What They Said: Author Bytes from the LA Times Book Fest

LATFOB square

The LA Times Festival of Books is a smorgasbord of panels, stages, signings, and generally more bookish conversation than any one book nerd can possibly hope to take in – so to give you a taste, here’s the flavor of what we heard this past weekend:

Storytelling Animal

“Daydreaming is the mind’s default state.” – Jonathan Gottschall

Wait the art and science of delay

“Procrastinating is a fundamental state of human nature.” – Frank Partnoy

Tapestry of Fortunes

“You can absolutely re-make yourself if you are willing to try to.” – Elizabeth Berg

Storytelling Animal

“Story is an information structure – it makes it meaningful.” – Jonathan Gottschall

Magicians End

Raymond E. Feist, to would-be-writers: “Fear is not cowering in a corner; fear is being afraid to get started.”

I'll Be There

“A real writer writes on bad days – and there are a lot of bad days.” – Holly Goldberg Sloan

The Moon and More

Sarah Dessen, on getting stuck: “It feels like I’m buried ten feet underground, digging my way out with a baby silver spoon.”

The Madness Underneath

Maureen Johnson‘s reply to those who say they have an idea, they just have to write it: “I have an idea for a space shuttle, I just have to build it.”

Just One Day

Gayle Forman, tongue firmly in cheek, on dealing with rejection: “Bitterness can get you a long way…”

Blood of Dragons

“You don’t want to tie off every story neatly, because that never happens in real life.” – Robin Hobb

Magicians End

Raymond E. Feist, on writing his thirty book series: “I killed off a king and forgot to mention it.”

Gates of paradise

Melissa de le Cruz, when she sat down to write the ninth and final book in her series (ten years after she had begun), realized: “I forgot the big secret of my series.”


Amity Gaige, on her main character: “I forget he’s not real and I quote him.”

Natural History of Dragons CROP

Marie Brennan on rejecting the idea that “dark,” “gritty” fantasy is somehow more realistic: “It’s the selective way horrible things happen – for dark fantasy to claim moral superiority of “grim” (and therefor “realistic”), women get raped a lot, but the men don’t. And in war, in real life, it (men getting raped) happens a lot.

Magicians End

Raymond E. Feist on genre prejudice when it comes to discussions of tropes: “Nobody ever complains in a murder mystery that there’s a corpse.”