Kritsten Lamb was Right: The Importance of Connecting with an Audience

When Joe and I were first getting serious about writing, we had a few ideas that ultimately turned out to be misconceptions for the way the modern author has to run things.  We’ve talked about these here before, but one of the biggest ones was that a writer could just sit back and write, and that someone else (agent, publisher, friends, fans) would handle the rest of the things they needed.  Things like social media.

The more we looked into this though, the more we were dissuaded of this notion.  Most notable was Kristen Lamb and her book Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World.

The crux of Lamb’s argument throughout the book is that in this modern age, authors are of interest to their readers, and readers are excited at a degree of connection and contact to creators and writers they love.

This made a lot of sense to us, but this week in particular, it hit me in a really particular way.  So much so, that I now know just how right Lamb is.  I know this because this week, I was one of those readers.

Over the course of this last week, I was through the magic of social media, able to have some sort of interaction with a number of creators I respect and admire.

I got to have a conversation with New York Times Bestselling Author and all-around amazing personNancy Holder , who I had the good fortune to meet years ago when I was presenting a paper at the Slayage Academic Conference on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (don’t judge.  It was a great paper and an amazing conference).  Over the years, in every conversation I have had with her, she has been supportive and encouraging.  In short, she rocks.

I talked to Sean Patrick Fannon also this week, a man whose work I am just beginning to discover, despite the fact that in the tabletop role-playing game field, he has worked on more things than I could even begin to recount here.  Sean is the founder of Evil Beagle Games  and his work on his Shaintar setting is pretty awesome.  Sean is an incredibly open and friendly guy, and this week, I actually went to him for advice on how to structure an independent work day.  On Monday, June 8th, I start summer vacation from my teaching job and begin writing full time for the course of the summer.  I wanted a little advice on how I might want to structure my day.  Sean talked to me about his workday, and what worked for him.

Finally, I also contacted Ross Watson this week, inquiring about a setting I have heard him talk about on his podcast.  Ross is the host of The Gamer’s Tavern podcast alongside Darryl Mott Jr. (another great guy I might add) and is a major writer and game designer.  The podcast is one I listen to religiously, and his work on Accursed is pretty spectacular.  It was great to be able to reach out and ask him a question, and get a great answer.

These anecdotes all occurring in a single week made me realize something.  If someone had told 16 year old me that one day I would have this kind of access to people I was legitimately a fan of, I would have scoffed at it.  Now, it is almost something we take for granted.  This is really what is at the heart of what Kristen Lamb was talking about in her book.  One of the great joys of social media is being able to find people who share your interests and your passions.  Sometimes, those happen to be the same people who are creating your interests and passions.  That is a very cool thing.

One day, i hope there is somebody sitting down, recollecting on their week, and thinking how cool it was that I got to talk to those Gelineau and King guys about their latest novella.

On that note, there is a comments box, just below.  Just saying.

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