Friday, October 27, 2006

A Truckload of Authors

This past Wednesday, I drove just a few miles out of town to a farmhouse, where I was one of five local authors in a photo shoot for Living Jackson magazine. The weather was sunny and the temperature was a bit nippy for October in Georgia, but the welcome was quite warm. Publishing partners Roxane Rose and Priscilla Daves are featuring the local authors for their holiday edition, and the designer and photographer were also present to orchestrate our group shot, taken as we stood in the bed of a beautifully restored glossy black 1961 Studebaker pickup truck. After that, the photographer took individual shots of each author, and they did mine twice— once in the cab and once standing in the door way of the truck.

The other authors were all men: Caine Campbell, Frank Gilbert, G. Richard Hoard, and Malcolm Campbell. While the designer and photographer were helping Buddy Hunt, the owner of that beautiful truck, get the it situated in a spot to take advantage of the lovely rural setting, the authors visited for a few minutes. All of us either live in Jackson County, or hale from it, as is the case with Hoard, who was a senior at Jefferson High the year I entered as an eighth grader. After the pictures Roxane invited us into her kitchen for refreshments, along with Josh Barnet, the intern who is writing the actual article. We laughed, especially with Frank, who always has a tall tale, and talked about our works in progress.

During our conversation over coffee and snacks, Hoard mentioned what a humiliating experience it is to write a book. He said that the best compliment is when someone just loves it, and the next best is when someone hates it. The bad thing, he said, is indifference. Hoard further stated that people seldom realize the vast amount of time that an author puts into that book, and he said it took him ten years after his first book to get started on another one. However, he said that years after he wrote Lost Among the Living, he still gets feedback from that first book.

I couldn’t agree more with Hoard’s assessment of the experience of being an author. I’ve experienced the “love it/hate it” scenario myself. Sometimes being an author seems anticlimactic. So much time goes into writing and editing, for days and weeks or even months, and finally, the thrill of seeing those first books with your name on the cover. Then, there is still more work, and sometimes little recognition for either the writing or the promotional activities which come afterward. Yep, it can be humbling, but it is sometimes interesting, and that gathering of local literary talent was entertaining.

If the upcoming article is half as much fun as the photo session, then it will be worth reading, and the pictures should be wonderful. Look for the year end edition of Living Jackson in late November or early December, in various locations throughout Jackson County, Georgia.

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At Nov 1, 2006, 3:13:00 PM, Blogger Sun Singer said...

The "truckload of authors" idea is a hoot. We lucked out with the weather and nobody got hurt climbing in and out of the truck. The fellowship was great and I managed to enjoy the food without ruining my dinner.

There are days when I'd almost rather say I sell car insurance that say I'm an author. When I say I'm an author, people go hmmmpf after they realize I didn't write "The Da Vinci Code" or a stack of Nora Roberts-type books.

I'll probably end up looking like a convict or a vampire in the picture.


At Nov 2, 2006, 3:07:00 AM, Blogger Pamela J. Dodd said...

Howdy, Malcolm!

Yes, we did have a nice afternoon, in more ways than one. I just love old cars, so I am really glad they chose the "Truckload" theme.

I used to do a speech "Of Cars and Characters" for shorter civic club meetings, and one of the cars we had was an early sixties Studebaker Lark. That was a car, of course, and it was a somewhat faded red, but the front of Buddy's truck certainly did look familiar.

See you at the local Holiday Market. I'm hawking cookbooks and crafts for my church this year.

At Dec 13, 2006, 9:03:00 PM, Blogger Josh said...

Hey Pam,
I hoped you enjoyed the article.
I sure did enjoy talking with all of you and writing it!
Joshua T. Barnett

At Dec 22, 2006, 12:41:00 PM, Blogger Pamela J. Dodd said...

Hi Josh,

I did enjoy the article. I thought you did a really good job with it. One thing I liked was learning more about my fellow Jackson County authors.

I wish you and all the folks at Living Jackson a splendid holiday, and a very prosperous New Year.


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