I didn't have much of a strategy for attending the Texas Book Festival and discovered three new authors, just playing by ear: Becca Fitzpatrick, Carlin Romano and Michael Ennis. When I walked in on Becca Fitzpatrick's session, she was talking about the different characters in her series to her mostly teenage audience. The insight gained from the reader response revealed during the Q&A session was that developing characters with whom the readers can identify seems to be the key to writing successful YAL series. The teens exhibited strong emotional response to the characters whom they either loved or hated. As for Carlin Romano's claim that America is the most philosophical nation in history, I wasn't convinced, although my education in philosophy is limited (with an equivalent of a minor in undergraduate philosophy) to be able to judge the content of everything that is available on-line. However, I appreciated Romano's eloquence and enjoyed the moderator's sophisticated facilitation of the session. As for Michael Ennis, I'm fascinated by the new duo he created to rival Holmes and Watson. Perhaps The Malice of Fortune is the next book I want to read for pleasure given Michael Ennis's 12-year-long research on Niccolo Machiavelli and Leonardo da Vinci, two fascinating minds of the Renaissance Period. Sometimes, you don't have to create characters; you "just" have to peer into our rich past and build on the shoulders of giants.