By Dana Delgado
Jodi Meadows, formerly Jodi Lawrence, a Liberty Hill High School graduate from the Class of 2001, spoke to LHHS English students Jan. 30 about being a published author.
“It’s quite exciting any time we have an author visit our school, but to have a former student who has a successful career as a writer of Young Adult fiction makes the event even more exciting,” said Librarian Virginia Vance.
Brodi Ashton, a writing colleague of Ms. Meadows from Salt Lake City, Utah, also participated in the presentation. The two authors shared their experiences and talked about their published Sci-fi Fantasy trilogies.
“It’s a privilege to be here to talk to you,” Ms. Meadows told the students. “But I want to tell you that becoming a published author has not been easy.”
The LHHS alum said she had an interest in writing early in her life and had been writing since she “could hold a pencil.”
“I’ve always been a storyteller,” she said. “In seventh grade I realized writing was a real job.
“I was inspired to write from being bored,” said the Utah writer. “I just decided to do something.”
Ms. Ashton said that unlike her colleague, writing was always the school homework she left for the end because it was not her favorite.
Both Ms. Meadows and Ms. Ashton have a set of trilogies to their credit. Ms. Meadows recently released the third book of her very popular Incarnate Trilogies and has been making the book signing circuit while Ashton has authored Everneath Trilogies.
The visiting authors said that aspiring writers should expect rejection. Ms. Meadows said that the odds of getting published are low. She said she alone received between 450-500 rejections and had written 16 books before one was finally accepted. She said that her breakthrough came quickly after she decided to change agents. Ms. Aston said she spent 10 years before her first book was published.
The two discussed the development of their book cover designs. While Ms. Ashton said she had no say whatsoever in the design, Ms. Meadows was asked by the design team and given options. From casting call for models, to eye colors, to integration of objects, the two explained the intricate development of their covers. They said they were particularly impressed on how the covers changed when their books were translated into other languages.
Both agreed it takes about 12 months to complete a book. Ms. Meadows said she sometimes gets writer’s block usually due to “laziness,” but she just has to “force herself” to write.
“You just have to get the words out,” said Ms. Ashton.
Both visiting authors said that subsequent sci-fi trilogies were in their plans.