This year one of my resolutions is to meet up with fellow authors and book enthusiasts in the real world. Or, at the very least, talk on the phone! Social media is wonderful, email is fab, but there’s nothing like the face-to-face (or ear-to-ear) experience when it comes to having a good old natter.
This month so far I’ve met up with two lovely authors – Cathy Bramley and Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn – and had a lovely long phone chat with the incredibly talented Martina Munzittu. In February I’ve already arranged to meet up with author Susie Davis, and book worm Kim Nash (see Kim’s guest post here). AND, on February 1st I’m delighted to be going along to Miranda Dickinson’s first ever Writers’ Inspiration Day! Sadly it’s now sold out, but you can see what you’re missing here 🙂 I’m really excited about this event, which is just down the road in Dudley, because it’s the ideal opportunity for me to get ‘out there’ into the real world, and also work on my new romantic comedy – Cupid’s Way.
Later in Feb I’ll be bringing you more information about my latest project, but for now I’ll just say that it’s going to have all the laughs and fun of Can’t Live Without with more lovable characters and a riveting story line. Of course 😉 So how about you? Do you manage to meet up with fellow writers in real life, and if so how do you feel it improves upon the virtual world?
January 22, 2014 at 9:25 am
I’m totally with you on that resolution, Joanne! I always feel uplifted and energised by meeting fellow authors in real life. Even if you know someone well online, it’s still great to meet up in person, as we discovered when we met each other for the first time at Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn’s launch of “The Piano Player’s Son” in the autumn! (Saw her again last week at a SilverWood book talk by Sandy Osborne too!)
In fact, I’ve recently blogged on Off The Shelf about why it makes such a difference, with tips on how to track suitable events and authors down: http://offtheshelfbookpromotions.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/boost-your-self-publishing-skills-by-attending-events-for-writers/
Hope to see you again in 2014! 🙂
January 23, 2014 at 12:23 pm
It was great meeting you there, even though we only had about 5 minutes to chat. Mind you, I felt like I knew you really well already! I think that’s what’s nice about getting to know people virtually first. Are you still going to the RNA conference? Is that in March? x
January 23, 2014 at 10:28 pm
Yep, I’ll be there, but it’s in July! In the meantime, off to a SilverWood Open Day on Saturday where I’m going to meet loads of authors whom I have known for ages only as Facebook/Twitter icons – it’s going to be exciting and surreal! Cambridge Literary Festival (I’m on a panel!!) and London Book Fair before then… and the Homeric Writers Retreat on Ithaca in August! I may have to start making a point of meeting some people who are NOT writers, at this rate! 😉
January 22, 2014 at 9:42 am
I attend the Harrogate crime writing festival in July every year and have found it invaluable for building those real life friendships with people who share those very same interests. I would now feel as though I’d lost an arm if I couldn’t make one year.
January 23, 2014 at 12:24 pm
I’m thinking of going to the York conference this year, and I think it’s lovely that you go every year – do you see the same faces?
January 24, 2014 at 7:34 am
I do. I’ve made some really good real life friends going and yes, there are lots of regular faces there. You’d love York. You should definitely do it 🙂
January 22, 2014 at 10:00 am
I go to London every 10-12 weeks and I always meet up with fellow author Stefania Mattana for dinner. She writes crime novels and it’s nice to chat with her, and compare notes on different genres. I’m hoping to meet face-to-face with Pauline Wiles, she’s based in California but her family is from Cambridge, UK, and she may visit this area soon, so we have a date for coffee and cake on her next trip to the UK. And of course, Jo, you’re on my list on my next visit to Shropshire 🙂
I think chatting with fellow authors is very important, of course we can do this online, via email, etc, but the voice/face-to-face experience is invaluable.
January 23, 2014 at 12:25 pm
We need to get Skyped-up, Martina, ready for our next chat. When Pauline comes over to Cambridge I’ll come down to and we can all meet up, it will be fab 🙂 xxx
January 23, 2014 at 7:41 pm
How can I refuse! Not sure of 2014 travel plans yet but would love to meet you both.
January 22, 2014 at 4:13 pm
Great post Jo. I’d love to meet you actually! It’s funny that you’ve written about meeting other authors as that’s what I love doing. I met Kate Frost via Twitter, she lives in Bristol like me, and she’s become a really good friend. I’ve also met Jade Reyner who lives not far away and is also lovely. The three of us are meeting again next week.
In November Kate and I also met a lovely girl Emily who we know via our weekly blog hops. She was on holiday from Australia . That was great too.
So if you ever feel able to come down to Bristol or meet somewhere else, I’d love to see you and I’m sure Kate and Jade would love to be involved too. 🙂
January 22, 2014 at 4:21 pm
There you go Jo, Elaine has said it all really! I whole-heartedly agree that it’s fabulous meeting fellow authors in real life. I can also add Debbie Young, Helen Hart, Caz Greenham and a handful of other Silverwood authors to the list of writers I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.
January 23, 2014 at 12:26 pm
Ah, thanks Elaine! I’d love to meet you too, and Kate and Jade. Right then, I’ll consider that an invitation to come to Bristol and arrange a trip in the summer 🙂 x
January 23, 2014 at 5:49 pm
Oh that would be fabulous Jo! We’d love to see you. BTW Bristol is brimming with plenty to see and do – and there are LOADS of hotels etc. (well it is the biggest city in the south west!) so if you wanted to make a real trip of it, you could. 🙂
January 22, 2014 at 6:28 pm
I don’t manage it as much as i’d like 😦 I’m in Edinburgh for the year, so if you’re ever up my way, drop me an email 😀
January 23, 2014 at 12:27 pm
Hi Layla, are there any local groups you could join? I imagine Edinburgh is full of writers 🙂 Will you still be there for the writing festival – I think it’s in September? I might be able to come up for that and meet up x
January 24, 2014 at 1:55 pm
Ya there’s a bunch of writers here. I’m in the creative writing master’s program at the uni so 🙂 I should be here through the August festival…
January 23, 2014 at 8:42 pm
I went (once) to a writing group but I felt like we wanted different things from our writing lives and other group members weren’t as zealous/ready to publish. So, for me, online connections are working a little better. That said, I’m going to the San Francisco Writers Conference next month and look forward to making new acquaintances there.
January 24, 2014 at 9:53 am
It’s a strange but lovely experience when someone you feel you’ve got to know well online becomes a friend in real life as well. When I first met you, Jo, I felt as if I’d already known you for ages as a result of our online communication. When you find someone you gel with, you have to pursue it, and the internet is wonderful when you live at a distance. But there’s nothing quite like face-to-face chatting
January 29, 2014 at 11:12 pm
Wish I could join you on these happy occasions. We talk about writing as a solitary experience. Meeting up with other authors is reward for your good behavior. Writing an excellent blog.