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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

COMING FULL CIRCLE - I GET TO MEET THE GREEK GOD and other stories

Grigoris Drakakis

Just got back yesterday afternoon from Las Vegas, where I got to meet Grigoris  the handsome cover model I interviewed last year. Here is a link to that RB4U post that got nearly 1000 views!!

At the time, he said he was coming to RT, and at the very end of the book signing, on Saturday, I finally got to meet him. Oh my!

Elle James and Susan Stoker were fun to hang out with!
We live in a wonderful community of writers. There is a "lemming" type thing that happens at these events, and I don't mean in any way to downplay the importance of getting together. But, like a little wine is good and the whole bottle by yourself yields results we may not want to have, sometimes chasing rainbows and every "secret" other writers pass on makes me tired. I keep seeing this scene I once watched: a basketball player was all over the court, following the ball that was being passed around, over and in some cases, under him, as he ran, waived his arms, and never got the ball. Seems like we chase so many things that work for others, we forget where our True North lies.

Again, let me stress, the beauty of going to these events is to learn something new. Not drop everything and do everything new. Except in my case. LOL. Let me explain.

I've done 10 boxed sets and been involved in 3 Kindle Worlds. I've been involved in joint promotional activities, attended conferences as keynote speaker and panelist, and bench warmer. I've attended book signings and sold one book, and others where I sold 80 or more. I've listened, and tried to pick out events that others say are "good", but like everything else, this is elusive and inconsistent from year to year.


The costs, however, are the same. Everyone complains about RT and RWA for their expenses. In my recent history I've spent more money at some small cons, and triple that at my own book signing. Bigger isn't always more expensive. Smaller isn't always better, just like big isn't either.


This year, I kind of liked the screamig fandom of RT. I have to admit, I don't care that I don't have the long, long lines that wrap around the hallways. Some day I will. And those were mostly for parties. I didn't go in on any parties, except for the Military Tribute (thank you Kim Lowe SOS Aloha for starting this tradition and Elle James this year for doing such an outstanding job of running it), and for that I went all out. Now I have regular table-goers. I even saw a couple of other authors who have nothing to do with military romance attend. It was nice to hear the Star Spangled Banner, and O Canada, plus songs from every branch of service. I sold raffle tickets for my Aloha Shirt Quilt project. I'm getting used aloha shirts mailed to me from all over the U.S. I have enough for several quilts. One will be auctioned off (this one, lovingly made by Sandie Grise), and others donated to military families. The proceeds of the raffle are going to benefit the Navy SEAL/UDT Museum in Ft. Pierce, Florida.
Lovingly made by
Sandie Grise from old Aloha shirts. See more info on how
you can get involved or donate/buy a raffle ticket or send material at
Operation Aloha Shirt Quilt Project.

I loved talking about this project to a room full of believers. How refreshing while we screamed and sought out free books and SWAG from other authors, to take time out to thank the veterans who sacrificed for us all. Who made it possible for us to have this crazy life we have.

Oh, and yes, the occasional cover model squeeze didn't dampen my spirits one bit!



I hope that you will join me at RWA, and other conventions. I want to get to know you as readers and other authors I've known on the internet but not had the pleasure to meet in person. I'm limiting my convention going to just a few, and, sadly, I've had to cancel a bunch of commitments I just couldn't meet. I've been putting my writing last, and that's never a good idea. There won't be any boxed sets, anthologies, Kindle Worlds or other things for the next year. They just aren't on my program. Not saying they aren't good, just not part of my program.

I'm dedicating my next 12 months to big reader events and some valuable craft events like NINC. I'm devoting my next few months of writing to get more books out there. I looked long and hard for better promoters, better advertisers, better PAs and VAs. The bottom line is I have everything in place. All I need is more content.

So I walk away inspired and fresh, believe it or not, after a big convention, and yes schlepping books around up and down the hallways (that was the sum total of my exercise). I gave away over 60 books, and sold about 20, then gave away countless more - I think in all about 100 books.

Why did I ever think I needed to give them anything else but a sample of my writing, my talent. In the end, that's all I really have to share with anyone...

Come with me on this journey! What's your plan for the next 12 months?
The incredible Sylvia Day
Sharon Hamilton
Life is one fool thing after another.
Love is two fool things after each other.






6 comments:

Cara Marsi said...

Sharon, sounds like you had a great time, and productive too. I love the Aloha quilt and the idea of a military event. I hope you still plan to go to Houston for the Readers and Writers Unite conference in August. I really look forward to meeting you.

Sharon Hamilton said...

I will be there, Cara. I look forward to meeting you as well. I'll be at Lori Fosters, NINC, the Readers and Writers and Naughty Nashville. Sadly, I had to cancel two in Florida, one in Texas and another in Nashville. And I cancelled a Nashville writer's conference - for screenwriters. But it's all good. All good. Saying no means saying yes to more of my writing. I took my eye off the ball, trying to chase it all over the court. Back on track.

Thanks!

Karen Henderson said...

Although I'm a little sad about not seeing your in Nashville mainly cause Mom was excited about seeing your again. I know I'll see you in June so I'm ok. I adore your books and seeing you say your didn't more writing thrills me even more than a signing. I'm hoping maybe you'll do another to add to your paranormal line. I know your Seals are your best sellers but I adore your paranormal stuff and hope to see more soon love. Ok basically you write it and I'll read it.
Lots of love to you and see you in June

Melissa Keir said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time. I'm glad to hear that you found the inspiration. I'm working on that myself. :)

I wish you all the best with your coming writing.

julie beasley said...

I'm glad your going to concentrate on your writing. Like Karen I hope we see more of your paranormal. The SEALs are wonderful and look forward to.the next hero. Wishing you all the best

Sharon Hamilton said...

Karen and Julie - never fear. I'm halfway done with Gideon, and I will be working on this, perhaps a lead off of a new series of misfits. Haven't decided.

I also do love the paranormals, especially my vamps. It would be silly of me to abandon those - as long as I have the fire to write them and people like them.

The SEALs are my bread and butter, but dang! Everyone's writing SEALs, and I've seen a slew of slop coming down the pike. I know not everyone likes every book, so because of the competition, I'm focusing on bringing the best book I can to the marketplace. I think that has always been my strength, along with my long experience in the SEAL community. The rest of it, I tried, and glad I did, but honestly, didn't need.

But along the way I met the both of you, and for that, well, it was all worth it!! Thanks for following and I promise not to disappoint.

Cara - thanks for the kind words. We're all in this together. We know it's not easy, but it is the work of our heart, right? I have to remember my heart is my True North. The rest is just window dressing...

Okay, back to my cave.

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