It’s been a tough winter. A two-foot pack of snow outside the patio door can chip away at a girl’s soul. So it’s nice to get out and mingle once in awhile.
Today, amidst a light snow fall, I attended AuthorFest at the Hawley Silk Mill in Hawley, PA. The Silk Mill is this beautiful historic building that looks like a castle and AuthorFest is like this giant meetup of local authors talking about writing. There were two workshops in the late morning — “How to Write a Bestseller” and “Traditional vs. Indie Publishing”. The audience was made up of aspiring authors, many with their notebooks open, jotting down relevant information. I sat on the latter panel and offered my opinions on small press publishing. I joked that it was a “dream-crushing” panel. We were all pretty honest about writing today — it’s hard to get a traditional publishing deal and it’s even harder to sell books. But we all love writing. I met many authors, including award-winning children’s book authors Suzanne Fischer Staples and Lindsay Barrett George. And Samantha Warren, an indie author who was kind enough to buy my book and give me solid advice on indie publishing. She was a doll.
I sold two books (and one ebook — thanks Samantha!) at the author signing and gave out a bunch of bookmarks. I had the best day ever!
Meeting fellow authors, networking, just getting out of my house is energizing. For a little while I am not retrieving juice boxes or scheduling dentist appointments — I am an author and I’m talking craft. Writing is hard work. Sometimes it’s not the actual writing that’s difficult but the feeling of isolation. Writing is solitary business. But networking and chatting with fellow authors makes me feel like I’m part of the profession. Community is vital.
My tip for anyone who writes: find writer friends. Join organizations. Go to conferences. I have small kids. For the last five years, I’ve either been pregnant or nursing a baby. I haven’t had a chance to get out. But now I’m starting to venture from home in order to market my books and meet other authors. In time, I’ll be able to do more. Can’t wait to do AuthorFest 2016! I already told the organizers, I’ll be there.