This past Saturday, along with five other writers of the New England Horror Writers, I had the opportunity to speak on my first panel. I’ve been a member of this group for a few months and I’ve watched the intense amount of effort they exert to put themselves and their work in front of the public. When an opportunity down the street from me opened up, I decided it was now or never.
It was the right decision.
The event was held at Lancaster’s Thayer Memorial Library on one of their harvest days. The town is adorable and the library is stunning. When I walked into the rotunda (yes, that is exactly what it was) and saw the bookcases reaching the ceiling and the spiral staircase I thought I walked into a scene from Harry Potter. Along with me were Paula of Seven Bridge Writers (the host of this event) , Moderator Dan Keohane, Myself, Jennifer Allis Provost, Trisha Woolridge, Ursula Wong, and Dale T. Phillips (behind the camera.) While I had talked to these folks for months discussing everything from methods of tracking query letters to what to wear when speaking to the public, this was the first time I met them in person. It was the first dip into a very deep pool for self-publicizing that I know I’ll have to tackle as I get further into this lifestyle. To hear how other writers think, especially when it is different from myself is always fascinating. I figure it’s a growing opportunity.
The audience was the best part. “Who inspired you?” “What advice do you have?” “How do you access the senses?” The questions made the panel portion a breeze, I feel we could have gone for hours more. After, I bumped into a fellow NaNoWriMo writer who I have written with for years now. I also met a gentleman who is preparing to undertake it for his first time. There was also a media person who asked question. It was the right sized crowd for a first timer and I was happy to be able to speak. For some reason I thought I’d sit there and never open my mouth (I know, stop laughing) but overall it was a rewarding exchange with would-be writers and even a few new fans. Because of this one gig, a bunch of random things have been set into motion, such as upcoming articles being submitted to local media to helping uncover new NaNo folk and even finding a home for upcoming NaNoWriMo write-ins.
Now, to get the rest of my affairs in order.