Saturday, December 8, 2018

A community of Soloists

A few months ago I shared a book event with a writer I've "known" online for more than a year, but had never met in person. We met at a book event at Mother Foucault's Books in Portland, Oregon.

It turned out Sheryl Scarborough and I had more in common than just being YA writers with a ton of mutual writer friends. While my book is contemporary YA and Sheryl's is a YA mystery, the protagonists in both our recent books were searching for their missing fathers.

I love the odd confluence of  bringing our similarly themed books books together.  We writers tend to work alone, yet occasionally we convene and share our work. Within my critique group (there are four of us) we occasionally have a "mind melds" where a couple of us will use the same locations in our books. In a funny coincidence, two of my peers had characters nicknamed "Boo."

So while we are soloists, we writers are also part of a larger choir. We share similar dreams of getting our books published, making appearances, and perfecting our craft. Yet ultimately our goals are to engage readers and build an audience. So even though Sheryl and I had not met in person, we eased into a conversation as if we'd been friends for years. It reminded me of times I've heard musicians walk on stage and "jam, "producing extraordinary music without ever having met before.

In another odd coincidence Sheryl and I both had surgery on our right knees, so we're both learning how to walk again without pain..

Happy holidays.