January 21, 2013

hanging around with writers (at #SFWC13) - blog post

What do you call a guy who hangs around with musicians?

I don't hang around with musicians. I hang around with writers. Mostly online, but also in person whenever my schedule allows. For the past five years I've spent three days each February hanging around with a really awesome group of writers: the volunteers at the San Francisco Writers Conference.

Next month will be my sixth straight year. Volunteering at the conference is a great gig. Not just because I get to listen in on a bunch of fabulous sessions (how much do you think the "tension on every page" and "bringing characters to life" sessions really change year to year?). Not just because I get to chat with agents (four of the five years I've had nothing I was actively pitching). Not just because my work has appeared in the two anthologies I submitted to (including the one pictured here).

I come back year after year because of the people. Although the organizers (Michael, Elizabeth, Richard, Barb, Linda, Laurie, and the others) are fabulous people with a wonderful vision, I really come to hang out with the other volunteers.

Nearly all the volunteers are writers. Many have published books, either independently (like me) or traditionally. They write in all genres, from business to romance to horror to cookbooks. And they all are committed to the same vision that Michael expresses for the conference: To foster a friendly, open, learning community of writers, agents, editors and others all trying to help each other learn and succeed.

I am sure I'll get to tell people about Semper and Forsada, but I don't expect to sell any books. I am sure I'll talk to a couple of agents about my new project, and I may get some requests to see it. And I'll have fun tweeting to #SFWC13. Those are important side benefits.

The core benefit for me will be to refill my tank, to reenergize my creativity and my zeal for this work. To hang out with writers, real writers who take their craft and their business and each other seriously.

Oh, yeah, the punchline: What do you call a guy who hangs out with musicians?
The singer.

Both Semper and Forsada are 99 cents for Kindle now through January 27 as a special introductory price. Both are also available in print. Semper is currently available at Barnes & Noble, Powell's, and other bookstores. Forsada will be available in those locations soon.

1 comment:

Stephen Parrish said...

The punchline took me (pleasantly) by surprise.