Friday, 2 July 2010
Society of Authors reception
Today, on one of the hottest days of the year, I went to the Society of Authors new members' reception. They are based at 84 Drayton Gardens in Kensington, one of the loveliest parts of London. It took me a while to join the Society of Authors because I wasn't sure what benefit they would be. However, today's reception was well worth the price of entry - I am easily swayed by a nice array of nibbles and lashings of wine! But, of course as with all these things, it's all about meeting people and talking about things of mutual interest. There were so many different authors, the fiction ones being in the minority at this particular reception. There were quite a few art historians having a lovely time researching in places like Venice. There was also a psychotherapist who'd published her third book on child psychology and there was a guy who wrote comedy. So, a pretty mixed bag. The most useful thing about the mixture of individuals for a fiction author I found was that there are times when you need just a few nuggets of specialist knowledge to make your characters come alive. I would take bets that the Society of Authors has representatives from practically every profession on earth and being a member will I'm sure be a useful way to find someone if I ever need to make contact with - say - a landscape gardener or a specialist in musical instruments. They were a really friendly bunch and they run regular seminars on things like e-publishing. An incredibly useful service offered by the Society is that they will, for free, look over any publishing contract clause by clause. That alone I'm sure is worth the cost of membership! They can be reached at http://www.societyofauthors.org/ .