The Social Life of a Writer (and Giveaway!)

Update: I’ll be contacting the following commenters to get mailing information for their free books.  Thanks!

  • Margery Scott—Cynthia Eden’s DEADLY FEAR
  • Casey Clifford—AMBERSLEY
  • Liz V.—Angi Morgan’s DANGEROUS MEMORIES
  • Barbara Elness—Laurie London’s BONDED BY BLOOD
  • Leslie Tremayne—AMBERSLEY

I have to laugh. I wrote the headline for this and thought, Who am I kidding? I don’t have a social life!

But the truth is, I do.  A lot of it is online, admittedly, but I do try to get out and see physical human beings once in awhile.  You may remember that I’ve been training for a half-marathon, and it’s interesting to me that I feel more connected with my neighbors than ever before.  We don’t get together for coffee or play dates, but since my husband and I workout on the same neighborhood streets 3-4 times each week, we see the same neighbors out in yards, washing cars, pruning hedges and, yes, putting up and taking down holiday decorations. (The transition from Halloween to Christmas in our neighborhood was pretty amazing!).

2013-01-13 20.17.05By the way, the half-marathon was a success—meaning I completed it in the allotted time.  Over 23,000 people ran it.  Okay, I finished somewhere in the 19,000 range but, hey, I finished.  And that was the goal.  We then spent three days walking Disney and Universal parks.  I was toast by the time we got home!  But I’m happy to say we’ve signed up for another competition in late summer—this time in Quebec City. I’m looking forward to seeing spring in my neighborhood!

This week I’m preparing for a small writer/reader conference here in my hometown.  The Olde City/New Blood Mini-Conference in St. Augustine, FL, is hosting an amazing gathering of paranormal and urban fantasy authors—including at least one of my fellow Muses. There will be a charity book signing featuring authors of all kinds (including me—my first book signing!) on Sunday. In case you’re in the area, stop by!

At Universal—after a water ride.

At Universal—after a water ride.

I’m looking forward to this event and a few other conferences this year. Honestly, I think most writers could use more face time and less computer time! Last year, I didn’t attend any live gatherings of writers, and I missed seeing friends and “talking shop” with peers.  This year, I’m attending the New England Chapter RWA conference (Boston) in April, Historical Novel Society (Tampa/St. Pete) in June, Romance Writers of America (Atlanta) in July,  and I’m even eyeing a few options in the fall.

I’m eager to see writing friends and have a chance to meet big names in romance and historical fiction, but attending a live event has ways of reminding me how much I interact socially either online or by phone.  Um, I’m staring at the inside of my closet, and I really need to buy a few new clothes.  And this morning I realized that it might be time to color my hair again (hey, I’m naturally blonde, just not naturally this blonde!).  And since my last pedicure was back in November, I might need to go visit my local salon (the massage chairs are awesome!).  And let’s not talk about the “lose 10 pounds” New Year’s resolution from 2008 that I keep renewing every year.  I don’t think that will happen before Friday.

How about you?  How do you prepare for big social gatherings?  Got any plans to attend a book signing or reader luncheon or conference and meet your favorite author?  

GIVEAWAY
In honor of my first book signing, two lucky randomly-selected commenters—with a North American mailing address—each will receive a paperback copy of AMBERSLEY.  Plus, I’ll pick three more commenters:

1. for a paperback of Cynthia Eden’s DEADLY FEAR  (hoping to see her this weekend!)
2. for a paperback of Laurie London’s BONDED BY BLOOD  (hoping to see her this weekend!)
3. for a paperback by Angi Morgan to celebrate her release today of DANGEROUS MEMORIES.  (give me a couple hours to confirm which of Angi’s books she’s giving away).

Leave a comment—and tell me if there’s one book you prefer most!  Comments accepted on this post through 11:59 p.m., Wed., Feb. 6th.  I’ll post winners at the top of the post on Thursday morning.

About Amy Atwell

Amy Atwell is a storyteller at heart. After fifteen years in professional theater, she turned from the stage to the page to write contemporary capers and historical tales that combine romance and adventure. Her books are available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. When not writing, she runs the online author communities WritingGIAM and Author E.M.S.
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31 Responses to The Social Life of a Writer (and Giveaway!)

  1. Edie Ramer says:

    Amy, congrats again on the half-marathon! All the conferences sound like fun. I meet once a month with other indie authors, and I love meeting them!

    When I go to a larger conference, I don’t prepare too much, but I almost always want to lose weight so I can fit into my “conference clothes.”

    • Amy Atwell says:

      Thanks, Edie! I’m looking forward to more travel this year than last. Problem is, all my “conference clothes” are a year older. Fortunately, I won’t be presenting, so maybe I can just blend with the local crowd.

