A Conversation With Leigh Bardugo and Daniel José Older
I had the pleasure of attending an author event at Barnes and Noble Union Square last week with Leigh Bardugo and Daniel José Older. I went with my book buddy, Angelica from Little Bookish Inkblots, and it was so much fun! I loved that they seemed to be having a great time on the stage, and I came away with some really inspirational nuggets of wisdom.
Leigh Bardugo spoke about her process in bringing an iconic character like Wonder Woman to life in her latest novel, Warbringer. Particularly, she was asked how she conceived such diverse characters, as someone who might not have necessarily lived those experiences. "It's Wonder Woman. Everyone should get a chance to be in Wonder Woman," Bardugo replied casually. She wrote a Wonder Woman into a New York City that she recognized, and wanted the superhero to experience the city authentically- even dropping in a Hamilton bomb.
When it was time for Bardugo and Older to talk about their journeys becoming writers, they gave tons of down-to-earth advice. The publishing industry "[doesn't] care about the aspiring, we only care about the arrived. But the aspiring is wonderful," Bardugo said about the writing process. Not one piece is ever completely polished when someone writes their first draft, and aspiring authors are so easily discouraged by those works on their shelves. "Your problem isn't that your writing is bad, your problem is that you have good taste," Bardugo said about that feeling of discouragement.
"Forgive yourself for not writing yesterday or the day before." Write when inspiration strikes, just keep writing. If you stop writing, that's okay too! If you come back to a piece two or three years later, that's okay! If it's something you want to do, just keep striving for it. Bardugo published her first book at 35 years old, and is now phenomenally successfully with a unique platform to raise other authors and positions. No one can get it right on the first try. But that's the key- you have to keep trying.
Look at the size of that crowd! Angelica arrived around 5PM (the event started at 7PM) to secure seats in the third row, and I'm so glad she did because it filled up really quickly.
And here we are with our signed copies of Wonder Woman: Warbringer (Angelica: left, Me: right)! Bardugo also signed other books and memorabilia, so I managed to ask her to sign the exclusive poster in the back of the book! But highlight of the day? Leigh Bardugo remembered me from Book Con! To be fair, my name is very unique. We had a conversation at Book Con about how people pronounce my name differently based on the era they grew up in- either "Bett'y'" for "Bette Davis" or "Bet" for "Bette Midler." Yup, I almost melted into a puddle when she remembered.
And last but not least, we got a chapter sampler of Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu! The full novel goes on sale January 2, 2018, and I'm insanely excited for it. Based on the sampler I read, I love the voice that Lu has Bruce Wayne and the tone of the writing. It's not quite Bat-broody, but with a light, vivacious humor.
Are you looking forward to Batman: Nightwalker? Have you read Wonder Woman: Warbringer? Let me know in the comments!