I have a confession to make. When Rebecca approached me about visiting her blog, I was apprehensive. The truth is, as often as I think of myself as shy, I’ve been told I’m quite the opposite. I love to talk, meet new people, and share my love of books, old eighties horror movies, and music with as many folks as I can. Don’t believe me? Then join me on Twitter sometime. There is a damned good reason I have to limit myself when it comes to “friendly” networking. If you’ll let me, I’ll shoot the breeze all night long.
So what advice could I possibly offer to those who aren’t as, how should I say, vocal as I am? It’s a tough question, one I wasn’t sure I would be able to answer, until in a stroke of brilliance (not really, but it sounds impressive *smile*) a light bulb went off.
This year I attended Lori Foster’s Readers and Authors Gathering. It was my first ever “meet and greet,” and I was extremely nervous. How would all of these new people (including several of my peers) react to me? Would the southern accent be too obvious? Would my penchant for wearing black and speaking off the cuff be a turn off? I can’t tell you how sick I felt when I walked into the room with everyone present, clutching at the ever-wonderful author Madelyn Ford for support. We chose a table, settled in and scoped out the joint, and before long I relaxed and calmed down. Once that happened those worries and doubts vanished, and I found myself having a wonderful time. And far more importantly, I avoided a pitfall I always fell into in college, and I remained absolutely true to myself.
In my opinion, authors carry a pretty heavy burden as it is. We are not only putting our stories out there for the world to love or hate, but a piece of ourselves as well. No matter how often I hear people state that there is no portion of them in a story, I’m not sure I buy it. On some level, you have to be able to relate to your characters. Be it in their happiness, their pain, or their darkness. So when I meet those brave enough to put a piece of their soul to paper, I want to get to know the real person behind the story. Each of us are extremely complex, no matter how normal we appear on the surface, and getting to meet and talk to the unique individual within is like finding the coveted prize children seek inside their box of Lucky Charms.
If my trip to Lori’s gathering taught me anything it is that there is a lot of fun to be had when you put pretenses to the side and open yourself to those around you. Chances are if you allow yourself to do this, you’ll be able to absorb far more about those you meet as well.
Speaking of Lori’s gathering -- if any of you decide to make the trip next year, be sure to look for me. I love a gabfest and, even if you’re shy at the beginning, I’m sure I can convince you to sit back, relax, and kick off your heels.
J.A. Saare is a multi-published author in varying genres and has written stories featured in horror magazines, zombie romance anthologies, and flash fiction contests. Her work has a notable dark undertone, which she credits to her love of old eighties horror films, tastes in music, and choices in reading. Currently she is penning numerous projects within the urban fantasy, erotic and contemporary, and of course, paranormal romance categories. You can learn more about J.A. at her website and her blog. Those interested in her "naughtier" side can visit her alias, AlineHunter, at http://www.alinehunter.com/.
Currently she is penning numerous projects within the urban fantasy,erotic and contemporary, and of course, paranormal romance categories.