Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Friends and Family In a Small Industry

Conferences are approaching. That's nothing new. There are several big conferences a year that writers go to. Either to learn more about their craft, to help others, or meet and inter act with readers. The weeks leading up to a conference is generally chaotic for writers. Aside from their regular commitments, they also need to make sure they have any and all books and promo material together that they'll need. And that it is the right promo for them and for the conference. When you're organizing a conference of any size, you effectively are taking on another full time job. Talk about chaos. I'm sure many events meet themselves coming and going.

The publishing industry as a whole, is really not that big. When you look at e-publishing, it's even smaller. Or maybe not truly smaller, but tighter knit. I don't know if authors from the traditional New York houses get that same feeling or not. Writing is a very solitary occupation, and it can be hard to connect with people. Writing e-books, means there can be less opportunities for booksignings, after all the bookstores can't order them and stack them in a pretty display, but the flip side of that is that as we talk to each other. On Facebook. On Twitter. And on E-mail loops. Short conversations or word count accountability messages become conversations that become friendships. Then we get to go conferences and meet those people and friendships deepen.

I'm heading for GayRomLit in Albuquerque, NM to spend a week with old friends and new ones and to remember those that we lost this year. In the days leading up to GRL there are more and more emails that say things like  "I'm useless at work, is time to go yet?". It is an event that readers and authors alike look forward too. Earlier this year I received a heart-wrenching email from one of my publishers titled "A Death in the Family", informing me of the unexpected death of William Neale, a friend and fellow author. Writers and readers alike, we've become a close knit community. We mourn the loss of friends and family, cheer for successes and good news, send thoughts and prayers and words of encouragement to those in need. And when we're lucky enough to meet them in person and again, it's like coming home. Those emails have led to friendships, to families of friends.

To Old Friends and New....I can't wait to see everyone in Albuquerque!


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