Just under two weeks ago, I packed my bag with a few books, caught the train to the airport here in Salt Lake City as the first part of a wonderful journey to meet new friends and colleagues … and to serve them as best I knew how. As with all such journeys where one is intent on serving others, I came away with a great deal more that I expected.
I soon was at a car rental counter outside the environs of the Denver airport with two new companions. As James would later tweet, “Eric Flint, James Owen and Tracy Hickman all get into a rental car…” He smiled and suggested that it sounded like the start of a joke.
Soon we arrived at the downtown hotel in Colorado Springs and became part of the ‘Superstars of Writing Seminars’. Originally organized by Kevin J. Andersen, Rebecca Moesta, Eric Flink, Brandon Sanderson and Dave Farland, this was a seminar on the business of writing professionally and was filled with those who were both accomplished or driven to become so. Brandon’s schedule could not permit his attending and, tragically, David Farland’s son had been in a longboarding accident the month before the seminar. His son, Ben, is improving even now but I volunteered to step in for David at the seminar if it would help him and his family.
The presentations were remarkable. Mark Leslie LeFebvre of Kobo was a great man and gave us wonderful insights into the direction of ebook publishing. His presentation on Kobo Writing Life was eye opening — especially in regards to international sales. Jim Minz, an editor from Baen and I shared a remarkable lunch filled with the promise of delightful conspiracy. The author Joan Johnston was wonderful and now I wish I had spent more time conversing with her. All of them brought a tremendous level of expertise to the room.
Not only did they present the nuts and bolts of writing as a professional but the very cutting edge of publishing today was explored there. Publishing is changing and we have to change with it. Beyond that, however, was the motivation to make it happen that everyone in the room — including myself — felt and drank in.
For me, the highlight was James Owen’s presentation on ‘Drawing Out the Dragons.‘ He has recently published a motivational book on this theme on which he lectures to schools everywhere. The first thing I did after hearing him speak was to purchase this book. I highly recommend it to you — especially as a writer/creator.
More than the instruction, however, it was the fine people I met there that gave me hope. Determined and hopeful writers who have something to say and who are doing everything they can to get their voices heard. I remember them each day and personally look forward to when I can point to them and say, ‘I know that writer! They were in a class I taught once before they became famous.’
If you need to know more about the business side of the craft of writing, ‘Superstars of Writing Seminars’ may be just the thing you need. Writing is a business — now more than ever — and the more you know about it, the better your ability to succeed and effect people’s lives.
That is, after all, what it is all about.