Last weekend I attended the last UtopiaCon. It’s the event’s 6th year, and my 4th as an attendee. I’ll forever be grateful to founder Janet Wallace and this event. It was truly like throwing myself into the deep end of a pool, and thanks to the many amazing people who take part every year, I’ve found myself able to swim rather than sink. This business can be hard – difficult even, with mountains of hurdles and new daily obstacles. It’s because of my tribe, however, that I’ve loved nearly every second of it.
I’ve said this before, but authors really need to attend conferences, both for craft as well as for networking. I’ve met some of my best friends thanks to this event, and made countless more connections that have helped get me where I am today. (For example, Roanoke Author Invasion wouldn’t exist had I not met Laura Howard here 4 years ago.)
Along with spending serious QT with amazing women, I’ve given 2 inspirational talks (Getting over the self-publishing stigma and Owning your confidence in being a writer), done a reading, helped with PR for 2 years, and numerous other things, including exclusive releases at the event. These readers make me feel like a celebrity, and rubbing elbows with big name authors turns me into a lucky fangirl! My motivation, my confidence and my self-worth skyrockets every year upon returning home, and this year was no different. You, my readers, will be happy to hear I can’t wait to get my butt in the chair and get to writing!
Thank you, Janet, for creating UtopiaCon. Thank you, UtopiaCon, for showing me exactly who I am and what I’m worth, and for surrounding me with the right people to keep me going. It’s people like this that make a tough industry a little easier to handle. (That, and several bottles of prosecco.) To UtopiaCon – may our 2022 reunion be everything we already know and more (and if it IS superheroes, man, am I ahead of the trend!). Below are a few photos featuring myself with friends, including several authors you’ve seen on my blog before. These folks fill my heart with joy and inspiration.