Travel holds little appeal for me these days. Flying is unpleasant. I’m too damn big (6’2″ and 200 pounds), and over the last ten years or so, have become increasingly claustrophobic. Were teleporting an option, I’d be more interested in visiting far away places. Until then, unless driving is possible, I don’t go.
The publisher I’ve been with since August, 2012 (Dreamspinner Press) holds a conference every year for authors. I joined the gang too late to attend in 2012. Attending in 2013 or 2014 required flying or more driving than I cared to do. When they announced the 2015 conference would be in Orlando, I jumped at the change to go.
I confess, the big draw was the opportunity to connect with author pals. You couldn’t ask for a nicer bunch of people. Among the registered participants were many I met at GayRomLit in Atlanta or Rainbow Con in Tampa, along with quite a few I hadn’t yet had the pleasure of meeting.
I had a blast. As expected, hanging with other authors — some I knew before, some I didn’t — was great. The highlight, however (aside from some great workshops), was meeting so many of the fine folks who work for Dreamspinner Press.
All communication with Dreamspinner staff, from signing the contract to royalty statements and everything in between, is via email. The business gets done, but developing personal relationships via email is challenging. Meeting my virtual coworkers in person made the trip for me.
I didn’t just meet staff. Even with more than 100 authors present, I enjoyed one-on-one time with the owner, the editor in chief, my senior editor, and many more who carryout various functions essential to the publishing process. Meeting them was a treat, and the guidance they provided about my writing career was invaluable.
The folks at Dreamspinner Press are incredible. I came away recharged and excited to get back to writing. Since then, I’ve received some great news. Next week, I’ll tell you all about it.