Authors’ panel provides pointers

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    By Michael Platt

    A panel of local authors shared their views Thursday, Jan. 15, in the HBLL Auditorium about what it takes to get work published.

    Authors Chris Crow from Provo, Kimberley Heuston from Sandy, Laurel Brady from Mapleton, and John Bennion from Provo, shared many ideas in common, yet differed in their writing strategies.

    Crow explained to students that discipline is one of the author”s most important characteristics.

    “A lot of people want to be writers but they don”t have the discipline to be a writer,” Crow said. “A lot of people have the talent to be a writer, but they”re not disciplined. You have to wrap it around your life. I was a jock in high school and college and I didn”t think that jocks wrote. It didn”t seem very macho to be a writer because writers wrote poetry … so I was a secretive writer.”

    Crow, like many authors, writes early in the morning to keep it from interfering with other activities. Heuston disagrees with his approach.

    “I”m one of those people who needs to be well-rested and well-fed to get anything done at all,” she said. “The reason I love writing is because so much of it is done on my bed with my eyes closed.”

    Bennion said he thinks it”s neat that everyone is different.

    “It takes a while to get going,” Bennion said. “So it would be better for me to write for two hours one day and then skip the next day and then write for two hours the next day.”

    Responding to a student”s question, Brady said, “If you”re stuck and you can”t think of anything … there”s something wrong with what you just did, and you may have to back up quite a ways.”

    Jenny Evans, a senior from Hutchinson, Minn., said it was helpful to hear techniques in writing and solutions for problems.

    All the authors write for young adults or children.

    Chris Crow is an English professor at BYU and wrote novels such as “Mississippi Trial: 1955.” He is currently working on another book titled “Playing Naked.”

    Laurel Brady is a full-time mother and author of children”s books who has written books such as “Say You”re My Sister.” She is currently working on an untitled book about a set of fictional twins from Malibu, Calif., named Mary-Kate and Ashley.

    Kimberley Heuston is an English and History teacher at Waterford, a private school. She is the author of “The Shakeress” and “Dante”s Daughter.”

    John Bennion is also an associate professor of English at BYU and enjoys writing books.

    The Publication Lab sponsors an author panel like this one about once a year. Crow, who arrived an hour early, said he really enjoys them and loves to come, even when he gets confused about what time the panels take place.

    “I”m glad to waste an hour sitting in an empty auditorium,” he said.

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