Skip to main content

Writer Friends and Artist Types: Post Conference Recovery


Friday night, I entered the Industry Party at the hotel. Dozens of agents, editors, and publishers ate cheese and drank wine in the SAME room as me. **major fangirl squee**


Donna and I observed the Rock Stars of the Children's Book World, interact with each other, and guess what? They are regular people. They eat and drink like us. They have hopes and dreams like us. The only major difference between US and THEM? They possess the power to catapult us to the stars or smash us against a brick wall.

So...okay, maybe they're more superhero, than rockstar, but you get the point.


Post-Industry party, we met new SCBWI friends from New England and Kimberly Sabatini, at the bar. Kim is the author of Touching the Surface. **fangirl squee*** And yes, I did squee in front of her--she's just a down to earth person who happens to have a YA novel published. (I know, awesome right?!?!)


We met these new friends via Twitter.
(Remember my advice from the other day--it really works. Try it. You'll like it.)

It's not easy meeting people out in the real world. There's always that awkward getting to know you stage. You talk about the weather, your kids, the school...

Small talk. I hate small talk. I'm not good at it. I don't enjoy it. I like to know upfront whether I like this new person and if I see myself maintaining some type of friendship past the 'Hi-Bye' stage.

BUT when I meet a writer or another artist type, I don't need to explain why I hide in my house for days at a time and peck away at a keyboard. I don't need to justify why I love to read but forget to clean, or why there are piles of books, papers, pens, journals, and more books spread throughout my house. They already know...
          They get me.

I call them Instant Friends.
Instant friends are made when you go to conferences and events with like minded people. You skip the small talk and start talking about your favorite book or your current project.
 
They understand how much it crushes you to get a form rejection letter, but they don't say, "Honey, you'll get a 'yes' one of these days."


They grab you by the hair and yank you back up, brush away the tears, hand you chocolate, and tell you to get back to work. There also might be some degrogatory comments made about the agent's poor judgement, but... you didn't hear that from me.

Find places where you can meet like minded people. Whether you're a writer, an illustrator, a fisherman, a realtor, a soccer player, or just a plain old Jo find a place where THEY get you!! It makes all the difference.

Is that Donna Boock, E.B. Lewis, Kim Briggs, Alison Green Myers, Peggy Collins, Kari-Lynn Winters, Alma Fullerton, Ruth Ellie-McNally Barshaw (Ellie McDoodle), at the SAME table?
Why, yes it is. Thank you for noticing!             
Are more than half of the people published authors and/or illustrators, perhaps even a Caldecott winner or two? Why, yes they are.

Go to conferences!! THEY get you, and you get INSTANT FRIENDS. You just might meet a few superheroes of your own!


Write on,
Kim





Popular posts from this blog

The Querying Writer: Part II

Dear Kim,


Remember that letter I sent you way back in October? (You remember October-- back when all things seemed possible.) 





The letter, COMP TITLES and THE QUERYING WRITER, shared details from our Novel Nuts & Bolts class with Empire Literary Agent Carrie Howland. (I may have referred to her as "agent-extraordinaire" in another post.)

Though today's post will be my third about Carrie, it is titled "Part II" because my querying journey seems sequel worthy.







I started looking for an agent soon after you and I met at the NYC SCBWI conference in 2012. I had nice feedback from an agent at a conference and sent him my work. His response was kind (which I've found most responses from agents to be.) But my writing wasn’t ready. The novel he saw was the first I’d ever finished. I wasn't ready.

I swallowed that little voice that said, SEND! SEND! SEND! for two more years until I entered #PitchWars-- Brenda Drake’s crash course in pitching. In the years between t…

School Visit Recap: Assemblies to Workshops, and the CONVERSATIONS in between

Dear Kim (and friends),

This morning I put away my rainbow superhero mask, gold top hat, and banana-on-a-stick. Few things are sadder than closing your banana-on-a-stick into a dark closet. But, I guess it will rise again next month for my next school visit.

Oh, you thought my collection was somehow Halloween related? No, no. Just part of the workshop portion of my school visits. For the past two weeks I had the privilege of speaking to, and then with, students from one of our nearby districts.



Dwight Smith, the founder of My Special Word, joined me for the assembly portion of the event. We were able to share with the children Dwight's vision for the program, as well as my process for writing the books for him.

There was music. Lots of it.
Some singing. (Would you expect any less?)
And shouting! (Mostly the kids, but I got a few words in too.)



We met with over 800 kids during the assemblies and got a sense for how the school district planned to use My Special Word. I'll say,
w…

BOOK REVIEW: Starr Fall & BOOK RELEASE: Once & Forever

Dear Alison,

Goodbye January, Hello February! Last week, I let everyone peak in my drawers.  Today, I'm opening my inbox. Well, not literally. You DO NOT want to see my inbox--though I do try to keep all the accounts very tidy--sometimes the emails get a bit, what's the word I'm looking for? Expansive. My favorite emails are from fans. I LOVE them. They make me all warm and fuzzy. Seriously, touch my arm...

See? Warm and Fuzzy. Oh, wait those are my doggies;)

While, I ADORE the fan mail (I DO, I REALLY DO) I would LOVE them even more if they were added as a review to AMAZON and GOODREADS. For instance, look at some of these reviews:


Must Read!!!, January 31, 2017 By  Kelly

This review is from: Starr Fall: Book One of the Starr Fall Series (Kindle Edition) Purchased this book for my 14 year old daughter who is NOT a fan of reading for pleasure or at all for that matter. Well, the book immediately grabbed her attention. In her words..."I can't put this book down. I ne…