Monday, August 13, 2012

Road adventures on my way to the Summit!

The Business of Writing International Summit in Louisville this past weekend was wonderful, but it involved one of my worst road stories yet!

Founded and run by Peggy DeKay and Larry DeKay, BoWIS is a great writers conference that made its debut this year.  I can definitely say it is going to grow fast, as it was very well-run, guests were treated wonderfully, and it was organized extremely well.  I had been invited to give a seminar on Fan Conventions, Book Fairs, and Writers Conference, a seminar on using Kindle Select effectively, and to serve on a panel regarding marketing for authors.  Do to a last minute panelist cancellation, I ended up serving on a panel discussing writing habits on Sunday.

For me it is always fun to go to an event that is non-genre in focus, as I tend to find myself being an advocate, and sometimes an ambassador, of sorts for the wonderful world of speculative fiction.  I take that very seriously, as speculative fiction has had a long hard fight for respect in general literary circles, and while there's been great progress, that effort continues.

I almost didn't get off the ground regarding the conference, as when I was driving down at 6am from Lexington to Louisville on Saturday morning I had a highway car breakdown.  I was going at about 70mph when a light came on telling me that my air bags were off, and then the radio started flickering, and then the headlights began dimming.  I was able to coast into a gas station off an exit that was fortunately close, but I almost didn't make it there.

Thankfully, Triple A was there with a tow truck within about 30 minutes.  Triple A is amazing and I encourage any author that does a lot of travel to become a member.  They've bailed me out of car situations several times over the years.  Anyhow, I had the car towed all the way back to Lexington, to the garage that normally services it.  As I just had an alternator put in less than 2 months ago, it was grim news to hear that the alternator was faulty.  Luckily, it was still under warranty so I didn't get socked to badly on the costs.

Timing is everything though, and I did not know whether or not they would get the new one placed in, but in about two hours they had done so.  I had taken a Taxi back to my house to work on connecting with everyone,  and my sister was kind enough to run out and give me a ride back to the station to get my car back.  I drove straight from the service center to Louisville, literally parking my car, walking into the conference site, and heading into my first panel (just a few minutes underway at that point) and going straight to the stage to join my co-panelists.  When I look back and see how many things had to come together to allow me to do that right on the wire, I find it really incredible.

Many good friends were there, like Dave Mattingly of Blackwyrm, and Michael Williams, great fantasy author and professor at the University of Louisville.  Of course, Peggy and Larry "Right Here...Right Now!" Dekay were on hand.  I met many new friends, from author Jacob Bell, to social media guru Paul Clifford, to Sheri McGuinn, an author from Arizona, and others.

I hope I was able to impart some useful information to the attendees, as I drew a lot into my seminars from my personal experiences.  I really enjoyed talking with the attendees and my friends, and was able to round out the weekend getting a late lunch with Peggy, Larry, David, and Paul, which was a wonderful way to end my first visit to the Summit.  I have been invited for next year and definitely encourage everyone to check this event out.  Well-run, content rich, and highly enjoyable.  The Business of Writing International Summit was a hit and is now on the map!

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