Monday, September 10, 2012

The Fun Part of Being a Writer

Last week I had the opportunity to go to a dinner my publisher had put on for its authors.  I went, not for the food, but for the company.  I love being in the same room with other writers.

I got to be appropriately awed by authors like David Woolley who spoke to me while we waited for our food (and remembered me from Six LDS Writers and a Frog blog!) and Jean Matthews who talked to me about her research for her historical fiction novels.  I also sat at a table with a new author, Frank Holdaway, whose first book will be out next month.

I got hugs and great conversation from Angela Eschler and Kelly Schumacher and I got to tease Nancy Campbell Allen and Josi Kilpack at the dessert table.  Now I know why Josi makes such great culinary mysteries---her taste buds are impeccable!  (Plus, I like her even more since she saved me from the humiliation of accidentally knocking an entire cheesecake to the floor.  She has quick hands!)

I laughed with Julie Wright and Jeff Savage's wife, Jennifer, and in general just basked in the amazing feeling of being with people who love to do what I do.  We always have so much to talk about, I think those events could go on all night.

I was sorry to see the evening end, but it did make me look forward to the next time I can rub shoulders with such inspiring people.  It is one of the fun parts of being a writer for sure.

Who inspires you?  And do you ever get to talk/associate with them?


Debra Erfert said...

I don't get to personally rub shoulders with anyone--I live too far away from the hub of LDS publishing. And even if I didn't, I'm horribly shy (don't laugh) to the point of being an introvert around people. I'd hang at the back of lines, stay in the fringes and watch. It's what I do at conferences because I'm too afraid of saying something totally stupid. I'm fairly sure the first time I met you, Julie, I mixed you up with Sariah. I wanted to slink out of that room so badly and never return again. I'm not sure if this problem is something I can overcome, although I do "act" like I can handle it under the right circumstances. But it is just an "act" and nothing more.

You inspire me, Julie. Although you have a tremendous amount going on in your life, you still take time to write. How can that not be inspiring?

Jon Spell said...

James Patterson and Stephen King and Harlan Coben awe and inspire me, for different reasons. King, for his philosophical musings and the ability to just nail real life in a way that I wish I could. There have been books that I wish hadn't turned into horror/supernatural but I guess that's his bread and butter. Patterson, for not only his prolific... prolificness, prolificiousness, 'cuz he writes lots of books. And they are total fluff, but page turners nonetheless. Coben is good for both interesting concepts and twists out of nowhere (and also page-turning.)

I don't really want to go to a signing by these people because I'm afraid I'd morph into some kind of gushing fanboy. If I could just meet one for dinner, I think that would work.

(lofty tone) I do get to rub some shoulders with the elite of the LDS fiction group at various events, but I generally go to those to actually meet or talk to them in person. Or bring them treats. =)

I would love to meet you in person one day, Debra. I can't remember, are you in NM or AZ? I have a couple of reasons to go to AZ.

Melanie Goldmund said...

Kerry Blair inspires me. I still have a thank you card that she wrote me, taped to my wall near my desk. I also got to meet her and even stay overnight at her house several years ago when we travelled to America.

I don't know if you can call it "rubbing shoulders" if you're in e-mail contact with somebody, but I met Emily Mah Tippetts at a book signing when we were in America a few years ago, and we've been in loose contact ever since. She's been kind enough to read some of my stories and give me some pointers.

Otherwise, I'm as shy as Debra, if not more so. I shuffle around uncomfortably on the fringe of things, just like she does!

Debra Erfert said...

I live in Yuma, Arizona, just on the southeast corner of California. Can't go much farther south without needing my passport. Coming to Arizona? Cool. Right now we're having terrible monsoon storms. Lost power in several areas around town in the 65 mph wind-driven rain. Lightning with thunder isn't seen much here, but totally beautiful, if you can get past a bunch of downed power poles laying across the freeway. Such a change of pace.

Why are you venturing down this-a-way? Probably to Phoenix, right?

Debra Erfert said...

Melanie, then we can hang out on the fringes together!

Melanie Goldmund said...

Debra: Cool! And geeze, what a coincidence, Fringe is also my favourite television show! I wonder why ... :-)

Randy said...

That sounds like fun.

Angie said...

Sounds really fun. I love it when I get to hang out with other writers!

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Debra, you are wonderful, I hope you know that.

Jon, I have appreciated your treats more than you will ever know! And your friendship.

Melanie, I love Kerry Blair. A great lady and friend. And we need to get you and Debra away from the fringes. I'll start brainstorming.

Randy and Angie, the only thing missing was you two. Maybe next event we can meet up. :)

Jon Spell said...

Debra: I have a brother- and sister-in-law who are mission presidents in Phoenix, and a sister-friend in Maricopa. Yuck, 3 hours from Phoenix to Yuma? I may have to save that for my dream-trip where I take a year off and drive across the country just for the purpose of visiting people. (And have it be longer than a year by the time I'm done.)

Maybe one day when I'm a famous author (ha ha), I can make sure Yuma is on my book signing itinerary.

Debra Erfert said...

Awe, Jon, I'l come to Phoenix and have you sign your book. Nobody is down here in Yuma.