As an author, there are few things I enjoy more than connecting with readers. I love meeting people and finding out what kinds of books inspire them. I love to tell them about my own work. It’s very exciting when new people decide to take a chance on my books. My hope is always that they will find the same joy in reading my stories that I have found in writing them.
For all of these reasons, I found the Tucson Festival of Books a wonderful opportunity. I was able to chat with many people who love to read. I met other new authors and discussed some of their interests and their journeys to publication.
When I arrived at the festival, I had plenty of time to find the Young Adult Author Pavilion where I was to sell my books. I met two of the writers who were scheduled for the time slot ahead of me. After introducing myself, I asked them about their books.
When I returned to set up for my own session, they both told me which position in the booth was the hot ticket. “Get that corner,” they said. I thanked them and took their advice. They didn’t steer me wrong. I certainly can’t complain about my sales.
By far and away, the highlight of my day was reconnecting with Dr. Donna Swaim. Thirty years ago, I took her Humanities class at the U of A. It was one of the most stimulating courses I have ever taken. I will never forget the things we studied.
Donna also taught and lead a course called the “Voyage of Discovery.” Every summer, she took groups of students on adventures around the globe. In 1987, I went with her to Europe, and my life has never been the same. To say that trip transformed me would be an understatement.
She and I reminisced about the trip, remembering other people who had traveled with us, places we had seen, and experiences we had shared. It was fantastic to reconnect with such a wonderful woman after all these years.
In many ways, the writing life can be very solitary. Authors spend hours all alone, composing, revising and rewriting. Yet one of the greatest rewards of being an author is the opportunity to connect with others, not just via words on the page, but face to face.