So I entered the indie world almost two years ago, probably a little more but I was really immersed when I started my review blog: The Violet Hour Book Reviews, my friend who started the blog with me, and I already had a trip planned for Chicago the same week UtopYA was happening the year before. And by the time it actually came around, I was green with envy and jealousy. I wanted to go so bad!! So after our fun trip, I was resolved to go to UtopYA the next year. At this point I was fully and only a blogger. I have written stories since I was in fifth grade, and I had dreams of becoming an author, was I sure it was ever going to happen? Hell no. But when my friends encouraged me last summer, I did it.
So ontop of my new found courage, an amazing author by the name of Carlyle Labuschagne, was giving away a spotlight spot at her table at UtopYA, I was crazy enough to try it! And to my surprise, which I never win stuff, I won! So began my journey to UtopYA for the first time not only as a reader going to experience the joys of it, but as a newbie author, with all the fears in the world.
So if I wasn’t already nervous as hell to finally meet some of the authors i had been stalking online, I was to be there, representing my own work?!
So after many emails between Carlyle and I, not to mention my favorite girls ever. I started to calm…a bit…
Okay so I didn’t. And that right there was my first mistake. I am such a weirdo when I meet new people – I know, I know everyone says that. But as my friend who so accurately pointed out to me once, and this what he said, “Becca when I first met you, you were a totally different person than you are now.” I asked what he meant by that, he said that I was louder, funnier, bolder. And I realized how quiet I do become when meeting new people. I retreat backwards and let other people take over the show. I warned, and warned and warned my girls who I had been talking to for over a year now, not to let me become that person. I think for the most part I did okay.
Honestly? I wish I had done better. I wish while I didn’t want to be aggressive with my love like so:
But I wish I had been more open to meeting new people. I wish I hadn’t been so scared. Because I realized something a little too late, these were my people. These were the people who understood my obsessions with fictional characters, with words that while alone might not mean much, strung together they made these amazing stories. And I will stick to what I told everyone I told that I was going to UtopYA. I was about to meet all the people I saw as superstars
I got to meet Stacey Marie Brown, which my friends had to force me to go over to her table because i was so nervous!!
My biggest take away from my first year experience as a person going, not an author, but just as a reader to another reader: Don’t be afraid.
I can almost guarantee the women and men you meet at UtopYA whether they be authors, bloggers, or readers, they will embrace you with open arms. Oh also, it may seem overwhelming at first, but I mean really take your time, don’t be afraid, and totally make sure you don’t get so drunk you run around in the hotel lobby telling people you are the Tardis, while wearing your Tardis blanket….not that…that happened to me or anything.
Now onto my experiences as an author
So if I wasn’t terrified enough to be going to UtopYA now I had go to representing myself as an author, and my work. My one book was out, my second was due very soon afterwards (its out now ;))
A lot of my advice would have to the same above:
A) Don’t be afraid
Own who you are, because if there is any group of people who are willing to accept you as you, its the craziness that is found at this Con.
b) Take Chances
Other authors (most other authors) are not going to shun you, or attack you. IF anything they probably are the one person that understands you better than you 😉
C) Respect and attack your readers (with love) + bloggers
They are the ones who make your world go round, they are the ones who support you, and your work. They deserve your respect and time. Honestly I think I fangirled over more readers who KNEW who I was then I did over authors…. okay it was about the same amount.
D) Don’t leave disappointed.
Confession time!!! I was yeah slightly disappointed when I left, I was expecting a million people to stop by Carlyle’s and I table, I wasn’t supposed to be there, and yet I was sooo hoping that I would have a million people asking me about my books. It just wasn’t how it happened. Granted I should have put myself out there more. But in the end, a couple months away from it, I realized I shouldn’t have been disappointed in the amount of people who didn’t stop at our table (well many stopped for Carlyle but how could you not? She was wonderful!!!) but I made so many new friends, I got more books than I was expecting, so many new reads!!! And I learned so much. This Con should never be thought as a money making trip, but a networking, friend-building, and just wonderful experience to be surrounded by the most amazing people in the world.
My biggest take away from UtopYA was this: Have fun, make new friends, and never be afraid to embrace the weird, cause I can assure you someone else is being weirder than you here 😉
Thanks for stopping by ^.^ I hope you all can make it to UtopYA next year. And please come visit me at my half-table in the lobby on Thursday ❤
Or I might just attack you anyways you never know. So watch out for any tackle hugs that may occur with or without your consent