Hi folks, there’s no flash fiction contest this week, so instead let me introduce you to a good friend of mine, Angeline Trevena. She’s an author, a podcaster, and an all round good egg. If you’re at EdgeLit this weekend there’s a high chance you’ll get to meet her. Tell you what, why don’t I shut up and let her tell you why that’d be a great thing to do? Over to you, Angeline.
I attended my first Edge-Lit in 2014. Solitary. Scared. Suffering from terrible imposter syndrome, and in total awe of everyone else there.
It was my first writing convention, although not my first live event. I had read poetry at a spattering of open mic sessions, and practically grew up in the theatre. But this was the first time I came across other writers who were serious about this. Real career writers.
I’d thrown myself in at the deep end. I tend to do this; saying yes without thinking about it. Without over-thinking it, rather. And, inevitably, talking myself out of it. I had a story in an anthology being launched at the event, and I agreed to read. Yes; at my first ever convention, 200 miles away from home. I don’t do things by halves!
The following year, I returned for another book launch, and another reading. I met more people. Made more connections.
I’ve moved to the Midlands since, putting Edge-Lit right on my doorstep. And every year, my connections there grow, and increase. But, I shouldn’t call them ‘connections’, because some of them have become very good friends.
Now, over the years, I’ve seen a lot of authors grow frustrated in their marketing efforts with their difficulty in finding readers. Bemoaning how easy it is to connect with other authors, but how readers remain elusive. I’ve seen them turn down networking opportunities because they want to ‘connect with readers, not other writers’.
For one; writers are some of the most avid readers I know. I’ve picked up some very loyal readers from among my author peers. And for another thing; some of the best opportunities have come directly from my network of authors.
Cross-promoting, collaborating, joining forces. I even fell into organising an entire convention myself, and pulled from that network to make it a huge success.
One of the authors guesting at my event was an online friend; fellow urban fantasy author Holly Lyne (writing as H.B. Lyne). We had one of those weird moments a little while after the event. She messaged me to ask if I wanted to work on a project together, after I’d spent the whole day thinking about exactly the same thing.
And so, The Great Western Woods Worldbuilding Podcast was born. Or, rather, reborn. It had been a solitary endeavour that I’d let wither and die. But, Holly is the organisation to my disorganisation. She’s the push to my pottering. She’s the accountability partner I need. And I, in turn, am hers. We just work.
It’s not always easy to find the right collaboration partners. Someone who vibrates on your level. Someone with similar goals, similar experience, and a similar methodology. And someone with the right differences.
We’ll be hitting Edge-Lit 8 this weekend together. Me, something of an Edge-Lit veteran, and Holly, an Edge-Lit virgin. It’s going to be really interesting seeing the event through fresh eyes again. By proxy, at least.
Our latest podcast episode is all about live events, including my five top tips for surviving a writing convention, even if you’re anxious. And the morning after Edge-Lit, while we’re still on the post-con buzz (or crash, perhaps. We’ll let you know!) we’ll be recording a special Edge-Lit rundown episode together. No doubt babbling about the day in disjointed ramblings, along with a very large mug of coffee!
If you’re at the event, please do seek us out and say hello, and if you’re not, check out the podcast for great advice and insight into live author events, as well as a whole load of worldbuilding tips and tricks, and general bookish nerdiness.