Guest post from YA author, Hannah Rials
On November 15th, I was lucky enough to be able to lead a creative writing workshop in the quite intimidating topic of World Building at Heritage High School in Ringgold, Georgia.
My wonderful friends at Star Line Books told the head librarian, Rhonda Sixto, about me and and my YA thriller, Ascension, when she stopped into the shop, and she asked me to come lead a workshop for her creative writing and book clubs.
As a new-ish author, I chose to do a World Building workshop mainly because it is such a daunting topic to think about while writing and no one seems to really address it during workshops, especially during high school. So I basically broke World Building down into sections that are easy to tackle, first starting with the three levels: realistic, magical realism, and high fantasy. Then I broke world building down into setting, history, government, people, and culture. Then we built a world together, going through each section. Afterwards, I gave them thirty minutes, they could either write a key scene, the opening scene, or the origin myth.
This was an amazing morning! The students at Heritage High School are so eager and excited about writing and reading. I think we continue to not give high school students enough credit for their abilities. They are immensely creative and capable. Several of them have their own novels in the works. I think its important that authors continue to go to schools to give young students the tools that they don’t have the time to be taught in English class, as well as continue to encourage them to pursue their writing dreams. I hope that the key take-away to this amazing session is that these students realize that being an author is no longer an impossible thing.
HANNAH RIALS: A Maryville native and current college student at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Hannah began writing her first novel at age twelve. Eight years later, the result is her new YA novel Ascension; a modern day teenage romance filled with “double-blooded” vampires and revenge-seeking witches. Ascension won the coveted 2017 Gold Ben Franklin Award for Best New Voice in Children’s and YA as well as a Dragonfly Award for Best YA Fiction. When not spending time with her family and playing with her beloved Corgis, Buddy and Noel, Hannah leads a creative group, crafts and cultivates her writing skills.
Recipient of the 2017 IBPA Ben Franklin Awards-Children\’s/YA-New Voices GOLD Award!
Ascension by Hannah Rials
Enter this world of vampires, set in the south, and realize you are being pulled in more—and deeper—with each page.
Steeped in the mystery, intrigue and rich history of New Orleans and the secretive world of the Deuxsang, teen vampire, Cheyenne, and her forbidden love, Eli, embark on a very different, and vastly more dangerous, journey as the net of betrayal tightens around them. This intense and fresh novel is enchanting, engrossing and impossible to put down right up to the cliffhanger ending. Remember, the end is not the end.
What an extraordinary debut novel with new and intriguing twists on vampires—a strong female protagonist as one. I already can’t wait for book two.-Jill Murphy Long, author of The Conduit
This book is by the far the BEST YA/Adult fiction that I’ve read in a very long while. So exciting!-Rebecca F
The wait is over-Ascension is here! Thrilling and entertaining, like the experience on a crazy roller coaster. Hannah has grown into the most amazing writer. Watching her journey has been as much fun as holding the book in my hands. A \”must read\” for YA and thriller fans!-Valarie B