  2. Amy, I’m so impressed with your discipline to train for the half-marathon. Congrats on making it through. I really miss going to writers’ conferences, and I’m thinking about RWA in July.

    • Amy Atwell says:

      Thanks, Margery. I’m pretty impressed that we’ve stuck with it all these months, but I really do enjoy it now. I look forward to “workout” mornings–well, unless it’s really cold or wet. Hope to see you in Atlanta!

  3. Amy, Wee done on the half marathon!! I’m very impressed. And maybe a bit envious. ;-)

    Extremely envious that you’ll be doing so many interactions with writers this coming year and your upcoming book signing. I hope you sell out whatever books you have available and gain many more readers.

    Good luck shopping and getting that closet updated.
    Casey Clifford`s last blog was …A Blizzard, A Loss & Super Bowls

    • Amy Atwell says:

      Thanks, Casey. I really am looking forward to seeing writers face to face and in large groups. As for shopping, doubt that will happen this week. I think the hair color and maybe a haircut will be more important to my self-esteem. LOL

  4. Amy R says:

    Congrats on the half marathon! That is a big accomplishment. I always want to lose weight for social gatherings. Then I thought to myself this year – if you just worry about staying in shape all the time you wouldn’t have to worry about it! So, that is what I am trying to do for 2013.

    I have never been to a book signing or met an author, but I did just sign up yesterday for a Lady Jane’s Salon in Naperville reading in April. I can’t wait to meet Adrienne Giordano and Tracey Devlyn (hostesses) as well as the other authors that will be reading. I would love to go to a RT convention sometime. Those look like fun, as does the Olde City/New Blood one! One of these days…

    I haven’t read anything from Laurie London or Angi Morgan, so it looks like I should check out their books and add them to my reading list! I have Deadly Fear and Ambersley on my Nook just waiting to be read! Have a good time at the conference!
    Amy R`s last blog was …Review: Playing the Part by Darcy Daniel

  5. Amy Atwell says:

    Thanks, Amy– part of why my husband and I signed up for another “race” (I really do use the term loosely because we do still walk a good portion of it) is so we have a reason to continue training. We’re trying to increase our running portion and stay in good condition.

    And how exciting that you’re going to one of the Lady Jane’s Salons! I hear they’re amazing and very popular. I’m sure you’ll have a blast. And I’m happy if I can introduce to a few new authors. There are so many books to read!

  6. Liz V. says:

    Congratulations.

    Thanks also for the giveaway. Aside from your book, I would opt to try Angi Morgan’s DANGEROUS MEMORIES. All the authors mentioned are new to me.

    Much prefer small gatherings, for which preparation isn’t needed.

    • Amy Atwell says:

      Thanks, Liz. Angi’s book will definitely be more “action” packed. And how fun to know that I’ve introduced you to new authors.

      I agree, small gatherings are better for conversation and getting to know people. I love being able to be the “real” me.

  7. Angi Morgan says:

    Thanks for the shout out, Amy! I’d love to give away a copy of DANGEROUS MEMORIES. Always nice to be around my ‘Musing’ friends.

    Have fun at that book signing and take lots of pictures to share with those of us who can’t make the drive.
    ~Angi

    • Amy Atwell says:

      Thanks for swinging by and confirming, Angi. I will have my iPhone at the ready. (I have a new phone cover with my book cover printed on the back of it. GREAT marketing!)

  8. Angi Morgan says:

    ;-) THANKS for opting for DANGEROUS MEMORIES Liz and Amy R. That’s music to my ears. ~Angi

  9. Liz Kreger says:

    That’s pretty awesome that you finished the marathon, Amy. No way in hell could I do that … not in this lifetime anyway. :lol: I couldn’t even walk the Komen walk/run last October. Let my sister, daughter and their friends do all the work.

    I LOVE going to conferences and meeting up with old friends and making new ones. However, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make any of the big ones this year. Generally, I always hit RT and RWA conferences. Its all going to depend on how the chemo treatments go. Not going to waste my money and time if I’m going to attend and feel like sh*t all week.

    As far as preparations go … I’ve been going to so many conferences that I could probably pack in my sleep.

    • Amy Atwell says:

      Liz, thanks for the kudos. I’ll repeat–HALF marathon, and I wasn’t running. People ran FULL marathons in less time than it took me to complete the half. But it did feel great to get those 13 miles in. I’ve seen the Komen walks and considered them. Bravo to your sister and daughter.

      Hope to see you at RWA this year, but if not, I’m hoping to make it to Chicago or Wisconsin next spring. Gotta visit the old stompin’ grounds!

      Hugs. And, hey, have you posted a packing list? Um, cuz I could use it!!

