A few years ago, while attending an author event at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore, I saw a calendar that proclaimed, “Authors are my rockstars.” When I reported on the AWP event, “The Historical Women: Reimagining Past Narratives Through the Contemporary Perspective,” I wanted to hold a light in the air to pay tribute to the brilliant panelists. Min Jin Lee, Danielle Dutton, and Amelia Gray read stunning prose from their respective novels. I felt fortunate to learn about their characters. Then, they discussed the origin of their books, point-of-view, and research process. My awe grew.
I’m grateful to Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies for the opportunity to cover the panel. Most of my reading and literary study is devoted to memoir and essay. At a conference with over five hundred literary events, I would not normally attend a panel about historical fiction. But I left with renewed motivation for telling women’s stories. I left with a desire to learn more about women who might otherwise be forgotten. I left wanting to read more fiction as a way of informing my non-fiction craft. I left remembering that authors…are rock stars.