Authors Who Inspire

If you could meet your favorite author, what would you ask her/him?

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I’m fortunate to live in a city where I have opportunities to attend book signings and book festivals, so I’ve met several of my favorite authors. I wish I could say I was charming and cool. Nope. I have no chill when I meet authors who inspire me! I’d like to think my awkward exuberance shows how much I both love them and their books, but I think maybe it just comes off as frenzied fangirling. 😅 I’ve met Sabaa Tahir (a few times), Laini Taylor, and Roshani Chokshi. They were all so nice and put up with my fangir flailing. 🙈

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Featured below are my inspiration canvases. I take one with me to signings. I like displaying them in my office so when I’m writing, I have a visual reminder of how these authors were successful—if they can do it, so can I!

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A few more authors who inspire me that I’d love to meet are Tomi Adeyemi (I plan on going to Y’all West to see her!!), Nnedi Okorafor, and Hafsah Faizal @hafsahfaizal who owns @_iceydesigns and her debut novel We Hunt the Flame comes out in 2019.

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Any favorite author signatures you see? Enlarge and let me know!

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#marchlitwrit Authors who inspire you

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Which fandoms inspire you?

“If there is a book you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” — Toni Morrison

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What’s your favorite fandom(s)? What inspired you to start writing?

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It’s been a while since I’ve talked about how I started writing. Stories would always pop up in my head since I was a kid but I never really thought of them as stories—just what ifs. What if we won a lifetime supply of Fruity Pebbles? What would happen if I could read my teacher’s mind? And sometimes my what ifs would carry on to TV and/movies shows—would Shaggy be really sad if Scoobie got lost? What would have happened if the Fertellis never found Mikey Walsh, his friends, and One-Eyed Willie’s treasure? I’d come up with these elaborate what-ifs but I never wrote any of them down (probably a good thing) because it never occurred to me that I should.

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Fast forward to my first year teaching—I truly believe books find you when you need them most. First year teaching is hard enough but during that year, my father passed away too. I caught the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice (Colin Firth will always be Mr. Darcy to me!) on TV and soon after I read the book. I fell in love with the characters and eventually was inspired by Jane Austen too (she drafted all 6 of her novels in secret on a tiny writing table because women of the gentry did not have jobs). Once I was done reading and binging Pride and Prejudice, the what if’s came back and I put my ideas to paper. Needless to say, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen was my first fandom.

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Featured here are some of the drafts of stories I wrote for the fandom! (Yes, I kept them!) I wrote fan fiction for various fandoms for over ten years, believing it was just a hobby. I’d teach during the day and write when I came home. It wasn’t until I read An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir that I actually considered writing my own story—a biracial warrior princess who has to fight for her life against her father and a diwata—a goddess. But that’s another story for another time!

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Challenges (a day late!😅)

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#marchlitwrit Fandoms that inspire you

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#authorappreciationmarch Jane Austen | Romance

Harry Potter Reread Update

“Fred, your next,” the plump woman said.

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“I’m not Fred, I’m George,” said the boy. “Honestly, woman, you call yourself our mother? Can’t you tell I’m George?”

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“Sorry, George, dear.”

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“Only joking. I am Fred,” said the boy, and off he went.

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For those of you new here, I listen to audiobooks with my children and we are currently listening to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. It’s the first time for them and a reread for me. It’s been a really wonderful experience so far!

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Everyone remembers the first time the Golden Trio met on the Hogwarts train, right? Rereading this chapter, I was struck with how much Fred and George makes a splash into the story! Don’t get me wrong, I do remember that these guys were big on pranks and often making jokes, but I had forgotten not only how funny they are, but also how kind they were to Harry when they first met. My kids think they’re hilarious and crack up over their pranks—let’s hope they don’t get inspired by those two!

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For #authorappreciationmarch JK Rowling|Wizards!

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For #marchinbooks18 If you like this, read that—Akata Witch and Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor! It’s darker than Harry Potter, but it still has a great middle grade feel and is a fantastic telling of the Chosen one style story!

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For #marchlitwrit National Grammar Day: Pet Peeve—I get turned off when writers use drunk and drug as past tense verbs—I drunk coffee from Starbucks (should be drank) or He drug the toy box across the room (should be dragged).

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George and Fred Weasley bookmark by the lovely Grace Fung @fictograph.

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Who’s your favorite twin? What’s another series you’d recommend? Any grammar pet peeves?

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Weekend Update!

How’s your weekend so far?

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Today I went on a dumpling crawl with friends (we went to six places!) Then we had tea and Bobba at @bubblerepublicala (pictured here). Afterwards, I watched with my family season 2 of Trollhunters. If you haven’t watched this show, you’re really missing out!

