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In which Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan and Laini Taylor are smart.

Yesterday Laini Taylor and I went to Cassandra Clare & Sarah Rees Brennan‘s Portland tour stop. It was in the midst of a mall. The large, enthusiastic crowd blended seamlessly with the people bringing small children to have photos taken with the Easter Bunny.

Said bunny was sufficiently interested to temporarily abandon his post, as you see.

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Various folks were watching from above, as well.

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I wondered how many of them were simply idly curious, and how many were fans who’d strategically staked out that vantage point.

Events at this scale are really endurance exercises for the authors (case in point: Cassie needed to ice her signing hand afterwards), so we were glad they had enough energy afterwards to hang out for a while.

Of course one of the things we talked about was writing. I brought up some issues I’m having with a thing I’m working on, and as you might well suspect, they had some fantastic insights.

Example insight, worldbuilding variety:

When status quo in your narrative is that a particular practice has been suppressed for some time, you should have a clear sense of what society was like before the suppression began. What motivated said suppression? How and by whom was it done? What have the consequences of the suppression been, both intended and unintended? As I type this I’m thinking¬†wow, you should really have figured all that out a long time ago.

But sometimes you need other writers to ask you the right questions. Thanks, ladies.

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