|Some of the "Southern Broads" of Broad Universe after a shared reading
Susan Griffith, Gail Z Martin, Margaret McGraw, Nicole Givens Kurtz,
Tera Fullbright, Ada Milenkovich Brown, and me: Samantha Bryant
I spent last weekend at Illogicon, a wonderful local con just up the road from me in Cary, NC. I'm new to the con circuit. This is only my second appearance at a con as an author guest (the first was Atomacon, in November). I had a wonderful time!
It's kind of funny because while cons are fun, cons are also stressful. There's a lot of things about "working a con" that make me want to break out in hives.
- There are lots of people there that I don't know. STRANGER DANGER!
- I'm presenting myself in an expert role. IMPOSTER SYNDROME!
- Meals are irregular. GETTING HANGRY!
- I have to self-promote, live, in front of people AWKWARD!
So, all that could have me hiding in my living room and hoping people will just somehow hear about my books without my having to tell them. If not for support circles.
I'm one lucky girl in that regard. I've got my husband, daughter, sister, parents, mother-in-law, and extended family all pulling hard for me, talking about my book, and helping anyway they can. When I had my book launch party last year, it was like having an entourage: taking pictures, throwing me a bone with soft-serve questions, serving cookies, and making sure I got a sandwich when I needed one.
I've got my critique group, who essentially taught me how to write a book and who show up to cheerlead me when they can and kick my butt when that's needed, too.
I've got author-friends, writers who live near me or don't (yay Internet!) who've been great mentors and fonts of information and advice. These author-friends were the ones who made my experience so wonderful as I set out to start doing the "con thing." They invited me to be part of panels that they organized, listened as I hashed out what I might even have to say when I participated, attended my events even when they had better things to do. They told me their stories, and helped me avoid making too big a fool of myself in public.
So, I guess this is sort of a thank you letter to all those folks. It's really amazing to think that so many people are in my corner in this endeavor. If I ever get rich and famous, you'll all be in for one heck of a treat!