Yesterday, author Dan Wells came through Atlanta on his book tour for Partials.
I knew Dan first as a member of the podcast Writing Excuses and then from his books. We met at Dragon*Con 2010 and had lunch together where he graciously allowed me to pick his brain for writing advice.
Since then he’s come through town twice on book tours and each time I’ve managed to convince him it’s a good idea to have a meal with me.
I don’t have a lot of writing friends, or rather, I should say that all of the writing friends I have are online. There’s something very satisfying about being able to sit down with someone who’s truly interested in the same things that you are and have a good talk. It’s even more valuable when you get to sit down with such a person who is farther along on the career track that you are trying to get started on yourself.
The other thing that has been so cool about getting to know Dan is seeing how authors are such real people. Dan and I didn’t talk about writing the whole time either. We talked about family and food and games. Especially games. Dan and I both love them and after dinner he pulled out his fairly new copy of Flash Duel. We played until the close of the night and I dropped him back off at the hotel.
This is my very favorite thing about the industry of genre fiction writing. You find a lot of competition in most fields but in this one you’re hard pressed to find a professional who isn’t constantly trying to raise up those around him to the same level. Most of them will tell you that it’s because another writer reached out to them when they were new. It’s the kind of pay it forward attitude that I think the whole world could learn a lesson from.