stiefvater (rocking an awesome pair of sunglasses).
- All three authors talked a bit about world building and creating “epic” stories.
-Magic must have a cost/consequences.
-Holly Black discussed the idea of making a magic system based on cheese – “a dark time” – but according to Cassandra Clare it has been put into the past. They talked about their current magic system being based on alchemy. However, Maggie Stiefvater misheard alchemy as alcohol (fantastic moment!).
- Maggie Stiefvater talked about how she initially hated L.A. and wanted to burn it to the ground, but returned 8 months later and LOVED it (it definitely shows in Sinner).
- It was asked how they know when a book is finished…
-Holly Black: “They take it away from you.” Which she admitted might be necessary otherwise she wouldn’t stop making changes.
-Cassandra Clare said the publisher sent a huge man to take her book away.
- My favorite comment of the entire panel came from Holly Black when she said that she liked editing because it was like cleaning the toilet (she can’t make it worse).
- One of the last parts of the panel we were there for was when they were discussing similarities between themselves and their characters. Holly Black said to be each one of your characters in some way. Then they each listed who they related to the most in their own books:
-Cassandra Clare – Callum (The Iron Trial – I’m assuming) and Tessa (Infernal Devices)
-Holly Black – Aaron (not sure? I haven’t read many of her books) and Cassel Sharpe (Curse Workers)
-Maggie Stiefvater – Cole (Wolves of Mercy Falls)
We left the panel about 10 minutes early (trying to make it to Danielle Fishel’s signing which we failed at), so we missed the end and didn’t snag any of the books they were giving away which wasn’t a big deal to us.
The Fault in Our Stars
Somehow we miraculously made it into this panel, and I am so grateful we did. We waited for what felt like forever and were convinced we weren’t getting in (the panel just started late). Ultimately, we were in one of the last groups to make it into the Special Events Hall and ended up having to stand which was still worth it. The panel consisted of a moderator, Sara Vilkomerson; the president of Fox 2000 Pictures, Elizabeth Gabler; director, Josh Boone; screenwriters, Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber; actor, Nat Wolff; and author, John Green. The entire panel was hilarious and fascinating (sadly, it was too dark plus standing = no notes), but the best part was the camaraderie between Nat Wolff and John Green. Also, there was a great moment when a question regarding cosplay came up (most on the panel didn’t know what this was which John Green found immensely disappointing) and pretty much everyone decided to go as the Doctor (one person said it and it got a great response so the others repeated it down the line). The audience Q & A was pretty fun as well (except for the near stampede, but John Green put a stop to that), and one fan’s comment impressed John Green so much that he climbed off the stage to shake his hand (adorable moment)! Speaking of adorable moments, there was kissing of the head between John Green and Nat Wolff. Seriously, I just want to keep them in my pocket as they were so amusing and cute.