I met James last year and fell in love. He’s kinda scary and big and has fab tats–the bad-boy all girls dream of, even if I am old enough to be his…big sister. Yeah. That one. (rolls eyes) He’s also funny and kind and writes killer books. What’s not to love? Plus he was newly sold and ready to go to press with his first book, which I read and had great fun with! Now, he’s ready with book two of his series and I offered my day at MW for him to talk about what he’s learned, about some aspect of the writerly life. Welcome Tuck!
Thanks, Faith. If you are a writer and you haven’t been to a convention then you, my friend are missing out. I have been to small conventions and large conventions and all sizes in between. Some are full of stuff, covering all aspects of the genre world, some are more literary focused and cover pretty much just writing.
They are all wonderful opportunities as a writer.
Maybe you are just starting out, maybe you are an established author who has made the lists and is a verified bestseller, there is a convention to fit you. It’s also probably within driving distance since most major cities have a convention nowadays.
So here are some tips for you.
1) If you want to be a guest then contact the directors early. Don’t email them one month out from the convention wanting to be a guest. Send your email or application at least 4-5 months in advance. And be prepared for them to reject you. Most conventions are accommodating, but they do have a limited number of slots and if those are filled then they cannot use you that year. You can still attend and network.
2) Contact other authors who are attending. These introductory emails to facebook friends will be invaluable to you on site. You will know the people you are meeting and have one less thing to try and get up to speed with. It allows you to have a familiarity with your fellow guests that will make becoming friends even easier.
3) Realize that despite all your goodwill there will probably be someone at the convention that just does not like you. Such is life. Don’t make a big deal of it, just go and hang out with the folks who do. This is a life lesson that doesn’t get any easier no matter how many times you are taught it.
4) Be friendly. Talk to people. It’s really as simple as that. A nice: “So how are you enjoying the convention?” will get you started 9 times out of 10. More people will respond to you if you just talk to them for 30 seconds than will if you awkwardly sit in the corner for 30 minutes. You’re a writer, be social. Don’t let your own hang-ups keep you from meeting people.
5) Speaking of meeting folks, NETWORKING is the biggest benefit to conventioning. The business of publishing is often performed at the bar of the convention and in the quiet conversations between like-minded professionals. You don’t know what opportunities may present themselves. Offers for short stories, offers to edit an anthology, book deals…etc. so get involved.
6) And finally, the follow-up. After you get home and get settled in you sit down and try your best to email or tweet or facebook-friend request the people you met. Keep in contact and follow up. It sounds like a lot of work, but trust me, it’s actually easy because some of these people will become friends of yours so talking to them is no problem at all.
Oftentimes we writers get caught up in worlds of our own making, locked away and alone creating our solitary wizardry. But the secret to creativity, the key to the magic, is experience. A convention will allow you to meet people. To interact with fans and other writers, to observe a window of life that will be the closest to your fantastical world. It is vital and necessary.
So get out into the world, go to a convention, it just may be the next big step for your career.
Author Bio: James R. Tuck is the author of the Deacon Chalk series from Kensington. He is a former bouncer and a professional tattoo artist. He owns Family Tradition Tattoo in Marietta, Ga. He lives in the Atlanta area with his wonderful wife, two wonderful children, and four wonderful dogs.
He writes the stories that keep you up at night.
Author Website: www.jamesrtuck.com
Author Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/JamesTuckwriter
Author Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jamesrtuckwriter
Author Blog: http://jamesrtuck.wordpress.com/
SPIDER’S LULLABY A Deacon Chalk e-novella By: James R. Tuck Release Date: June 26 2012
Publisher: Kensington Books
He lives to kill monsters. He keeps his city safe. And his silver hollow-points and back-from-the-dead abilities take out any kind of unnatural threat. But between this bad-ass bounty hunter and rescuing the most helpless of victims stands the one evil he can’t defeat…
For Deacon Chalk, loyalty is worth dying for. And now that something has taken were-spider Charlotte’s un-hatched children and one of his closest friends, he’ll tear up the human and supernatural underworlds to find them. But with his allies stripped away by an invincible Yakuza hit man and time running out, Deacon must face down the most ancient of demonic entities. And his last hope means surrendering to the inner darkness waiting hungrily to consume him …
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He hasn’t met a monster yet that could give him a scare. With ice in his veins, silver hollow-points in his chambers, and an innate ability to rise from the dead, what’s to fear? The answer may be something he doesn’t want to face. . .
Deacon Chalk normally has no trouble telling innocent victims from real monsters. So protecting an abused pregnant were-dog is a no-brainer. . .until a vicious lycanthrope leader and his brotherhood target Deacon, other shape-shifters, and any humans in their way. Suddenly, Deacon is outnumbered, outgunned, and unsure who–or what–to trust. The only edge he has left is a weapon hungry for his soul and his most savage impulses. And using it will exact a price even this hell-raising hunter fears to pay. . .
“This is urban fantasy as men’s fiction―Sookie Stackhouse meets the Dresden Files by way of Maxim.” Publishers Weekly
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