The support I have received from everyone at Ad Astra, panelists and members alike, has pumped new life into myself and my story. As you all know, I have struggled and I have been swimming against the current of life for a long time now, but this is a milestone in my journey as a writer and as a person. I was the happiest I have been in two years this past weekend.
I sold out of books five minutes before my reading and had to borrow a book from a listener (Thank you, Darlene)! Who thought that would ever happen? I certainly didn't.
I believe part of this is due to the fact that the panels and events at Ad Astra are fun, personal, and engaging. The atmosphere encourages all of us to talk and interact with each other in such a way that we want to support one another and see each other succeed.
For example, I had the pleasure of meeting Sarah and Michael. Michael is an up and coming novelist and I can't wait to see him get his work out there. We had great discussions on finishing rough drafts, social media, and the pros and cons of self publishing. Thank you, Sarah, for getting us talking and for the latte (I needed it). I hope to see you guys again next year-- and don't worry I haven't forgotten about getting a copy of Detective Docherty to you and I'll look into getting a print of the cover art ASAP.
Each panel was unique and engaging and I was happy to share space (and banter) with all the awesome authors, publishers, and artists I've met this year and last. Here's a shout out to Beverly and James Bambury, awesome impromptu panel moderators and talented writers/editors. For those of you looking for editing and publicity, Beverly's your girl and I'm not normally one for short stories, but I was talking about how much I loved Thirteen Generations by James all weekend. Tears James, seriously.
Timothy Carter, need I say anything about you? We're hilarious. We make great cover art and it's always a pleasure seeing you. I am so looking forward to the release of your new book, Apoca-Lynn.
Paul, thank you so much for stopping into my reading and letting me know you read my book and enjoyed it. Believe me, it had a profound impact, especially when your friend purchased her own copy. I watched myself get recommend (LoL). It was surreal and incredible. Thank you.
Sam, EnthusiasmGirl!!!, how hilarious was our panel on Tumblr where we talked about Tumblr for five minutes and then talked about writing/publishing for an hour instead? :D I cannot wait to read some of your stories on Tumblr!
There were just so many incredible people and it's impossible to cover all of you, but to those panelists I didn't mention, I will get to it, be it on Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook, I cannot wait to connect and promote you work.
Aside from panels, I spent a lot of time in the dealer room (maybe passing out mead from Trafalgar Brewery-- Thanks Chris-- and taking back one or two tequila shots to kick start the afternoon, with author Vanessa Ricci-Thode ;) ) with Pickwick Books and surrounding vendors. I'll never forget how Pickwick Books was not only the location of my first book signing and the first book store to sell my book, but I'll be forever grateful to them for allowing me to throw my crap under their table and cover it with my books.
While being a panelist has a lot of pros, the only real con seems to be not having enough time to join the entertainment! Luckily I was able to see the last portion of the belly dancing by Dragonfly Bellydance and Mirage (The dubstep and Hobbit dances were my fave) and I even got to catch the beginning of the costume contest. In a word: Awesome. Partly because Mike, the Kraken Not Stirred, and I were those
Both Friday night and Saturday night I crashed hard on my friend Laura's couch (she put me up for the weekend) and slept with such a feeling of fulfilment and satisfaction. I find I am dead tired today and yet I miss it already.
I just-- Thank you. All of you.