As many of you already know, I’m a firm believer in the power of networking. As a writer, it is part of my job to not only write interesting stories, but to meet people who can help those stories get into the hands of readers. That group of people includes publishers, editors, other writers, marketing folks, agents and, of course, the readers themselves.
One thing I don’t think I’ve ever said is that the networking portion of the job is easy… or fruitful… or without stress. I’ve never said that because it is easily the toughest thing to do. At least it is for me.
Some people have the gift of gab and can walk up to anyone and begin chatting them up. I, alas, am not one of those people. It takes a very definite effort for me to walk up to someone I don’t know and talk to them. Fortunately, when it comes to talking about writing, I have an easier time of it.
That’s how I met Dave Duncan, Simon Rose, Robert Sawyer and Jack Whyte. Without my passion for talking all things writing, I would have given talking to all of them a pass, much to my misfortune, I think.
Take, for example, Simon Rose (http://simon-rose.com/). Of that list, he may be the least known. I met Simon 5 years ago at a book signing for his first book “The Sorcerer’s Letterbox”.
Simon is not the typical author that I read. He is a children’s writer and he now has 5 books in print. I saw him at the book signing and decided to take a chance and talk to him. Simon was more than willing to talk to a fledgling writer. I’m grateful to say that he and I have had many enjoyable hours of conversation since that day. He has definitely set a powerful example for me and I consider him to be a bit of a mentor.
It’s because of him that I actually wrote my first children’s book. He is also the subject of today’s post. Let me explain.
I made a point of going to meet with him again when he came to one of the local book stores for a signing of his latest book. Business was slow when I got there so he and I started to catch up. I told him of my latest projects and he told me of some progress he’s making getting a New York publisher.
That’s when it happened.
He asked me if I had been in contact with Dragon Moon Press. I explained that I hadn’t because they weren’t accepting submissions from anyone except authors recommended by one of their stable of authors.
Simon told me that he was one of their authors, or at least the editor considered him to be.
I was surprised to say the least. Dragon Moon publishes adult fantasy novels. Simon writes children’s adventure novels. While they have some minor similarities, they are NOT the same thing by any stretch.
Simon went on to explain that Dragon Moon had put a book out on writing and he had been asked to contribute a chapter, hence, he was one of their authors. Then he offered to put my story in front of the editor for him.
Only one word can describe that moment for me… WOW!
We talked more and Simon explained how he had met the editor. Apparently, he had been networking at ConVersion when it came through Calgary. For those of you who don’t know, ConVersion is a Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing Convention (that I missed, regretably). Even though Simon doesn’t current write in that genre, he was still there making connections.
It not only got him some work writing for Dragon Moon, it got him several valuable contacts, some of which may help me out. I’ve asked him to hold off for a short while until I’ve had a chance to rework the story a little. I’m hoping Dragon Moon might see it mid to late next year.
Simon naturally asked me if I had gone to ConVersion. I had to admit that I had missed it. His advice… go to it next year along with any other writing convention I can too. I’m going to have to take a deep breath and follow his excellent advice.
And, it proves my point. Always put yourself out there, no matter how difficult it may be. You never know when you might come across someone who can really help you in the future.