As my plane descended through the thick November clouds of Cleveland, rounding out the final leg of the long journey from Germany, a new experience loomed on the horizon. Jet lagged and only 48 hours planned on the ground, this was an opportunity best not kicked to the side of the trail.
When signing books, I often write something excruciatingly clever, like… “Don’t wait for an adventure, seek one.” Well, doing my best to not slide down the hypocrite scale, I booked my tickets, and threw the nagging illogic’s aside. I was heading to my first author event, and if that wasn’t enough, it was hosted by my hometown library in Avon Lake, Ohio.
The morning was organized into three author panels, then the afternoon was all about meeting new and old fans alike. The panel I was on was all about the publishing game. Being a traditionally published author, and having invested so much time learning the process, the feeling of noobie began to dissipate. Most of the twenty authors were either self-published, or indie press, and I felt like I was in good company.
The afternoon was heartwarming. People I hadn’t seen in decades came by to share their enthusiasm for my newfound passion. Some of whom traveled great distances for just a few minutes of catching up on years gone by. New potential fans had a moment to meet a “local” who had followed his dreams, and I had a moment to see their enthusiasm shine through. My research on which page of my book I should sign even came in handy more frequently then expected. It was an adventure I will not soon forget. Spending only those fleeting moments with old friends, family, fellow authors, and new fans, was truly worth the time and cost of traveling across the Atlantic.
Back in the air once more, enjoying the cozy conditions of economy class on the redeye, something had changed. Perhaps only internal, but it was of substance. From that moment forward, I made the semi-conscious realization, that I’m no longer some engineer who dipped his toes into someone else’s pond. I belonged at that event… as an author.