What They Said: The LA Times Festival of Books, 2018

“This is the question of today. Can we write outside the color of our skin? Can we write outside of who we are?” – Holly Goldberg Sloan

“Ask yourself, why you’re writing that book, and if you are the best person to write that book.” – Karen Rivers

“You can write outside your own perspective, but you have to do the work.” – Karen Rivers

“My Mom once threatened to sue me over something I wrote in a piece of fiction.” – Cynthia Kadohata

“When I started writing, I did kill off a lot of parents… My Mom was getting upset. ‘Why am I always dead?’ ” – Karen Rivers

“Nothing is really autobiographical. But all of it comes from lived experience, even if it’s not true.” – Gabrielle Bell

“Some times I lose track of the parts of my book I made up, and the parts I didn’t.” – Mimi Pond

“I’m presenting this other version of myself, and it’s the version I’d like to be. It’s my avatar, but it has my name.” – Gabrielle Bell

“At what point does it stop being my story, but their story? But I was there.” – MariNaomi

On writing vs. drawing: “I don’t feel like I’m doing two separate things.” – Tillie Walden

“A comic book lets me be as weird as I really am.” – Pamela Ribon

“That was the big, ah-hah moment. Death will do that.” – Mimi Pond

“Fake deadlines are very helpful. If you believe them.” – Pamela Ribon

“The jenga tower of the mystery.  Will it come crashing down?” – Gretchen McNeil

“You have to know who the killer is before you start.” – Gretchen McNeil

“I have such a hard time, when you’re running for your life, fitting in make-out time.” – Maureen Johnson

Audience question: If you were trapped on a deserted island with one book, which book would you chose? “How to get off a deserted island.” – Maureen Johnson

“It took me twenty years to get Los Angeles.” – Chris Erskine

“Every immigrant community here is virtually the largest in the world outside the capitol of their country.” – Pat Morrison

On what the corporate takeover cost the LA Times: “Staff was at 1,200. Now we’re at 400.” – Chris Erskine

“We are the public intelligence service.” – Pat Morrison