The bulk of my experience at The Erma Bombeck Writing Conference was meeting writers. My people. My clan. Obviously, my family is my clan, too, but to be immersed for four days with people who know what it’s like to love, edit, hate, and cry about words is just about the most amazing thing. It’s similar to what I dealt with after my daughter was born and I had grown away from so many friends who weren’t using their boobs for nutrition and I felt isolated. Then one day I met another mommy, someone who understood what it was like to be tired and hate your vagina and all of sudden, I wasn’t alone. Over the weekend, I learned that I wasn’t alone in this manic career of being a writer either. While I did fix my toilet at the hotel because it didn’t flush properly and did go without sleep for two days straight (twice during the same week), what really mattered was meeting these people. So, I ask of you, dear readers, please read these women. Follow their blogs, buy their books and after you have read them, write a review on Amazon. This is what it means to be a writer today and without supportive readers, it is nearly impossible.
The stories that these writer’s shared were amazing and at times, disheartening. With publishing undergoing a major overhaul and self publishing coming to the forefront for many writer’s, it became clear to me that there is one major factor in creating the career you want as a writer…. your inner circle of readers. Take Robin O’Bryant for example. And let me just say, this gal is the real deal. She inspired me last year with an email response and phone call that made me wet my pants and she freely gave me some much needed advice on how to become the writer I wanted to become. I’m pleased to announce that she is just as wonderful in person as she is in social media and over the phone. If you know me at all, you know that i wouldn’t blow smoke up your ass about how great someone is, so this is totes true. Anywho, Robin self published her first book, Ketchup Is A Vegetable and she sold that baby out of the trunk of her car for three years. THREE YEARS!!!!! She paid for her own book tour, kept building her social media platform and then she did what everyone told her she could never do….she hit the NYT Bestseller List last summer. With a self published book. Her secret? She has a very devoted, very real inner circle of people who want her to succeed and believe in what she had to offer. She worked her little tushy off, kept writing and now you can find her book in Target. Why? Because a big publishing company in NYC saw what she had accomplished and picked her up and now she is kind of a big deal. I read her blog, I follow her on social media and when I met her in person, I gushed with all the emotion of a teeny bopper meeting One Direction. It was fairly embarrassing. I professed my love, bought three books and even had the opportunity to loan her my phone charger at dinner one evening. I’m still caressing it right now and I will never clean it. She has done what everyone said couldn’t be done and that is an inspiration to me and to many other writer’s who are looking at self publishing and wondering if it’s a viable option. Please follow her, please buy her book and let me just tell you….FUNNY!!! I bought my mom a copy and she was sad to report that she had to stop reading it in order to take me to Costco yesterday. “She is hilarious.” That’s a great review.
Here is a short list of writers (more to come) I met over the weekend, along with their blog info and a link to their books on Amazon. If you are like me, you love to support great writers and this is how you do it. Buy their books, tell a friend, share a link and if you see one of them selling a book out of the trunk of their Toyota, know that they are living the dream and they can only do it with your support. Buy their book!!! Do you have a favorite author that I missed? Please share it in the comments.
Michelle Lamarca (She pushed me out of my chair at the pitch session and I’m forever in her debt for that one. Also a natural on the stage and obviously, funny.) www.abattybroad.com
Robin O’Bryant (She gave me her phone number (DIED) and I saved her in my phone as ‘Robin My Oprah’. No pressure) www.robinschicks.com Her book is called Ketchup Is a Vegetable. And Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves
Amy Sherman (She hugged me huge so many times, gave me two thumbs up during the pitch session and kept me laughing the whole weekend. And her stand-up? Killed it.) www.witfaced.com
Alyson Herzig (I sat next to this chick at dinner and suddenly realized I was sitting next to a celebrity because I follow and love her blog so much. She’s funny and inappropriate and drinks wine like a champ. So yeah, I wanna be her BFF) www.theshitastrophy.com
Kari Lynn Collins (We met on the back porch during dinner. We were fueling our nicotine addiction and became fast friends. If you need a great storyteller at your next book club, hire this one. BEST STORIES OF LIFE. And she’s funny, but you knew that.) www.onefunnybroad.com
There are many more and I plan to share them with you soon. I have a stack of books to read, blogs to catch up on and my own book to work on. I’d like to close this post with this because it became even more clear to me at this conference……I can’t do this without you. Truth. When you post comments about being excited to read my book and you keep coming back here to read my rants, that is how this dream becomes a reality. So, thank you. And keep it up. I promise to keep up my end of the bargain by writing and oversharing and drinking boxed wine. It’s the least I can do.
Did you miss my LOVE post? Click that word back there that starts with L and find out about the one time I said it and it wasn’t reciprocated. That kinda hurt, but I’m over it now.