This past weekend I was invited to speak at a writers’ conference at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. I went thinking I was going to contribute something (and I did), but I received so much more than I gave.
I presented a workshop on Writing for the Religious Inspirational Market, based on my experiences publishing Spiritual Blueprint. I participated on a panel about getting speaking engagements, where I shared my experiences speaking about my books (especially Wedding of the Lamb, since it’s 2012, and the Book of Revelation is big this year). Finally, I also got to participate in a panel discussion about tips for writers, and I talked about brainstorming tricks that songwriters use, and how they can be used by authors as well. So all that was great – and I even got to perform a few of my songs during a book signing event.
But you know, this was one of those times when you go into it with no idea how much you’ll get out of it. I was able to go to other workshops, and I learned a lot about writing other kinds of things than I usually write. I learned a lot about the publishing world that I didn’t know, and most important, I met a lot of really cool people.
So I want to introduce you to some of the cool people I met…
John Vorhaus was our keynote speaker. He’s got a new book out called Lucy in the Sky. It’s a novel set in the ‘60’s, about a kid who wants to be a hippie, but isn’t sure what that means, and in the process of trying to figure that out, learns something about himself, and about taking responsibility for his choices. I haven’t read it yet, but that’s what I know about it so far. Check it out: http://radarenterprizes.com/
One of my co-panelists was Brian Christian, who’s written a fascinating book (which I also have not read yet – I’m recommending these people because I like them as people, so sue me if I haven’t read their stuff yet, I just met them). But anyway, his book is called The Most Human Human and is about artificial intelligence and what it means to be human. I can’t wait to read it – as you may know I’ve written a bit on artificial intelligence, but only from the standpoint of one whose intelligence on the subject is a bit artificial. Check it out: http://brchristian.com/the-most-human-human/
Heather Shumaker has a new book coming out called, It’s OK Not to Share… And Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?? Check it out: http://www.heathershumaker.com/
Finally, I met a children’s author named Tina Schwartz. My kids are now too old for her books (not that they actually read my books, either), but if you have young kids, check out her books: http://www.tinapschwartz.com/
This just in – thanks to Laurie Buchanan for mentioning me in her blog!
The moral of the story is this: Give, give give, and you will get more than you expect. Go into every situation as an opportunity to give something, and at the very least, the people you meet will make it worth the effort.