Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Scott Westerfeld

Okay, so I meant to have Geoff post a link to my d-news column yesterday BUT OOPS! I didn't get it done. So maybe you can go on over to the desnews website and take a look at the winners of our mock Bulwer-Lytton contest. You won't be disappointed.

In other news. I spent Saturday in Provo at the first Teen Book Festival sponsored by the library there (shout out to Gene Nelson and Courtney Lowe for organizing the event). Anyway, I REALLY enjoyed Scott Westerfeld's (UGLIES, LEVIATHAN) completely awesome presentation. He talked about the history of books and interior illustration--even adult books back in the day had illustrations because there was this huge illustration industry. Illustrators worked for newspapers, magazines and catalog-driven companies like Sears (loved that Westerfeld called the Sears catalog the world's first internet). Because of this pool of readily accessible talent, it was easy for publishers to drop art in a book.

And then came the camera.

Of course I'm interested in the way industries change because of my connection to newspapers. No one quite knows where we're going with those but (of course) the news industry will continue to morph into something else, and we'll all get used to that.

Anyway. One last Westerfeld-related item. A young fan asked why some books take off and others don't. This is a question writers ask themselves ALL. THE. TIME. (Me: "Dude. Why am I not Stephenie Meyers?") Good question, right? Westerfeld thought about this for a moment, then said that books that give people something to talk about are the ones that make it.

And I think he's probably right.


Donna said...

wow that is the coolest, books that give people something to talk about are the ones that make it. That is so true....I just want to be a part of the words that uplift us, not the words that make us mad, or frustrated, or want to leave flaming dog poop on someone's door step.
We can write great things, inspiring things, funny things, thougth provoking....I am weary of meanness.

Karim said...

Have you read some of his books? I read the Uglies series, which I enjoyed. I'd be curious to see if there are others that he wrote that you would recommend.