Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Rambler

I had the chance a couple of weekends ago to drive down to the Tucson Festival of Books and spend some time with a ton of great writers. 

Ace Atkins, Me, David Joy, Robert Knott

Although I wasn’t there in any “official” capacity (with my debut still two months away, I wasn’t booked on any panels/signings ), I did attend a Putnam-hosted dinner, and got to grab a seat at several of the panels just so I could listen in. I was there purely as a spectator, a fan, but on several occasions, the authors I’d met made a point of singling me out of crowd, and telling their audiences to keep an eye out for my book in June.

These were extremely generous gestures, and hopefully someday I’ll have the opportunity to return the favor to other up and coming authors.

Throughout the entire weekend, I enjoyed a feeling of community and support that I generally don’t get to experience. I’m not part of a writing group; I don’t have Beta readers or critique partners. None of my friends or family have an interest in writing as either a profession or a hobby. I don't interact with any other writers other than those I've met through Twitter and the internet. For a profession often characterized by its solitude, I take that “lone wolf” role to a whole new level. In fact, that Tucson weekend was my first “real life” exposure to other, professional authors, and I didn’t realize how much I needed it until it happened. I received loads of great advice, got to ask a thousand questions, commiserated about writing and the peculiarities of the publishing industry, and generally gained some allies I hope I'll have throughout my career.

This is a hard, at times, unforgiving thing we do. Sometimes, it's good to get on the road and find a few friends...

Finally, I wanted to leave this video right here. It's from a Kentucky (where I'm from) band, Black Stone Cherry, and their new album is due out April 1. Just a great song, and worth a listen.

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