Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Why I write.

Why do you write?

That's me on the far right working the panel. :)
For me, there are a lot of reasons: because it makes me happy, because I can't not do it, because if I don't get these characters out of my head my mind will explode. The list goes on, but publishing has brought another layer to that list. It's brought readers, and in the few months that my book has been out, I've learned how big a role they play in my reason WHY.

From online reviews to social media posts to encouraging emails in my inbox, it's been such a neat experience to hear how words I've written affect those who read it. Writing can be such a lonely endeavor, and making a connection with others who share a love for my story is a really neat thing.

Teen Ilima
I've been left in tears a few times reading about how my character and story has affected some readers, especially teens. I feel a strange combination of love, humility, and joy that I get to be a part of that experience.

So thank you, readers, for bringing a special WHY into the reason I write.

What books have deeply affected you?

What else I've been up to...

I wrote a Dear Teen Me letter to my fifteen-year-old self in which I share advice on the struggle ahead. There are also some great teen pictures of yours truly. :)

I was on a panel at FanX talking about diversity in the book community. It was my first Comic Con experience and the highlight had to be meeting Steven Yeun (Glen from The Walking Dead). Who's ready for the premiere this Sunday?

My husband Dan, Glen, and me. :)

I enjoyed this vlogger's review of Remake. It starts at around 2:30. I'm always relieved to hear people say Nine's naiveness is funny because I thought so too, ha.

Me and Jenn Johansson
I picked up a couple of great books last week from blogger friends: CUT ME FREE by Jenn Johansson and WOVEN by David Powers King...both of them signed! I also can't wait to buy SHUTTER by Courtney Alameda. So excited for new books!

Registration has gone live for WIFYR (Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers). I will be teaching an afternoon class this year. If you're serious about writing for children, this is the conference for you!

I've shared some artwork from my daughter on the blog before, but did you know she's a talented music composer? As in one of her songs will be featured on an album soon and she'll release her own album later this year. She's so talented it blows my mind. The book I'm currently drafting has a musician who writes a song for my main character and I've been working with my daughter on creating the music and lyrics. Guys, it's so amazing. I can't tell you how excited I am to have an actual song to go along with the one in my book. Hopefully I can share it here soon. :)

At DPK's and Michael's launch with Emily King, Elana Johnson,
Erin Summerill, and Caitlyn McFarland.

What have you been up to?

Floating through the slipstream...



Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

How wonderful to get such great feedback and stories from readers!

And Glen is one of my favorite characters on TWD. Love that first time we meet him, when he helps out Rick, who's stuck in the tank. :)

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

Getting letters/notes from readers is the best. :)

Crystal Collier said...

I hear you on the emails and readers responses. Is there anything better than knowing your heartfelt prose touched someone else? I think that's my favorite part.

Morgan said...

Oh my teen Ilima!!!! You are so gorgeous. Then and now. And I love all the pictures and the reason you write and everything. You're such an amazing person! XOXO

Cortney Pearson said...

I loved your letter to your fifteen-year-old self! And that's amazing to receive such feedback from readers. So fun to see you with such success, Ilima!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Wow, that's a lot!
It is the connection with others, knowing they caught your vision of the story, that make it worthwhile.

Kristin Smith said...

Oh. My. Gosh. You met Glen?!!! That is like the coolest thing EVER!! And you have the pic to prove it.

I love the pic of your teen self—absolutely gorgeous.

And it looks like that was a fun launch party for David and Michael!

Congrats on all the success—I hope you're reveling in it! :)

Emily R. King said...

Yes, we have to love what we do, otherwise all the negativity would bulldoze us over!

I had so much fun at David's launch. We need to do Waffle Love again soon!

Jack said...

Those are great reasons to write. Since publishing I've discovered I enjoy writing for the readers. I love giving them stories.

Unknown said...

I Like It, It is perfect time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy.