The meeting of two minds.
There is something special about meeting someone new, striking up a conversation and discovering that you have something in common. It could be a hobby, a mutual friendship or something major, like an illness or a tragedy, but in that moment you know that they understand where you are coming from, just as you understand them. No words are needed to explain, persuade or defend yourself. You can both just dive into the nitty gritty of the topic and share the joy, the despair and the wisdom you have gained from the thing you have in common. This is why support groups, conventions and “meet ups” are so popular.
It is the “meeting of minds” for those who need support or just want to have fun. At the beginning of this month, I grabbed the opportunity to have some fun, as I went to my first Blogger & Author event. I came away feeling supported and glad that I had gone.
It was held at the Farmers’ Union, in Exeter. Coming from a farming background, I felt strangely reassured when I approached the building and saw half a cow protruding out of the wall. Thankfully it was not a real one.
I arrived on time, however the event, hosted by Kim Nash and Holly Martin, was already building up momentum. Authors (some I recognised) and bloggers were already mingling, swapping experiences, business cards and generally having a good time. More soon arrived, and although it can be a bit daunting to strike up a conversation with a stranger, it helps to know you already have something in common.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who share their passion for books. Many do it on a voluntary basis, whether it is reviewing, contributing on reading panels, being a beta reader or hosting a blog. It takes a lot of time, with no monetary gain, yet it helps make the “book world” a thriving, interactive and fun place to dive into. Their contributions identify new talent and provide great support to both established and new authors alike.
The event lasted for three hours. Time flew by and I suspect a few stayed on far longer. I met many people so please forgive me if I have missed you out. A stag party dressed as Top Gun invaded the event half way through and temporarily put me off my stride. Is this an obligatory thing at such events? I do hope so. There was the lovely Sal from Sal’s World of Books , Rachel from Rachel’s Random Reads, Tracie from Passionate About Books, the fabulously named Storm from The Writers’ Newsletter (I am so jealous of your name!), Dawn from Book Aholic Dawn and Claire from Claire Loves To Read.
Other blogs you might be interested in are Angela Wooldridge Blog, Laura Bambrey Books, Shaz’s Book Blog and the twitter account Devon Book Club. Don’t forget that many authors also run their own blogs, so check out their websites.
So if you are an author or a blogger and you are invited to attend a similar event, or you see an open event advertised, do consider going. It might be a little daunting at first, and it may seem that everyone already knows everyone else, but as soon as you strike up a conversation with someone, chances are that they will be happy to chat and are in the same boat as you.