A little over 10 years ago Nancy Viau asked me if I would like to join a group she was forming with a few other authors. She and I had met earlier that year at the NJSCBWI conference. We both had recently had our first books published, my I’m Looking For A Monster! and her middle-grade Samantha Hansen Has Rocks In Her Head.
I was excited to be included and offered to design a logo and build a website for the group. As a new author with no experience promoting myself it was great to have comrades going through the same thing. Many of our initial members had only one book but a few had been published for a few years with multiple titles.
Through the years I’ve attended events all over Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York State with other club members. I would not have been able to set these up on my own without the help of the other authors in the group. We currently have 22 members, but our numbers fluctuate. Every year we attend book festivals, conventions and book store signings. Sometimes it’s only one or two of us, sometimes a bunch of us get together. The event that brings most of us together is the Collingswood Book Festival in south Jersey.
I have often felt bad that there were not many places for me to set up group events. I’m one of the most southerly members of the group. I have arranged for our group to have a booth at the Baltimore Book Festival a few times but there were no events on the Eastern Shore where I live. That changed when I helped found the Chesapeake Children’s Book Festival. I had the confidence to do this because I have gotten to know so many authors over the years. Many members of the KidLit Authors Club have appeared at the festival, a few have been multiple times.
Our membership has changed over the years, some authors leaving and new ones coming on board. Whenever we have events together we try to get a group shot of everybody.
I’ve been so enriched by being associated with such great authors for the past tens years. We’re more than just members and associates, we’ve become good friends who are always there for each other. I look forward to many more years of hanging around with the KidLit Authors Club.