The theme of the night was developing characters. Padma Venkatraman spoke first and took us through the inspiration behind each of her books. When she was telling us about A Time to Dance, she spoke about a life changing experience of being bitten by a snake and not knowing whether she would survive. She was also inspired by Smt. Shoba Sharma, a women who danced and taught dancing despite a physical injury.
Next, Caragh M. O'Brien chose three teens from the audience to act out a scene from The Rule of Mirrors so she could talk about character through dialogue. The teens were terrific. They really took on their roles.
I spoke next. I focused on how to turn a who is character based on yourself into a unique individual. In my case, I had my main character Sam be great at something that I have no talent in, sports. I shared a picture from my childhood to get things started and then talked about how Sam became a baseball player.
Liz Delton came up next and talked about developing characters based on setting. Her dystopian novels take place in a world with five distinct cities, each with their own personality characteristics.
Once all the authors had presented, teens and adults were able to ask questions and get books signed.
Finally, all authors signed the Avon Free Public Library's Wall of Honor.
It was a wonderful event. I enjoyed presenting to the very receptive audience and hearing the presentations of the other authors. Thank you to librarians Tina Panik and Cynthia Larson for putting the whole thing together.