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For obvious reasons, (I’m exhausted!), I’m going to follow Melanie’s @watermelanies lead and keep this short!

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For #marchlitwrit Plotter or Panster? If you saw my previous post, it’s obvious that I’m a plotter. For my draft I had a rough outline of key events! For my revision, I’ve made a general to do list, but this weekend I’m going to get more specific.

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For #marchinbooks18 Favorite Stand-alone books—The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater! Such a gorgeous story!

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For #bookishrandomthings Favorite Non-bookish fandom—Supernatural! I love this show so much! I named one of my sons Dean! Supernatural bookmark and sticker are from the Supernatural @nerdypost box!

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And yes! I brought all this stuff with me to lunch bc I wanted to make sure I got today’s prompts done! Thank you to my friends who put up with my bookstagram shenanigans!

Book Challenge: Short Books, Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

I read all my books for my monthly TBR, said no book nerd ever!
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How did you all do this month with your February reading goals?

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Let’s be real here. It’s the end of the second month of the year and I feel like I’m behind on my reading goal! I’m seriously considering changing it from 75 to 25. Between revising my manuscript and well, being a mom, I need to make my life easier and not be stressed about reading all the books which is a valid concern, but one that I don’t need right now!

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I created a Story Highlight for my 2018 Reads and just put up the books I read for February—I forgot to include Watership Down! I’ll follow up with a wrap-up post later!

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I realized it’s been weeks since I’ve talked about Nnedi Okorafor! Her Binti series is becoming one of my favorite series—space travel, technology, and a main character who is the most talented astrolabe maker ever, it’s such a great sci-fi read, but Binti’s struggle with her Himba culture and pursuing her dreams of going to Oomza University add so much depth to her character and gives another layer of richness in the world building. If you’re struggling through the post-Black Panther movie life, Binti is perfect for you!

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For #grimdragon Short Books! The Binti trilogy is comprised of novellas! Each book is about 200 pages, give or take. Also, I can’t believe this is the last #grimdragon prompt ever! Holly @the_infinite_dragon and Corey @grimdark_dad, thank you so much for creating the #grimdragon community. I’m so grateful for the new friends I’ve made here and also for all the awesome book recs! My life is richer for the people I’ve come to know and I’ve grown so much as a reader!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Reread: Part 2

What’s the most memorable “meeting” with a fictional character you’ve had?

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My earliest memory was with Cinderella—those glass slippers! After that was Wonder Woman—bullet proof cuffs! After that was Scout—she was the first character who loved reading as much as I did. And of course, who can forget meeting Elizabeth Bennet and Darcy for the first time?

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But I think there’s something unique about encountering characters from the Harry Potter series for the first time. The first time I met Hagrid, I was already an adult but I loved that there was this gentle giant who was thoughtful and fiercely protective of people and animals he cared for. He quickly became one of my favorite characters! If I had been a child when this series was released, there’s no doubt Hagrid would’ve been a character I looked up to.

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SPOILERS

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Fast forward to the present—I’m rereading this series with my children and I’m not going to lie, I was both excited and a little emotional when we got to the part in the story when Hagrid comes to the shack in the sea and finds Harry to deliver his Hogwarts letter to him. After so many years of awful treatment, Harry finally has someone who not only tells him he’s not alone, but let’s him know he’s worthy of being treated decently.

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My kids really enjoyed meeting Hagrid! If you all don’t mind, I’ll keep you updated on our reading progress! Next post I’ll share their reactions to the Hogwarts express and the Sorting Hat.

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It’s Friday! For those of you seeing Black Panther either for the first time or seeing it again, TAKE ME WITH YOU 😭😆. I’ve been watching clips, interviews but it’s not the same.

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Valentine’s Day Haul

What are some of the best deals you’ve gotten on a book?

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Last week, Target was having a sale on books, music, and board games: buy two and get one free! As a treat for Valentine’s Day, we treated our kids to some new board games and I treated myself to these books! (Best Valentine’s Day gift idea ever!)

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I wanted American Panda by Gloria Chao and when I found out @diversifytheverse was having a read-along for it, I picked it up! (This was the one I got for free in the sale!) I’m excited to participate in the read-along.

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I finally have a finished copy of Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo and was pleased to see it was a Target exclusive with a letter from Leigh! I’ve also had my eye on this Star Wars anthology ever since it’s release! So happy to finally have my own copy. There are so many fantastic authors represented—I’m eager to read Sabaa Tahir, Nnedi Okorafor, and Rae Carson’s stories!

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How’s your week going so far? Not going to lie—life post Black Panther has been a struggle! 😭😏

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