Part of Something Bigger


I recently had the absolute pleasure of attending InD’Tale Magazine’s annual author-reader conference, InD’Scribe Con and Book Festival. This was the third year for the conference, my first. It’s held in Burbank, and I’d never been to California, so that was another first for me. Flying from New England to the West Coast, alone, was a big decision. But since I recently joined InD’Tale as a reviewer, I thought it important for me to attend.

In all, I can only describe this experience as career-changing and transformational.

Much like RWA’s local chapters’ conferences, the seminar offerings were wide and varied. Talks by keynote speakers such as Kristen Ashley and Marina Adair were emotional and inspiring. The meals and events, such as a Mystery Dinner Theatre one evening, were elegant and sensationally presented. The book signing event (which I unfortunately did not participate in) was record setting: reader attendance was up 30 percent from last year. Some of my author friends nearly sold out of books.

What was different about this conference for me? Well, I’m not a very social person. I’m a writer–what did you expect? I’m more comfortable alone in my office with my angelfish and keyboard. Even when attending conferences, I tend to be the one off to one side of the table, quiet and keeping mostly to myself.

Yet from the night I arrived (a day earlier than my roommate, a fact I didn’t realize until I was on the plane), I discovered I had truly become part of a family.

The roommate situation: entirely my fault, a miscommunication. You know that word ass-u-me? Well, yeah, I landed in Burbank at eight p.m. (my body swore it was eleven) and stumbled into the lobby to discover I had no room. The hotel was booked solid. The nearest available room was several miles away and several hundred dollars more than the one I thought I had waiting. The lobby’s modern sofas were looking like my only viable option for sleep. If they’d even let me stay . . .


Yet within minutes, after a few texts and Facebook messages to T.J. McKay (Founder of InD’Tale) and her right-hand woman, Tonya Smalley, I had a better place to sleep. Right upstairs.

When InD’Tale refers to their staff members as family, they aren’t kidding.

And so it went for the entirety of my five days in Burbank. I was warmly welcomed, worked my butt off, danced until I dropped (literally at one point!), and came home part of something bigger.

These are not my words, but those of a doctor I work with. He asked me how the conference went, and after my description, he said, “Yeah. You’re part of something bigger now. It’s a good feeling, isn’t it?”

Yes, it is.

You might want to check out InD’Tale’s website and see what they have to offer. There were several SMP authors–members of our family–who were very positively reviewed by the magazine this past year and made it to the RONE finals (Reward of Novel Excellence awards). That event was formal attire only, with lovely crystal trophies and all the fanfare of the most prestigious affairs.

Since the demise earlier this year of the Romantic Times Conference, I believe InD’Scribe Con is the up and coming place for self and small-published authors to gain a foothold in the market.

And it’s so much fun!

Crazy Pic

About Claire Gem

Claire is a multi-published, award winning author of both fiction and nonfiction. A native of New York, USA, she now resides in Massachusetts, USA with her husband of 39 years.
This entry was posted in Cavorting With Claire!, Soul Mate Publishing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Part of Something Bigger

  1. sueberger3 says:

    Oh Claire. I am so sorry I missed you. I was there Friday all day. But I took off for Port Angeles Wa on Saturday morning.
    I love this Conference. And TJ and Tonya are awesome. I hope to be there next year and see you.

  2. Claire Gem says:

    OH MY GOD!!!! Why did I not get to connect with you??? I owe you huge hugs! We MUST keep in touch and connect at next year’s conference! 😦

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