  10. Barbara Elness says:

    Big social gatherings freak me out, so I prepare by trying to calm down, not stress, and try not to chicken out and stay home. I don’t have any plans to attend any book signings in the near future, but I’ve attended several in the past including the RT author signing when it was in Orlando, RWA Literacy signing in Orlando and then last year in Anaheim, as well as several smaller author signings in the area. I’ll definitely go again when I get a chance, I have so much fun. I’d love to win a copy of Laurie London’s Bonded by Blood as well as your Ambersley, that would be awesome.

    • Amy Atwell says:

      Thank for swinging by, Barbara. I often get overwhelmed and overtired by the crowds at big conferences. I find an hour in my hotel room helps. Then it’s back out and mix and mingle! But I’m glad my first signing will be a small affair and not the huge ones like RT and RWA.
      Amy Atwell`s last blog was …Favorite Christmas Stories

  11. Amy, have fun at your conference! And I’m so jealous you and Cynthia are getting together!

    I totally use conferences as a good excuse to go shopping!

    I’m attending the RW Australia conference for the first time this year. Should be fun.
    Michelle Diener`s last blog was …The Emperor’s Conspiracy on sale at a special price

  12. Misty Evans says:

    Amy, congrats on finishing! You’re amazing.

    Have fun at the conference. I just can’t work conferences into my budget most years, nor can I leave the kids at this point, but I hope down the road to attend a few reader get-togethers when the boys are older and I’ve hit a couple of best-seller lists. I used to attend a writing conference up near Edie, but they focused on literary writing rather than mainstream, so I quit attending those since I wasn’t getting my money’s worth from them.

    I do get together with a few of my writing buddies every couple of months and do as many book signings/book club meetings and local events as I can fit into my schedule. I love meeting readers and sharing our love for books!

    • Amy Atwell says:

      Misty, I appreciate the financial and family factors that keep you from traveling. They were big factors in my not attending any conferences last year. But I’m glad to hear you have your writing get-togethers and local book signings. Yes, it’s wonderful to meet readers!
      Amy Atwell`s last blog was …Do You Belong To A Book Club?

  13. Dale Mayer says:

    Uhm…let me grab my dictionary so I can look up Social Time! I have no idea even how to get some of that into my life. When I lived in Surrey, the Surrey International Writer’s Conference was a highlight for me. Being a volunteer made it more than 4-5 days of my life as well. I miss that. I miss putting faces to names and having a REAL writing conversation.

    Enjoy the Writer’s retreat. I’m so jealous!
    Dale Mayer`s last blog was …Garden of Sorrow Barrage!

    • Amy Atwell says:

      Dale– maybe we should create a Writers’ Dictionary, with our definitions of various terms. Social Time for me often means “reading email.” I’ve heard such great things about the Surrey conference–had no idea you were involved with them. Sheesh, the things we learn about the people we know!
      Amy Atwell`s last blog was …Villains We Love To Hate

  14. Hey Amy, I popped in to say I can’t wait to see you this weekend. And, hey, I see you’re giving away one of my books. Thank you!!!

    I’m getting a Twilight-Zone vibe…I’m training for a half-marathon in April (my first) and I just got back from getting a pedicure at the salon. I hear ya on the 10 pounds and new clothes too. ;-)

    Congrats on finishing the half! You’ll have to give me some training tips when I see you.

    ~Laurie

    • Amy Atwell says:

      Laurie–hey, thanks for stopping by! Looking forward to seeing you, too. And, wow, congrats on undertaking a half-marathon. I think you’ll have a blast. Don’t look too closely at my pedicure–I may be doing it myself tonight!
      Amy Atwell`s last blog was …Favorite Christmas Stories

  15. Leslie Tremayne says:

    Actually, as a 30 plus years fan of your writing, I really want a signed copy of your book! In the meantime, my brother bought my mom a Kindle and we bought Lying Eyes for it as her first book on it. I’m waiting for hr review. :)

    • Amy Atwell says:

      Hey, Leslie! I know you’ve been waiting *forever* for this print edition of Ambersley. Thanks for your patience with it! I hope your mom enjoys the Kindle. I got a Kindle Fire last month, and it makes reading fun (and buying more books SO easy!)
      Amy Atwell`s last blog was …Guilty Pleasures

      • Leslie Tremayne says:

        I’ll make sure to ask my mom soon about her review! She did kind of get annoyed with my brother for buying her an electronic device. But last time I checked, she was reluctantly enjoying it and could see how it would be easier to hold it in bed than a big hardback book…lol Looking forward to putting your book in my new bookcase!

  16. Love the pictures and awesome on the marathon. I hope your first signing is a total sell-out! Have a great weekend. :)

  17. Liz V. says:

    Have e-mailed my thanks and info.

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