To begin with, on this lovely sunny day, I brought with me Little Y and Buddy to enjoy the adventure. Little Y is my nine-year-old daughter. Buddy is my five-year-old son, and both of them were just as excited as I was to go. Buddy loves colorful books and art and knickknacks. Little Y enjoys books and poems very much.
At the festival, there were many types of books and art pieces. One booth had beautiful paints and handcrafted jewelry. Another booth had some of the most creative pens I've ever seen, along with beautifully bound leather journals. As I do reviews on everything I took notes of, I'll be sure to include links to anything at that time.
Overall, this was a lovely conference with a lot to offer. If you were at the conference and for some reason, I didn't stop by, either because my sweet little boy was running about and I was trying to catch him and missed you, or because we didn't connect, please hit me up in the comments or email me. I'd like to get a chance to read and review your books as well.
Now, let's go into my interview with WB Welch.
1. How did you find out about the festival and, how can other Texas-based writers learn more?
I signed up for the http://txauthors.com newsletter a year or two ago. The event information went out in one of their emails. I would definitely recommend all local authors check out their site and sign up for the newsletter. There’s a few events that go on throughout the year.
2. What was your favorite part of the festival? Would you sign up and go back again if asked?
My favorite part was meeting some of (my) Twitter friends. Cheesy but true. That made my day. Outside of that though, it was great to get to speak with so many other authors in person. We mingled amongst each other’s tables, and I found some new good reads.
I absolutely will go back...I intend to. Meeting and talking with readers and other writers was a wonderful experience. Plus, I was able to connect with some readers who don’t use Twitter and may not have otherwise come across my book.
3. That's a great segway to my question. Yeah, I noticed the Twitter thing. I was going from table to table asking for Twitter handles, and I noticed a lot of the writers were on Instagram more than Twitter. Do you think being exclusive to one or two social media platforms might affect book sales and getting the word out about events like this?
I think confining yourself to minimal avenues is limiting in any situation. If you have a tool that’s free to use, why not utilize it. That being said, there’s a different dynamic between platforms. I had an Instagram account for a long time and saw very little action, though I do have a few dedicated people I interact with. When I came to Twitter, my account took off like a kite. Instagram is more visual and, for me, it’s a way to share fun parts of my day or post short prose along with a photo.
I share posts from my Instagram to my Facebook author page, too. I keep those in place for people who don’t use the big T Bird. I also incorporated a news feed on my website to simplify and bring all my announcements to one place for anyone interested.
If you don’t put yourself out there, people can’t find you.
4. Well said. Okay, last question my friend, where can everyone find your necklaces and cute trinkets and candles on sale?
And what else is cooking for WB Welch? People want to know!
Eeek! I wish I had this in place already, but I’m working on a little online shop to sell my goodies. In the meantime, anyone is welcomed to send a DM or an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I invoice for merch via Paypal.
Right now, I’m working on a zombie novella with Tory Hunter, and I plan on releasing a second Blood Drops at the end of this year. I’m also querying a novel, so keep an ear and eye out!
You can find WB Welch on Twitter, her website, her short story blog, and Amazon.
So there you have it, folks! WB was kind enough to preview her merch with me, and I got a blood drop, a candle and an inscribed copy of Blood Drops. Her blood drop merch is fantastic, and I think I will also save up to get the necklace version as well. I am looking forward to when her store launches.
I'd like to thank WB for her input and thoughts, and now, I want to go into what I loved about the festival and also the various things that I encountered there.
There were several authors. For your children's book lovers, I can tell you that some amazing authors have awards and a lot of credentials to back up what they are doing. I picked up three physical books from the show, but I have author cards from as many writers as I could get, and I am determined to include as many of them in my reviews as possible.
Lastly, let me send some appreciation. First, Chastity Rose is one of the sweetest people ever. I met her and frankly she is just so genuine and lovely. If you are looking for some spice in your life, her Twitter is here, and you can also follow her blog here.
Next, a thank you to C.K Larsen who was so kind and so sweet. I am so excited to get her books and she had pillows. Pillows!! I want whenever I write my book to have a pillow, I'm not going to lie. That'd be amazing. So big shout out to her, because her booth was pretty amazing and I can't wait to read her book. Follow her on Twitter here.
I'd like to give a huge shout out to Tabi Slick for the fascinating book discussion, the candy which my children adored, and the pleasure of talking about series vs. stand-alone novels. She has a book out called "Timur's Escape" that I'm very excited to read! I'm looking forward to it. Follow her on Twitter here.
Which brings me to my main point. There are so many wonderful authors out here in Texas, and they cover a diverse group of topics and feelings. The local culture is rich with many viewpoints and thoughts. I have so many books to chose from, and I am excited to add these to my list.
I also have learned I'm going to need some business cards for myself. I'd like to get my message out about helping writers with reviews as much as possible. So, that's a new project for me to tackle!
Keep your eyes open for local book conventions and signings everyone, there is excitement to be had at these events. And bring your kids. Every single author who I encountered was totally relaxed and kind to my little boy and girl. Your kids will learn a lot about books and about socializing in a more professional setting, and the authors get to give some thoughts to your kids. Bringing comfort to the purpose of reading and the importance of literature is essential when teaching our children.