Literary Life Reunion
I had a reunion with my literary life this weekend. I haven't promoted a book In awhile, mainly because I haven't written one in a minute. I went back to San Antonio to kick off the promotions for my new book, Southern Comfort. When I lived there, I wasn't sure I liked the city. As my plane flew over the town, I took in its brownness and for a minute, I missed the sandy beaches of southern california that I've come to love. In 24 short hours I discovered that I could love the grime and romance of the RiverWalk, too.
My boo Surprised me and met me there for no other reason than he could; he flew from the other side of the country to give me support, to laugh at my goofiness, to take pictures and to share a glass or two of good wine with some of our friends. He has been so much a part of my literary life from the beginning; as an early reader of all my work, one that always told the real deal about what he thought, then as a fellow book club member and now as someone who inspires me to do what I do and sometimes even writes the stories through his actions.
It felt good to laugh a minute with my good friends, Reshonda Tate Billingsley and Pam Walker Williams (page turner.net), both of whom I have known since the very beginning. Over the years, both have grown to be more than people who are just "in the business". We may not talk every day, and because of the miles, we certainly don't see each other every day or even every week, but I'm honored to have them as some of my closest friends. Over dinner, I reflected a little on this journey that we have been on together for over a decade. Reshonda and I were self published back in the day and at the same time, and Pam/Pageturner (and her Honey-doo) has helped me keep my schedule and website straight for that entire time. Because of books, these people are much more than colleagues, they are my girlfriends and confidants.
The publishing industry has changed so much over the years and people don't promote books the way they used to. Huge book tours are almost non existent and the economy has killed many of the events that brought us all together and helped to shape our friendships. We rarely see a book cruise anymore, and even the book conferences are not as prevalent. Ten years ago, there were many more independent bookstores that hosted events and featured the works of many of my author friends. Often, we'd see each other on the road or at a yearly event. Today, we are finding new ways to get the word out about our work, but nothing beats a good, old fashioned book event, whether it be attended by 20 or 200, because everyone spreads the word for days about the great authors they just met and the new friends they've just made. I made two new friends this weekend. Tamika Newhouse shared the tip of her story with us, and didn't complain, even though she had to walk a mile in the (Texas) cold in shoes that made her feet feel like they were bleeding. Van Garrett charmed the women with his poetic words and taught a literary lesson from Southern Comfort. We had good dinner and wine and great martinis afterwards, and the fellowship we shared will keep me on a writing roll for months to come.