Authors talking to authors

2024 authors at Wild Deadwood Reads pose for “class photo” before the fun begins.

Avid readers often ask other readers, “What are you reading right now?” Writers, on the other hand, ask each other, “What are you writing right now?”

I heard that a lot at Wild Deadwood Reads last week. It’s a book fair on steroids. Nearly 100 authors and hundreds of readers got together to shop for books and talk about books.

I shared a table with a fellow writer. Johny Weber writes in a similar genre and is also a South Dakotan through and through. She and I met at last year’s SD Festival of Books and agreed to be tablemates. It was fun to catch up with Johny, her family, and, of course, her horse.

But I talked with dozens of other authors, too. Each of them has a story (or two or three) in their heads for their next book. It’s fascinating to talk to and listen to authors who have been publishing for years. The first question is always, “What do you write?” Then, “What are you writing right now?” I’ve learned a lot from authors at these book fairs.

This was my second year at the event—I even had a couple of repeat customers who bought my two newest novels. To paraphrase Sally Field, “You read me. Right now. You read me!” There is no greater compliment than having a reader like an author’s stories so much that they can’t wait to read the next one(s).