I love my friends. I especially love my author friends. Well, I won't even get that specific; my writer friends. I have said this at least once before (and based on how long-winded and short-memoried I am, I've probably said it several times on this blog) everyone else gets co-workers that they see every day! They laugh over cubicle walls, hang out at the water cooler, send memo's, etc.
Authors totally get shafted. One of my very bestest author friends lives in IRELAND!!! Come on!! That is way too far away.
Luckily, this week, I got to connect up with a bunch of friends and even meet some new ones!
On Thursday I went to The King's English, a seriously charming indie bookstore (I'm doing an event there in May!!), to hear Jamie Ford read from his debut novel, The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. And, of course, to meet Jamie. I have cyber-known Jamie for over a year. Probably nearly two years now. He and I go way back. He totally cheered for me when I got my book deal ages and ages ago. (Alas, I missed the opportunity to cheer for him because we got to know each other shortly after he got his book deal.)
So in true jail-ish fashion, here is Jamie from the front:
And Jamie from the side:
(I didn't actually do the front/side thing on purpose, I just took two pics to make sure one of them turned out okay. But hey! You use what you got, right?;))
Jamie is . . . man, he is incredible! An amazing speaker who made even the packed room feel like an intimate one on one conversation and he is so clearly passionate about his book. Afterward, we had dessert at his hotel and I got to chat with his awesome wife. And they have the best author love story! They met just after Jamie finished his book, but before he even found an agent. She fell in love with him over this book and he dedicated it to her. How cool is that! So not only was Jamie a fun person to talk to, so was his wife (and she's a labor and delivery nurse and so we had lots to talk about; it was so fun!) So when there was a (brief) break in the conversation, I looked at my phone and it was eleven o'clock. And as Jamie said, you know it's good company when you don't even notice the time flying by. Thanks Jamie and Leesha; I had SUCH a good time!
After that, I spent much of Friday and Saturday at a symposium for Sci-fi and Fantasy called Life, the Universe, and Everything. (I love that name!) I got to spend lots of time with another best author friend, James Dashner, (and, *ahem* if you check out his latest blog entry you just might find out some news about my book *ahem*) got to know an author acquaintance named Dan Wells better, as well as hanging out with (*koffkoff* shameless name-dropping*koffkoff*) Tracy Hickman and L.E. Modesitt. I also got to meet Julie Wright, who writes YA for a religious press, and is inches away from breaking into the New York scene!
And if that weren't awesome enough, I also got to meet a bunch of aspiring writers who were incredibly fun and awesome! (You know who you are!!!) It was such a great day!
Oh, and I sat on some panels too.
Honestly, I think the panels will matter more to me in the future . . . maybe . . . but last weekend I was mostly glad to just hang out with other wiriters. People who understand me and speak my language. People who can sit around and discuss the business of publishing for hours simply because we share the same obsession. Why can't we do this every day like everyone else!!
A lot of people talk about writing as a very solitary business, and it is. There are definitely other people involved. Crit partners, agents, editors, marketing and publicity teams. There are so many fingers in your literary pie . . . but in the end, it is still just you, putting the words on the pages. And to be able to share that with someone else, another writer who does the same thing you do, day after day, book after book . . . well, let's say refreshing doesn't even begin to cover it. I had a weekend where I really got to fill up my social well. And I needed it. It's been a while.
So thanks everyone. Jamie, Leesha, James, Dan, Julie, Jessica, Brandon, Kimberlee, the threesome whose names I am so sorry I can't remember. Thank you. I really needed you.