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Fourth Wing's Rebecca Yarros became a writer to deal with sleepless nights

"I read thousands of books... so by the time I started writing my book, I had a good idea what story structure was," she explains

Rebecca Yarros
Image credit: Rebecca Yarros

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As the saying goes, we should be the change we want to see in the world. For fantasy phenomenon Rebecca Yarros, that’s something to be taken literally, with the writer revealing that her career came from simply realizing that she didn’t see the books she wanted to read on shelves.

Speaking to Popverse’s Veronica Valencia at Emerald City Comic Con 2024, Yarros said that, despite having an early interest in writing — to the point where she won an award while at school — she didn’t really begin writing until in her late 20s, when her husband was in the military. “He was deployed in Afghanistan, and I wrote a page a night. I just didn’t see a book out there that I wanted to read, so I wrote it,” she explained.

“Any military spouses in the room?” Yarros asked, before explaining, “When our spouses are gone… I couldn’t sleep at night. He’d been seriously wounded in Iraq — we’re talking [almost] sent home… lost his vision, hundreds of pieces of shrapnel throughout his body. Once he volunteered to go back… I stopped sleeping. I stopped sleeping during deployments, ‘cause there’s hours in the middle of the night for a military spouse that they don’t tell you if your spouse has been killed. You have no idea. So I couldn’t sleep during those house. I just started reading, and I read and read. I read and I read and I read thousands of books over the course of all his deployments, so by the time I started writing my book, I had a good idea what story structure was, ‘cause I’d been reading it.”

For those concerned about Yarros’ husband, she immediately reassured the crowd, “he’s okay! He’s all right, guys.”

For those who want to see the complete panel featuring the Fourth Wing creator, we’ll be debuting it exclusively on March 28 at 10AM Eastern for paid Popverse members. We’ll also be sharing further excerpts from the panel for everyone across the coming weeks!

Get fully immersed in ECCC 2024 with Popverse's coverage of the event. From main stage panel livestreams to backstage interviews, on-the-floor coverage, news, cosplay galleries, and all the major panels we'll be m ocderating! We also have a list of the ECCC 2024 artist alley and the big booths to expect. We've even got you covered on where to eat near the convention center.

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Graeme McMillan

Staff Writer

Popverse staff writer Graeme McMillan (he/him) has been writing about comics, culture, and comics culture on the internet for close to two decades at this point, which is terrifying to admit. He completely understands if you have problems understanding his accent.