Writing is a solitary profession. We who are authors each have our own writer’s “cave”, and spend the lion’s share of our days with our butts in our chairs, and our fingers on our keyboards.
Whatever the individual writing process may be, in essence we all do the same thing: we strive to write stories that we hope and pray that someone, somewhere, someday will read.
Every once in a while, we leave our caves and venture forth into the greater world, where we partake of meetings, conferences, and conventions.
This past week, I ventured forth to Dallas, to attend my publisher’s inaugural convention, “TRC2012”.
This was something I’d heard Ms. Hilton say she wanted to accomplish—holding an annual convention—several years ago. I knew the event would happen when the time was right, for my publisher is tremendously savvy when it comes to all things business.
And yet that is not her greatest talent as a publisher.
Her greatest talent is building relationships with her authors. She treats each of us as if we are someone special. If you send her an e-mail, as often as not she’ll pick up the phone and call you to address whatever questions or concerns you may have.
She cares about her authors as unique, and creative people.
She’s also acquired a staff of highly qualified, dedicated women and men who, like her, treat the authors with utmost professionalism and respect. This past weekend I got to meet some of them as they worked tirelessly to make TRC2012 a success.
From me to them, go my deepest thanks for all of their hard work.
I am so blessed to be a part of the Siren-Bookstrand family—and I mean that from the bottom of my heart.
There was something for everyone in this inaugural conference. Authors got together in a fast-track retreat to discuss with our publisher and the president of the company issues that mattered to us—what’s hot and what’s not, and the state of this every-fluid industry we’re all in.
There were workshops and panels where readers were welcomed and sat side by side with the authors they love. What a joy it was for me to meet so many who’ve read my work!
We, as writers, were treated to a panel of avid readers, eager to answer our questions including that very hard to answer subject: “what makes you pick up one book as opposed to another?”
One of the panelists said that to them, we were rock stars. To her, and all the others, I would say, that to us, you’re the validation of all that we aspire to do. You allow us to say to ourselves, “it’s true: someone really reads my work and loves it.” This is the nectar and the manna that we, as authors, hunger for.
Thank you, readers, for feeding us so well.
The convention featured a book fair, and every author had people come to his or her table to meet, greet, receive swag and get autographs. Free books abounded. There were prizes, as well, and man, was that a busy, happy afternoon!
I was personally astounded by how many readers came to this fair.
There are a few things in this life that nourish me, replenish my energy and motivate me to write; but the top two are spending time with readers, and spending time with fellow authors.
I met face-to-face, for the first time, many of my sister-sirens with whom I’ve communicated on line. These women were already my friends, but those friendships now have faces, and smiles.
And I also re-connected with some authors who are very dear to my heart: Lara Santiago (affectionately known as The First Author, because well, she was), Heather Rainier, Peyton Elizabeth, and Corrine Davies.
Heather and I have been collaborating, since our two series’ “towns” are just down the road a piece from each other. It’s the most fun I’ve had writing, ever.
I was honored to be asked, along with Lara Santiago, to be the M. C. for the awards ceremony, and humbled to receive two awards myself.
My beloved was with me every moment throughout the convention, and I know it’s an experience he’s looking forward to repeating next year.
All things considered, I am Blessed and Highly Favored.