Have you even been so engrossed in a book that you felt it was written just for you? Ever wondered what inspired the story, or wanted see for yourself what kind of person was behind the keyboard?
These fantastic creatures are all around us and often it won’t cost you a penny to meet them. Here are some ideas:
Your local library. You’d be surprised how many sensational free events can be found in your local area. Check your council website or local newspaper for what’s happening close to you. This week I was at Five Dock Library and was delighted to be introduced to Goodwood by Australian musician Holly Throsby. She was in conversation with another great author and presenter Suzanne Leal.
Bookshops. I know they may be few and far between these days but your local bookshop may very well have authors on hand for book signings and Q&A sessions. I was at Galaxy Bookshop recently and they had a great line up of authors from PanteraPress and Cohesion Press. You can see the Q&A from this event in my article New ways to share.
Author events. These range in price and intimacy depending on the venue. Liane Moriarty filled the ballroom of the Shangri-La Hotel for her author lunch in July, whilst the Three Weeds evening with Tom and Meg Keneally was a far more intimate affair of dinner for forty.
Author presentations and book launches. Follow authors through Twitter, FB or keep an eye on their website (or their publisher’s site) for details on these. Kate Forsyth gave a wonderful presentation earlier this year in Rozelle and then kindly sat down for a long chat with my writers group. I also got to meet some great authors at the recent launch of the new thriller by John M. Green.
Festivals. There are the big ones like The Sydney Writers’ Festival and special interest ones like Comic Con and Supanova. Also, your local writers’ centre and council websites should have information regarding regional book fairs and festivals. The good news is, at least with the bigger festivals, even if you are far away or can’t attend on the day, you can participate through online events (Digital Writers’ Festival 2016) or listen to your authors through Podcasts (SWF Podcasts).
All of these types of events (and the list above is certainly not exhaustive) are wonderful opportunities to meet like-minded readers, ask authors that burning question, get a book autographed or discover something not to be found on their official bio.
I should warn you though, even if you’ve never heard of them, I’ve discovered the hard way that it’s almost impossible to hear an author read a passage from their work, or talk about the inspiration behind it, and not want to immediately buy a copy, run home and read it.
You have been warned!