Monday, May 08, 2006

A Thoroughly Pleasant Evening

As some of you know, I will be part of a panel discussion at ThirllerFest this summer - What Do You Mean I Can’t Quit My Day Job: New Writer’s Tell It Like It Is. If I’m not mistaken, most of us on the panel have our debut novels coming out next year. As it turns out, a couple of the other panel members live here in the L.A. area. Last night I met up with one of them, Philip Hawley, Jr., at where else than Starbucks.

It was Phil’s suggestion, and I quickly agreed. We met up at 7 p.m. and spent two hours talking about our lives, our books, the publishing process and the industry in general. Phil’s book, Stigma, is due for release in March 2007. It sounds great!

I guess the best part was that, as soon to be published authors, we seldom get a chance to sit down with anyone and talk shop. We all basically work in our own little spheres of solitude, with the only interaction book-wise being the occasional call or email from our editors or agents. (Thank God for the blogs and my critique group. Without them, it would be like rowing a boat alone in the middle of the ocean.)

I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about Phil in the future. He is definitely one of the nice guys. Maybe we can even coax him to leave a post now and then.


JT Ellison said...

I don't think I really considered myself a writer until I physically met other writers, sat down and talked with them. How cool that you get to meet people from your "graduating class" right there in your town. It is so very easy to get lost in this publishing world when your a newcomer. Having friends, cyber and real, helps.

Brett Battles said...

You're absolutely right, J.T. And I'm happy to consider you one of those friend (cyber now, fully formed human come ThrillerFest.)

Sandra Ruttan said...

"We all basically work in our own little spheres of solitude, with the only interaction book-wise being the occasional call or email from our editors or agents."

Isn't that the truth! I must say, this is one of the most frightening, isolating and also rewarding "careers" to aspire to.

You're fortunate to live close to other serious writers you can meet up with.

Phil Hawley said...

The first time I heard someone use the word "blog" in conversation, my first impulse was to say, "God bless you." That wasn't too long ago, so among rough and tumble non-quiche-eating bloggers I'm still a child taking his first steps.

This blog has a certain quality that's inviting and welcoming. And for those who only know Brett from this blog, let me say that he's just as gracious and kind in person as he appears here.

JT, you said it so well -- it's great to find a new friend among my fellow newcomers.

And Sandra, I agree -- the world of storytelling is a special place, I think, and like no other.

Brett, thanks for inviting me to the party, and thanks for plugging STIGMA!

Looking forward to my preview copy of HUNG OUT TO DIE.

Phil Hawley

JT Ellison said...

Hey, I was looking for Phil's info and couldn't really get anything. Do you have a website, or blog (bless you too) or something???
And Brett's one to have on your side, I believe. That spy stuff -- you never know about those writers.

JT Ellison said...

Yay! ThrillerFest! Can't wait to make it an official friendship and welcome you to the honorary J club. JB, do we give him the secret handshake?

Phil Hawley said...


As soon as HarperCollins finishes the cover art (which should be soon), my website designer will put up a temporary one-page site with the book cover, a brief synopsis, my picture and bio, and some blurbs.

My full website will launch in late summer or early fall.

Currently, I'm reveling in my last few moments of complete anonymity while preparing to move into the realm of relative obscurity.


JT Ellison said...

Revel away. I'm having one of those weeks I wished no one knew my name. It's sometimes easier to get your real work done, and by that I mean writing books, when no one expects you to be doing media. I'll help you all I can, just let me know. If Brett likes ya, you must be doing something right!

Brett Battles said...

It's funny. My first convention was last year's Bouchercon. I knew basically no one. I had a great time, but most of it was going to the panels, then back to my room at night to read...

...why do I get the feeling that ThrillerFest is going to take things to a whole other level?? (I'm tempted to take a few days off before hand and sleep as much as possible to store it up.)

**on a somewhat side note, I'm arriving in Phoenix on that Wednesday evening. Anyone else coming in early?

Sandra Ruttan said...

Brett, you should tell Phil to get in touch with me about that 'thing' we've been discussing.

You can give him my email address if he promises not to ask me for photos.

JT Ellison said...

Hubby and I get in Thrusday morning, just in time for the RL Stine lunch. I'm kicking myself for not coming Wed. night. That was dumb!
And I agree. TFest is going to be a whole different beast. The only conference I've ever been to is the Murder in the Magic City in Birmingham. Lovely and charming, but small...

Brett Battles said...

Bummer! Well, at least my critique group buddy Derek Rogers will be there Wednesday night. I'm sure we can scare up some others.

Thursday night, though, you, your husband, Derek, Phil Hawley, myself and anyone else who wants to join us...a drink at the reception! And that's only the beginning.