“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it."

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ally Condie

Well some exciting news is that last night I met author Ally Condie who wrote Matched! She was very kind and informative. It was precisely what I needed to really kick off my career of professional writing!
She spoke about her book Matched, and then spoke slightly about Crossed which is coming out in November (I tried to win an early copy in a drawing...I failed and instead a dad won it hmm).

The best part of the night though, was as she signed my copy of Matched, I asked her for advice for an aspiring author. She had already answered a bunch of questions from the audience, which were very helpful as well, but I had been a little nervous to ask the question in front of everyone (I'm still rather shy). Ally smiled up at me from the desk and said, "Well Jessica, I'm not too good with advice but I admire what you want to do. My advice for you is: write, read, revise, go to workshops, go to conferences, and never give up." I thought that was brilliant advice. I admitted that I didn't know much about the business (not even sure how to get agent and how to approach a Query Letter) and she laughed and said she was definitely in the same boat. Ally told me that she hadn't gone to workshops and thinks that it's wise to do so. She also said use the resources (such as the internet) to really help you in the process of learning. Ally said the most important lesson of all is to just keep writing and do it daily. We spoke longer than we probably should (I gained some glares in the back of the line), but we were having a great conversation. She even got a post-it note and wrote two websites that can really help the process as well: WriteonCon & WIFYR. I checked out both sites and they are really informative especially when they have their conferences.
I felt a connection with Ally because like me, she went to school to become a teacher (which she was for many years), but she always had a passion for writing as well. She said that I should do both and that I can change lives in amazing ways. It was definitely worth driving downtown SLC, by myself, to meet an author (she was the first author I've ever met). I simply cannot wait to see Ally again when she comes to King's English in Nov. to speak about Crossed.

It was amazing though, all I could do as she stood up at that podium, was imagine being in her shoes one day. At that moment I realized I want this more than I've ever wanted anything in my life (yes, I'm dreaming big). Don't get me wrong, I cannot wait to teach children (my other passion in life), but I feel like I can spread magic through words in a way that can make an impact to those around me. That's important in my eyes.

"Do more than just exist." 

I think I had a little bit too much fun at the library...but I love taking pictures, and I was so inspired and happy that I had to spread it around!! But honestly, look how cool the main library is; it's huge I tell you and can you believe that sunset? Amazing.  
Look at this sunset - I dedicated it to Nancy K. 
Now all I want to do is: join a workshop, write, go to a conference, write, read, (did I mention write?) and meet as many authors as I can. I also want to find some writing-buddies who are interested in starting an "online" sharing process type of workshop. So please, if you are an aspiring author such as myself, and are interested in making friends and receiving a critiquing partner, let me know!!


  1. Jessica! This is so awesome! How fabulous that she was so nurturing and kind...makes me want to go out and buy her book! I definitely think you can achieve your dreams...I think it would be so fun to be a writer. I always toyed with that idea, as well, and sometimes I wish that I had gotten my BS degree in Journalism rather than Political Science. Oh Well! BEST OF LUCK to you!!

  2. I was at this event last night, too! Nice to meet you fellow blogger who is also named Jessica :) I love writing, too and if you ever need a critical reader, let me know. I like to write stuff about my personal life right now and I don't know if I'll ever be creative enough to be an author, but I write what I know. Love your blog and I'll definitely be following it to see how everything goes for you! Love the pics. That library is my favorite.
    BTW, if you haven't gone before there is a book festival at the U on Sept 10 where Ally Condie and a bunch of other authors will be and you can meet them. Let me know if you want more info.

    Jessica @ Books: A true story


  3. Hi Jessica!! I looked at your blog and I do recognize you from last night :) It was great to hear Ally speak! I love things like that; I really do. Yes, definitely would love a critical reading. I'm just getting started, but it's going really well so far. However, I could always use a critique to help me along the path of excellence. And thanks for the information; I definitely need to go that.


  4. wow thats so awesome jess! you are determined girl, i admire it!!!

  5. I love Ally Condie, she's so nice and humble. If you haven't already, you should sign up for the King's English mailing list, because they have author events practically every week. I've met so many awesome authors through that bookstore!

  6. Kate, funny you should say that, because I'm going to King's English this week! Been dying to go :) Maybe we'll bump into each other sometime.

  7. Interesting visual and textual blog.

    Dr. Russ Murray, BC, Canada;)