Once I had my brioche with hazelnut chocolate, and cappuccino I got over my 'OM Buddha I’m in Italy!' and went to the SCBWI Bologna Symposium where I was welcomed with open arms. Although I didn’t know many people, it felt like old home week. Everyone was so excited to be there, including me. The schedule of workshops was great and featured high caliber speakers.
One of the highlights was the address by Richard Peck who spoke about "The Right Books, Right Now." Richard is a treasure for the massive number of books he's written for middle grade and young adults. He’s probably won every award invented. His speech had so much learning and inspiration in each line that I alternated between trying to get it all down, and just listening and absorbing it.
Candy Gourlay’s fingers were on fire on her laptop capturing all the gems in Richard’s speech so I will direct you to her blog post. Here’s a bit of what he said: “We’re creating characters we never were for a generation we never were,” and “character development is the beating heart of writing.” True dat!
Fiona Kenshole VP of Development Acquisitions for Laika animated films spoke about “Taking the Mystery out of Movie Deals.” She shared with us that fifty percent of movies are based on book adaptations. The best idea, not the best book, make the best movie. It’s a nugget of an idea, the spirit and/or theme that would translate into a film. And here’s hope for all of us – your book doesn’t have to be a best seller! But film companies love to brand a book for subsequent merchandizing. Fiona’s company produces movies such as the Academy Award nominated Coraline.
I have tons more to share but I’ll save the rest of the symposium learning’s for the next post because I promised record players with silly putty.
That evening we attended a party at a tiny Italian book store Libreria Trame.
There was massive amounts of pasta, salad, tiramisu, and Prosecco and Italian wine to wash it all down. Plus, it was an opportunity to get to know everyone better. The co-owner of the store was spinning the disks and was very proud of his record collection (for my young blogowers a record was a plastic Frisbee sized disc that had music recorded on it. This was before the invention of the CD … er … ipod).
There it is - the silly putty on the arm of the record player. I promised and I delivered!
Next Blog post: The Young Adult Renaissance with author Ellen Hopkins and the agent panel where they were telling it like it is about our first pages!