Diary of an Author in Demand

Believe it or not (go ahead and believe it), I seem to be slowly creeping my way up in the world.

Megan Ann Jacobs: Club leader, Shipley booker, and INSPIRED hyper, student, actor, and playwright…egads, what /doesn’t/ she do?!

Megan Ann Jacobs: Club leader, Shipley booker, and INSPIRED hyper, student, actor, and playwright…egads, what /doesn’t/ she do?!

The “firsts” are rolling in! First self-pubbed novella (yay!), first indie press-pubbed anthology inclusion (oh, wow!), first novel (double wow!), first in-home interview with a pair of schoolgirls (awww!)… and now I can say I’ve had (and made good on) my first invitation* to leave the house and talk to a room of people** about writing!

* Bless you for demanding me, Megan Jacobs!

** The Creative Writing Club of Wisconsin Lutheran College, no less! Bless them, as well!

Also believe it or not, I didn’t actually take the time throughout the day to chronicle the hour-by-hour happenings in a notebook, like one might think a writer would naturally do. So the following journal entries are totally forged after the fact – though I’d like to think I managed to hold onto a ring of authenticity, even so.

* * *

Monday, Apr. 28, 2014, 10-ish a.m.

Camped out on the front steps so I can keep an eye on the street. I haven’t seen Megan since we were Town Criers together at the Bristol Renaissance Faire last summer, and I’ve never seen her car, but once I spot the former, I’ll assume that the latter she drove up in is hers. Or that she’s a car thief. That could prove interesting.

Whoop, I think that’s her! Farewell, Mother! Later, comforts of home! For today, I throw comfort to the wind and talk to strangers!

* * *

After the drive (and little thanks to the GPS that tried to lose us inside a forest preserve, of all things)

Chillin’ at WLC, home of the CWC with which I’ll Q&A. (Acronyms… acronyms everywhere…) While Megan’s taking care of last-minute business for the meeting – ordering refreshments, messaging club members to remind them where we will and will not meet – I’ve been tearing through this script she wrote. “aMUSEd”, it’s called, and just guess what inspired it? INSPIRED, that’s what! Or its cover, anyway! She took one look at the portrayal of Luc and Annabelle, and a little lightbulb full of ideas winked on over her own head.

She only finished the script the night before, so I was the first to read the whole thing! Such privilege!

She only finished the script the night before, so I was the first to read the whole thing! Such privilege!

The best part of all? This play rocks! It had me whimpering in sympathy on, like, page 2, and laughing for pretty much the rest of it. I love emotion couched in comedy. Boy, I hope Megan brings “aMUSEd” to the stage, sometime in the not-too-faraway future. I want in it! Or at least in the audience of it. I’ll take either one.

Aaand now we’re going back into the rain to grab some beverages from the grocery story. Back in a bit, hypothetical diary.

* * *

Later in the Afternoon

Just finished sitting in on Megan’s theatre class. Now we’re in the meeting room with a few earlycomers (sure, we’ll say that’s a word), and I’ll do a more participatory sort of sit-in with them doing their club thing, with my official Q&A portion of our assembly to follow after that. I’ve got no idea how any of this will go down, yet, so I’ll just dive face-first into social interaction and hope it comes off as more endearing than obnoxious. (I can never tell.)

* * *

Looks like we’re all mad here. Cue my Cheshire Cat grin.

Looks like we’re all mad here. Cue my Cheshire Cat grin.

Halfway Through the Meeting

Oh my word, these people are hilarious! They were supposed to all read some prompt-based writing exercise they were assigned, but nobody actually brought in the assignment (ah, college… it’s all coming back to me, now), so President Megan* decided to wing it.

* Nobody’s called her President Megan, but she’s running this show, so whatever, she’s totally President Megan.

She divided the room of sixteen into teams of four, each team writing four stories on the fly, one sentence at a time. I mean, obviously every story is written one sentence at a time, but in this case, Teammate A only gets to put down one sentence before passing the story on to Teammate B, who does the same before giving it to Teammate C, and on it goes to D and back around to A – blather, wince, and repeat, all the while doing the same for the stories begun by Teammates B, C, and D.

If that explanation didn’t make sense, consider it a metaphor for most of the stories we read once we’d finished the game. President Megan was kept busy at the white board, stating on record that much of the stories’ subject matter was in no way a reflection of the values of the Creative Writing Club or its affiliates.

The first disclaimer.

The first disclaimer.

…But far from the last.

…But far from the last.

* * *

Stories Read and Pizza Consumed…

…Up I went to the front of the room to act all professionally authorial and stuff.

After giving the crowd my backstory, I fielded questions about my creative/publishing process, how self-pub works vs. working with a small press, how to sniff out writing opportunities… all that jazz.

The many faces of Danielle E. Shipley attempting to verbally communicate.

The many faces of Danielle E. Shipley attempting to verbally communicate.

The one face of Danielle E. Shipley reading her bio aloud, providing an example of how to speak about oneself in the third person.

The one face of Danielle E. Shipley reading her bio aloud, providing an example of how to speak about oneself in the third person.

Not gonna lie, though: My favorite part had to be toward the end when one of the club members, not nicknamed The Voice for nothing, came up to read the back cover blurb of INSPIRED in the most epic announcer way possible. I mean, having the deeply gratifying pleasure of selling and autographing a few copies of the novel to the room before Megan drove me home was super great, too. But an epic announcer voice reading your words like they’re gonna be a movie next summer* is its own level of cool.

*It is not, to my knowledge, actually going to be a movie next summer. There’s still that script for a play inspired by it, though! Like I said: Creeping my way up in the world. (:

* * *

And that, readers o’ mine, is how it all went down. Totally fills you with a desire to book me for a talk and/or signing and/or live reading, doesn’t it? ;D Call me, beep me, if you wanna reach me.

(More photos of the event available in the “Q&A with the CWC” album on my Facebook author page, for those who wish to see!)

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13 thoughts on “Diary of an Author in Demand

  1. Haha, that’s fantastic! Love that you had a great experience! I hope you have many more to come! 😀 Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hey, if you’re ever interested in coming out to little ole Utah, we’d be more than happy to have you! 🙂

  3. Pingback: We Are Most Amused | Ever On Word

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