A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I emailed a writer I’d seen speak at a writing conference to tell her how much I’d enjoyed her presentation. Thankfully that writer wrote back, we met at a local diner, and an amazing friendship was born.
Why am I sharing this?
Because without her, there would be no Hitwoman books.
She was the person who, while we sat in a cafe, cared enough to tell me I should write using “that voice” (my snarky one) instead of writing the dark stuff I was working on at the time.
That one sentence changed the path of my writing, even my life, and I’ll be forever indebted to her for caring enough to utter a truth I may not have even wanted to hear.
And to think, if I hadn’t reached out to her after the conference, we never would have met.
I learned this lesson about not being afraid to tell someone you like their work about twenty years ago, from someone who is now one of my best friends.
We were both taking a Creative Writing class for adults at a high school. She ran after me across a dark parking lot (we still joke about the fact she’s lucky I didn’t do her physical harm in the name of protecting myself) to tell me how much she’d enjoyed the sample of my work I’d read aloud.
Now that I know her, I love her dearly, but back then I wouldn’t have spoken to her if she hadn’t approached me first. She’s a beautiful, open, gregarious, charming Southern woman. Basically my complete opposite, lol, and yet we became the best of friends. In some ways, we’re even more unlike each other twenty years later (she doesn't even write anymore!) but our friendship remains.
I became friends with a playwright because I admired his work. We both got different things out of our friendship and I firmly believe that it was through him that I learned how to write "funny". We've since drifted apart, but I'm so glad that I told him what a fan I was. The rewards were amazing.
When I think about it, I don’t have a heck of a lot in common with most of my closest friends. We don’t live the same kinds of backgrounds or lives. We don’t share many interests or belief systems. What we do share is a common “fandom”. We think there’s something amazing about each other.
That’s why, when I see or meet someone I think is exceptional, I try to tell them so. Sure I probably come across as a wee bit stalker-ish, but I know that the best way to connect with someone special is to start the conversation.
Tell me Killer Friends: Do you have any friends that you were once a fan of?
In case you missed it, MUST LOVE PETS 2, which contains A WOOF IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING is now available.
7 stories for 99 cents...perfect for gifting to someone who could use a pick-me-up.