I recently had the privilege of meeting Kenneth Oppel, a well-known YA author when he came here to Quebec City as part of the Performing Arts Festival.
I wasn’t surprised to find out that he has kids, because he interacted with them very naturally. He had a very well-done power point presentation that showed his book “Airborn” floating in outer space, some of the research that he did on primates for his book “Half brother” and some of the characters that he put on the mythic train featured in his newest book “The boundless.” The students in attendance were captivated.
He was very patient with the kids when they asked for the third time how many books he has written (31) and asked them about their own writing projects. He must be an awesome father.
As an author, I was very interested in the pictures of his home office (I dream of having one some day) but mostly all the drafts he went through for one of his books, and how many things his editors wanted him to change. I saw that this is just normal for authors, and no longer felt discouraged by all the things I needed to change when writing the sequel to “Don’t come here, Julie!”
I had a chance to talk with him afterwards about whether I should rewrite my sequel or publish each book in the series from a different character’s perspective. He told me that I should do what feels right for me, and that I’m the only person that can determine that. I really appreciated his wisdom.
Thank you, Ken, for a very encouraging time, and all the best in your already successful career.