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Avid Bookshop at Prince Avenue will host London-based author Beth Woollvin for a reading and signing on Oct. 23, 2018.

Young Adult authors Holly Black and Susan Dennard presented their newest novels at Avid Bookshop on Price Avenue on Thursday, Jan. 4.

The authors, who had never met before in real life, conversed for about an hour and presented their respective novels. Black, author of the iconic series “The Spiderwick Chronicles” and “The Coldest Girl in Coldtown,” spoke about her latest book “The Cruel Prince,” featuring a human girl, Jude, who is raised amongst faeries. 

“Me coming back and writing ‘The Cruel Prince’ and starting a trilogy after a long time of writing stand-alones… [it] feels really good,” Black said.

Meanwhile, Dennard spoke on her new book “Truthwitch,” which centers on a protagonist who has a special talent—the ability to “discern truth from lie.” 

“[‘Truthwitch’] has great point-of-view shifts and it has that enormous canvas,” Black said about Dennard’s novel.

The authors talked about many different topics during the event, from the weirdest thing about themselves to heartwarming anecdotes to writing advice.

The writers then discussed how they go about writing and planning novels.

“Often, my idea [for a novel] was more of an image or a feeling and I tried to plot based on the feeling,” Black said. “So do these events give [readers] the certain feeling, which is not the easiest way to write a book. It was not a process I enjoyed.” 

She explained that now, she usually uses a method called “fast-drafting,” which is a writing technique where a writer composes their first draft as fast as humanly possible. Software and websites like writeordie.com can assist writers with this.

“You can only see [a bit] of the screen, so you can’t fiddle with a sentence for an hour,” Black said. “It forced me to write really badly, but [in] big sections. It’s been really helpful.” 

For Dennard, writing every day proves difficult. 

“I am not a write-everyday person and that has been one of the most freeing things to learn about myself,” she said. 

Dennard said she came to realize that she writes in phases and that giving an idea time to “simmer” in her head is an important step for her.

Dennard also talked about the dreaded “burn-out” that many writers face when they become so focused on producing content that writing becomes more of a chore than a passion.

“I tried to write this three years ago, ‘Sightwitch’,” Dennard said. “At the time, I was super burned out and because the series has so many balls in the air and so many moving parts, I just could not see how things connected yet.”

Dennard said she felt like a failure at first but three years later, sat down one day and the story “poured out” of her. 

The authors took time at the event to answer readers’ questions as well. 

For everyday readers like Melissa McBride, an Athens local of 15 years, Black and Dennard’s event at Avid provided a relaxing way to spend a Thursday night. McBride said that she had read a book by Holly Black before.

“I read ‘The Coldest Girl in Coldtown’ on an airplane,” McBride said.

The novel, which centers around protagonist Tana, explores the obsession over vampires while also illuminating the real danger that is associated with them.

“I mean, it’s a silly vampire novel,” McBride said. “It was just fun and fast. It wasn’t too hardcore or heavy.”

Towards the end of the event, authors Black and Dennard took time to pose for pictures. There was even a Snapchat filter specially made for the event. The authors remained to sign readers’ books while also mingling with the fans.