As many of you know, I am an author as well as a blogger. Which means that I also have a penchant for bizarre new universes, highborn kings set to topple, and the rise of the underdogs from impossible odds. I guess that makes me an avid reader too. But I am not American! “That makes little difference in the literary world,” I hear you say. And you’re right, it does… unless you’re trying to find a hive of imagineers spinning their worlds into tangible images right before your very eyes… and I was.
Not native to this country, I didn’t know where to look for such a gathering of magic and mayhem. But it was important that I find it. This is usually how I discover most of my new reads, my new homes, my new adventures, and my new word wizards. Being Irish, and steeped in a culture of storytelling rather than reading, hearing about new tales is how I usually come to love a book.
Eons before the invasion of England, history was not recorded in written form in Ireland. Instead, that job was left to the Seanachaí (storyteller). He would travel from town to town, earning his meal and bed for the night by weaving webs of words around both the young and the old, catching them in his tale of wonder. Feats of bravery from noble Irish Kings became legends, tales of the magical island of Tír na nÓg became myth, and all were remembered and passed down by Irish hearts and minds.
Being immersed among the seanchaithe of the modern world, brings a warmth and a sense of home to those of Irish blood; even in those, whose blood contains the smallest drops of Celtic memory and there are many in New England. It is a key, a link that ties us all together, no matter where we are... And I have found my home away from home.
The New England Authors Expo opens its doors on July 27th 2016, at the Danversport Yacht Club, 161 Elliott Street (Rte. 62), Danvers, MA 01923, and I intend to be front and centre when it does.
I discovered this author event quite by accident really. In all honesty, I was looking for somewhere to peddle my own fantastical tale that comes in the form of a novel, The Paladins of Naretia. Begin a debut author, and a self-published one at that, I was unsure if I could compete with the many wonderful and talented authors of New England. But hearing of this wonderful event, and ever the one to jump on a grenade as well as an opportunity, I seized the chance to feature the New England Author Expo on my blog instead. Taking my gumption and my phone in my hand, I contacted the organiser of the event, Chris Obert of Pear Tree Publishing, to find out more, and I’m very glad that I did.
Chris’s warm and friendly manner immediately put me at ease as he spun his own tale on what I was to expect at the author expo. From the comradery of fellow authors attending (some fondly nicknamed “guitar guy” and “penguin lady”) to the deluge of valuable information to be had, this truly sounded like something that I HAD to share with you all.
Not only that, but last year, author Leo J. Maloney and the New England Author Expo raised funds for a very worthy charity, Mission K9 Rescue, which supports retired military and contract working dogs. Each year the New England Author Expo champions an new charity. Hearing that, I needed no further excuse… so here it is, what to expect if you join me at the New England Author Expo.
The expo comes in two parts.
The first part is primarily for authors, agents, illustrators, publishers, book stores, librarians, papers, television stations, and little old bloggers like myself. A frenzy of the all-important networking and word-spreading of author’s works happens between 11am and 4pm. Sound good? It did to me. I can’t stress how impressed I was to hear about this part as I've never heard of a proper networking event like this before. Authors can book their table at the expo for ONLY $60, and this is beyond a good deal in my humble opinion. An “author’s spot” is half of an 8 foot table. If the author needs more space they can buy two spots and get the whole table. We also have a “publisher’s spot” which is $150 and is a whole 8 foot table. The publisher’s spot allows for a publisher and up to three of their authors at the table.
Here’s what you get for your money.
Not only do you mingle with people who can spread the word about your book, and book buyers from libraries and stores, but this section of the expo also consists of seminars geared to helping you succeed. This year the presenters will discuss:-
· 12 noon – The business of being an author – Mandi Lynn, Chuck Miceli, Stephanie Queen, Ashley Royer, to name just a few.
· 3pm – E-commerce and Social Media – David MarkFowler
The second part, which is FREE, begins at 4pm. The gates of the inner sanctum of the imagineers part way and welcome the public into its many worlds. The merriment, discoveries, and purchases continue until 9pm, but it’s not just about selling books. After 5pm the public can partake in some fascinating seminars of their own. The dreamful tale of Ashley Royer’s success, illustrated story telling of Nancy Silberkleit, and many more, will ensnare minds. Also, Mark Goddard, teacher, author, and actor who played Major Don West on TV’s Lost in Space, will be in attendance.
So, if like me, you find the sound of this event unmissable, please come and find your own adventure. More information can be gathered on Chris Obert's website. And authors, there’s still time to book your table. But with only a limited number left, it's best to get there soon and avoid disappointment. I might even see you there… I’ll be the one with the Irish accent, touting a Dictaphone and asking all the questions.
Oh, and did I mention, there's also a bar! Bonus.