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Award-winning authors retreat to Eastern Idaho

Award-winning authors retreat to Eastern Idaho

SWAN VALLEY, Idaho - A group of award-winning authors retreated to Eastern Idaho for a week, hoping to pick each other's brains and spark their creativity.

Wendy Toliver is hosting the retreat at a family home near Swan Valley for six fellow authors of young-adult novels.

"I think this is just a really beautiful place, and it's helped me with my creativity," said Toliver. "So, I just wanted to share that with some important authors that made a difference in my life and my career."

Author Kiki Sullivan said in her novels she hopes to teach good lessons without trying explicitly to teach those lessons.

"I think you have a chance to shape the lives of people who are in the same position you were once in," said Sullivan. "I think that's one of the gifts of being a writer for young adults."

Allison Van Diepen, an author and English teacher in Canada uses her students for inspiration in her novels.

"Because I teach English, I see all different types of readers," said Van Diepen. "I'm just writing for them, so I like to write shorter chapters, fast-paced stuff to keep them entertained."

One of author Jay Asher's books "Thirteen Reasons Why," spent 90 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list, and even reached No. 1. He said teens are a perfect audience.

"The second they finish the books, sometimes while they're reading it, through email, or on Twitter or Facebook, they're telling you what they like about it," said Asher. "They're baring their souls about why they connected with the book."

Author Linda Gerber echoed Asher's thoughts.

"That is actually the best part of this gig," said Gerber. "Meeting the readers, whether it's online, or at school visits or book signings."

Each author is currently working on a book, and they said working together in such a beautiful place is a nice change of pace.

"Writing is such a solitary pursuit a lot of times," said author Emily Wing Smith. "Sometimes it's nice to just sit by other people and write."

New York Times bestselling author Aprilynne Pike will also be joining the retreat this week.

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