Meeting first time authors can be cool.
I'd like to tell you the story of how I met Boyd Morrison, and then later in next week's blog, I'd like to tell you about meeting Amy Waeschle--author of Chasing Waves--and tell you about her surfing memoir.
So, a few years ago I was at the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference. It was time for a break and I had fallen in with a handful of people for lunch. This tall blond guy was looking around, presumably for a place to sit in the crowded restaurant, and some one in the group called Boyd over.
Now, at these conferences people often ask about your book. Some people respond conversationally, and others launch into their pitch. Well, Boyd launched into his pitch--with serious intensity. I was sitting right next to him and had to back up a bit, because his eyes were bugging out and he was giving me some serious direct eye contact. I was impressed with the book's story line, and Boyd's intensity.
Actually, the number one thing that I have noticed about highly successful authors--I'm talking the international best sellers who become key note speakers--is that they have an unusual level of intensity and purpose. I saw both in Boyd, and I will admit that I was a bit inspired, as well as curious about his book. He was a very easy person to relate to, especially when we had a chance to just talk about life. Turns out that we had both lived in the same part of Seattle.
Fast forward a year. I met Boyd again at PNWA. This time he had an agent representing him. Cool.
Fast forward another year, to this year's PNWA conference. I had another nice chat with Boyd. I figured that he might have landed a book deal by now, so I asked about it. He said that he had landed a book deal and would have his first book--The Ark--published in about fourteen different countries. Wow, that blew me away. It was really cool news, not just because it was impressive, but because I had met the guy years ago when he was pitching to agents, just like me.
Somehow when you see an unpublished author who has gone through the rounds with agents with you and you see that person rise to the top, it all seems much more possible.
There's a couple of really cool things about Boyd's story.
1. He supported his wife for about nine years through medical school, and then in return she agreed to support him for nine years on his quest to become a successful writer. He joked that he shouldn't have been in such a hurry because he got it done with about four years to spare.
2. A key to Boyd's success is that he sold about 7,000 books on Kindle. Taking the number one spot in his genre is an impressive accomplishment that certainly helped propel the book deals he now has.
I think that meeting authors as they go from pitching to published is inspirational. I'd recommend checking out Boyd's website: http://www.boydmorrison.com/. You can learn even more about his books and follow him as books hit the shelves. More importantly, you can read more about how many years it took him to get published and about how he moved beyond his first books. He has some good advice about going to conferences to pitch. It certainly worked for him.
If there is one thing that I would like you to remember about Boyd it's that he struck me as unusually intense, committed, and purposeful about becoming a successful writer.
Next Sunday I will blog on Amy Waeschle's book Chasing Waves and how I met her at this year's PNWA conference. I've recently finished her memoir and loved it!