Thursday, September 18, 2014

Networking Perks

It's been a while since I posted on my own blog, and  for that I apologize to you loyal followers. I won't bore you with excuses, but I thought it about time I talked about how important networking is for us as authors and for you readers as well. It's more than selling a few books. I have met some wonderful readers and I want them to know how much I appreciate them coming back again and again as I spread my wings from mystery to women's fiction to current project, historical fiction.

I have to admit that going to conferences and book events has not only brought me closer to readers but I now have a vast network of authors who are truly genuine friends of mine. I've met some outstanding authors who've won many national awards and remained humble. I will post a few pictures here with a little about a few of them.

Here I am at Book'em North Carolina with headliner, Mary Alice Monroe from South Carolina. I'd read all of her books so it was a pleasure to meet this sweet lady in person. Did you know she helps protect sea turtles? I wish Mary Alice many more books and I'll buy them as they come off the press;-)

I have to mention Michael Palmer, a great big teddy bear I met several years ago at the same book event. He died only a few months after this picture was taken. Such a wonderful writer and such a sweet man. Rest in peace, Michael.

I met Haywood Smith at Book'em last year. What a hoot! I could have talked with her the entire day if we hadn't both had other things to attend to. I hope everyone who went to that event got to meet her in person. And her books are full of humor even though at times a little strange, Haywood:-) She gave me the background  and inspiration for Out Of Warranty, my personal favorite of her books so far.

I have to mention some pals of mine who are richly talented and live here in North Carolina so that we can meet once in a while, do some signings and benefits together, and just get together to pick each other's brains over lunch.  Even though they're not as well known, they soon will be, so you should add them to your reading list ASAP.

Joyce and Jim Lavene organized the Carolina Conspiracy, composed of mystery writers from North and South Carolina. They somehow manage to write a multitude of novels together without killing each other. My hat is off to them. I don't have a picture of this dynamic duo to post, but they have written series after series of delightful who-dun-its that you should explore. If you enjoy Renaissance faires, this team is for you!

I met Lynette Hall Hampton at my first Carolina Conspiracy event and we've been close friends since the moment we laid eyes on each other. Lynette is sweet with a side of saucy. I adore that woman! She writes several series: mysteries, romances as well westerns. Check out her work. I especially enjoyed her series featuring a female preacher, Willa Hinshaw, who can't help investigating when things go awry, as they always do in Lynette's books.

Yes, I know she looks innocent, but trust me ... (teeheehee)

I could mention a multitude of other authors,too, but I should get back to my historical.

By the way, if you've never been to Book'em North Carolina, it's a huge event in Lumberton, North Carolina the last Saturday in February. The very talented and highly-organized Trish Terrell (P.M.) not only organized this outstanding event but finds time to write great books too. She's the most organized person I've ever met and her technical skills are mind-blowing. She's also a friend and I have to thank her again for helping me get my books back out there after my Dreamspell publisher died and the company closed. I owe you a lung, Trish!

So you see, networking is wonderful. I've met hundreds of people who still keep in touch and we hug when we see each other here and there across the state and nation. My BFF, Mary Daly, who rides shotgun most of the time, has helped make long trips so much more enjoyable and sometimes downright spectacular. Love you, Mary.

Thanks to all of you who make my life so rewarding. And don't forget to keep reading! There are so many talented folks right under your nose. Check them out. You won't be disappointed.

Another time I will tell you about some of the Dreamspell "Dream Team" who still keep in touch although we've been picked up by different publishers or started our own companies. And then there are the Killer Nashville folks and then .... Just stayed tuned. And thanks again, y'all!