While everyone else was at San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend, I attended the #PenguinTeenOnTour up in LA! The Penguin Teen authors featured at this event were Aditi Khorana, Morgan Rhodes, Romina Russell, and Danielle Vega.
My mom and I left around mid-morning and made excellent time to LA. Once we arrived at The Grove, I went to Barnes & Noble right away to buy my books for the event and secure a wristband. We then headed over to lunch and window shopped for a bit afterwards to kill time until the event began. About 20 minutes before it started, we headed back and found seats. Once the authors arrived, the Penguin publicist led them on the panel before opening up to audience questions.
The first question they answered was about world building. Romina begins with building the world before her characters since the world exists before and after characters come into it. Morgan, on the other hand, knew her world would focus on elemental magic and three kingdoms. From there she started writing and made the magic rules up as she went. Morgan drew a small map for herself (which later was edited by her publisher and appears in the books) and the world is about the size of England. She made it small because she needed the characters to get to another kingdom in one week, not six months since they’re teenagers. As a child, Aditi never saw some who looked like her, a brown girl, on a book cover. Books are supposed to be windows and mirrors. She knew she needed to write a book that would provide a mirror for other girls like herself and cried the first time she saw her book cover. Danielle grew up listening to her mom tell her scary, horror stories. As she grew up, she realized that the horror genre was mainly a male world. She decided to write The Merciless because she wanted something aimed at girls in the horror genre.
The authors continued to answer questions about their writing process, books, and characters. While writing Romina needs chaos around her. She likes to be in the “eye of the storm” so she will write with music and the tv on. Aditi, Morgan, and Danielle need to write in silence. However, Aditi does like to edit to jazz music and Morgan will listen to music while brainstorming. While writing the Zodiac series, Romina ended up researching astrology the most and uses that to save the day whenever getting stuck. As for characters, Morgan enjoys writing Prince Magnus and Feelix best. Aditi’s favorite character is Thala because she is incredibly savvy and determined. One fun fact about Morgan is that she keeps posters of her book covers on the walls in her apartment like the main character does in Romancing the Stone.
After the Q&A panel, each row was dismissed to get in line for the book signing portion. This event was on the smaller side, so the line went fairly quickly. I was able to talk with the authors and take photos with them without feeling rushed. They were even lovely enough to offer me extra signed swag to giveaway once I mentioned I was a blogger. You can find this giveaway here! A big thank you to Aditi Khorana, Morgan Rhodes, Romina Russell, Danielle Vega, Penguin Teen, and Barnes & Noble for a great event!