So I’ve been AWOL for a while. From here. From social media in general. I’m trying to finish a book, which is fighting me the whole way. Felix and Rose as some of you know. Right now, I sort of want to punch myself in the face for even trying to tackle the delicate subject surrounding this book (that I can’t reveal because it’s, you know, a plot twist) but I’m going to be optimistic and say that it’s par for the course sometimes with writing that your characters don’t place nicely.
Anyhow before I start a runaway author rant about characters . . .
I’ve left my writing hobbit house to sing the praises of a signing that I just got back from called Roanoke Author Invasion.
I have to say that I’m still a bit of a novice when it comes to shows and signings. My very first signing was in fact only a year ago almost to the day of this one. It was in Atlanta, and I really didn’t know what I was doing or what to expect. It was a bit like baptism by fire. Banners. Swag. Postcards. Biz cards. Books. Parties. More Swag. More Books. So many things that I didn’t really have a good grasp on.
So fast forward to a year later with a few more signings under my belt to RAI2017.
I have to give Liz and Tobi some credit here. I had no idea what to expect for a local signing having never done one before. And yes, Roanoke is relatively local for me. Anything within a 2-3 hour jot and in my own state counts for me. Why I’ve never pursued one before now seems like absolute folly because RAI knocked my socks off.
Why was RAI so awesome?
- There was no drama
- The event coordinators were extremely professional
- The event was well-organized and well-attended
- The authors were diverse, approachable, and happy
- The volunteers were probably the most caring and attentive staff I’ve ever seen at an event
- Everyone laughed HARD
- Did I mention there was no drama?
I can’t overstate how important these points are when you’re an attending author at an event. There is enough chaos with the amount of stuff you have to lug around, pre-orders to fill, hotel check-ins to take care of, travelling, frantic set ups and break downs of stands . . . the last thing you need is for someone else to instill more chaos into your life. And no matter how much we smile and chat, signings are more stressful than we authors like to admit.
So I felt more than relieved when it became quickly clear that someone was doing a damn good job of steering the ship AND everyone was having a good time. It was like having a giant boulder lifted off my shoulders.
It probably also helped that I met and bonded with two amazing authors – Carey Heywood and Jen Luerssen. It was love at first sight and honestly, we were like the Three Amigos for the entire thing, which again, was a huge comfort for me since I was flying solo anyhow. This is the level of awesomeness that they brought to the party –
See what I mean? Jen and the chicken says it all really.
I miss them already. I’m busily planning writing retreats in my head with them as I type.
And the readers? There were tons and I mean tons of them and everyone was friendly, outgoing, and had a smile for me. And when you’re sweating blood because you’re characters aren’t playing ball, those smiles mean a lot. Every. Single. One. And when they tell you they love your books, it makes you remember why you’re doing it in the first place.
So thank you to all of you who made my first ever Roanoke Author Invasion such a success. I can’t wait to see you all again next year.
xo – shawnee
P.S. Special shout out to Karin Anderson for being an amazing fan and friend.