Back in September last year, two book bloggers by the names of Jess and Jodie, created the beginning of something beautiful, and on March 22nd, 2014, I was part of the epic event, Indie Authors Down Under. This was an event entirely dedicated to showcasing the talent of Australian independent, self-published authors, and I, along with our very own Lauren McKellar, was lucky enough to attend as a signing author.
For most of this year so far, I’ve been totally focused on getting organised for this event. It was my first real book signing, and there was so much to do (along with the release of my latest book, Immagica) I had little time for anything else. As a result, my author blog was neglected, my Facebook page was inundated with posts about IADU—because it was all I could talk about—and there were many occasions my kids had toast for dinner.
But the six month lead up was totally worth it, and I can’t wait to do it all again next year.
Here’s how my trip to the Gold Coast in QLD went down:
I flew out of Sydney, with my close girlfriend, at lunch time on Friday. After a mammoth effort of lugging more than 55 kilos of luggage by train from one end of Sydney to the other, then having a moment where I thought I’d be paying for an oversized bag (the computerised weigh machine had a hissy at me) we finally arrived on the Gold Coast and made it to our room by one pm QLD time. We shopped the afternoon away, stared at the ocean, drank some wine then headed to dinner to meet some of the other attending authors.
To say I was nervous would be a major understatement.
Most of these girls (and a couple of guys) I’ve spoken to many times over the past six months, but meeting them in person was a completely different experience. I was scared I’d fall over and shove my foot in my mouth on the way down, but lucky for me it all went smoothly enough. My friend and I spent dinner chatting with Dionne Lister, Nicole. R. Taylor, Max Henry, and L.L Hunter. We got to meet American authors C. M. Stunich and Abbi Glines, as well as some amazing Aussies. When I finally got to meet up with Lauren on Friday night, there may have been some squealing, and jumping, and lots of hugging. But the highlight of dinner was meeting Suse Hocking. Suse is one of our bloggers as well, and when I found out she would be at the event as a fan, I was over the moon to be finally meeting her. When she popped up at dinner there was a lot more squealing, and jumping, and hugging.
Saturday morning dawned and I was awake at five am, cursing my Sydney body clock. We had breakfast with most of the attending authors, where the lovely Jessica Shirvington, and the beautiful Abbi Glines, both gave speeches. When Jess, one of the organisers, came and asked if Abbi could sit at our table, I almost fell off my chair. I got to have breakfast with Abbi Glines! She is one very inspirational woman.
From ten am it was pens at the ready. I thought I was prepared, but nothing could have prepared me for the awesomeness that walked through that door. I was completely shocked at the amount of people who wanted to talk to me about my books. I still can’t believe that there are people who want to read my work, and better still, people who have read my books and came to tell me how much they enjoyed them. I signed T-shirts, and iPad covers, and I felt privileged to meet so many wonderful people.
This enthusiasm and passion for books and the people behind them is why I write.
Saturday night was the VIP dinner for authors and a selected number of fans. By this time I was walking asleep on my feet, so I didn’t hang around late, but I was there long enough to get these awesome photo booth pics with Lauren and author, Max Henry.
Indie Authors Down Under was the first event of its kind in Australia. It was epic, and I know that next year will be even better. If you’ve never read an Indie published book, why not give it a try. You may find your next favourite author.
K. A. Last is a YA author of Fall For Me, Sacrifice and Immagica. She drinks lots of tea, is obsessed with Buffy, and loves all things pink. K. A. Last hangs out on Facebook or you can find her on twitter and Goodreads. She’s also been known to blog once in a while. And yes, she has cut all her hair off!