Authors share their roots at the Festival of Books


Bella Gil, The Freelancer

Author Romina Russel shares the story of how she began writing.

Bella Gil, Staff Writer

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is a huge book fair hosted at the University of Southern California every April. At this bookfest, book-lovers and readers of all ages come from every part of the United States to see their favorite authors in a panel and have the possibility of getting their books signed.

One such panel featured authors Mercedes Lackey, Sabaa Tahir, Michael Buckley, Romina Russel, and Tobie Easton. These authors all write fantasy novels. During the panel, topics include their books, favorite TV shows and much more. When the panel was finished, Tahir, Easton, and Russel spoke to The Freelancer and answered one question:

How did you begin writing?

Easton: “I actually started out acting, and I started writing a screenplay. But by the time I was finished writing the screenplay I had the idea of writing a book! This idea was a little intimidating because I had never thought about writing a book before. . . but I’m not the type of person to finish something after I start it, so then I had a book”

Easton’s first book is called Emerge you can check out anything about her life and her writings here.

Russel: “I started writing for my high school paper, and I only wrote non-fiction, until I read Harry Potter and realized what I really wanted to do, which was to create worlds. So I started writing, and suffered rejections for almost ten years and came really close to giving up. When I was almost about to give up, one of my good friends asked me, ‘What would you be doing if it was guaranteed that you’d be published?’ and I replied, ‘Well I’d be writing’ to which she said, ‘Well then…go write!’ And then within the year, I had a contract.”

Russel’s book series is based on a galaxy of planets named after Zodiac signs, which are each home to a large population of citizens. You can learn about her books here.

Tahir: “I started my writing career in journalism! I worked as an editor in a newspaper and read stories from all over the world and that is really what gave me the idea for this book”

Tahir’s series focuses on a world inspired by ancient Rome and a protagonist fighting for justice. For more information on her novels, click here.

Tahir, Russel, and Easton all started somewhere small but with perseverance, they all became successful writers. A simple idea flowered into a published novel.