Over the past decade-plus, I’ve learned a lot about writing and the publishing industry. When you learn a substantial amount of information about anything, you sometimes feel you know more than you really do. As a speaker, I found myself in the company of some folks who have risen to heights I aspire to achieve myself. What a wonderful experience to have opportunity to learn more about books, marketing, and best practices for writers.
The content of many of the writers’ books at F.R.E.S.H. was amazing. People out there creating books loaded with meaning for this world. Loaded with help for this world. Loaded with impact for this world. There were a good number of amazing writers, as mentioned, and I only have time to mention a couple, but rest assured, if you did not attend, you certainly missed out.
The first person I want to mention is Dr. Derek T. Triplett, the founding pastor of Hope Fellowship Church in Daytona Beach. A brilliant man committed to helping communities build from the ground up, he wrote the book “When I Became a Man.” Dr. Triplett is building mentoring programs for young men and single moms between the ages of 16 and 35. I had the honor of speaking with him for a few minutes and I must say, his dedication and approach to service oozes from his personality and the ability to present himself as a man who cares about others is palpable. I am positive this man impacts many lives. I certainly hope his book and his mentoring programs get the attention they deserve.
Mr. Allie L. Braswell, Jr., Founder and Managing Director of The Braswell Group, a consulting firm based in Orlando, blew me away with his story. Mr. Braswell most definitely is the “inspirational speaker” his bio claims. One look in his eyes and you know this man has knowledge and he enjoys dispensing it. I was fascinated by his behind-the-scenes stories of script writers at Disney and other cool business-of-writing information. Whenever you get an opportunity to listen and interact with people who’ve been in direct contact with upper-level writing, you cannot help but hang on every word. What I found about Mr. Braswell most endearing is his approachability. He had time for everyone, and he was willing to speak on any topic.
While these two gentlemen were awesome to meet, I really loved speaking with Brian W. Smith. Brian has 15 books under his belt, he’s an Amazon Best Seller, with a book headed into screenplay, and contracts with Simon and Schuster for some of his other books. Brian walks the line of hybrid publishing and traditional, which intrigued me. He was more than willing to share his knowledge and experiences. A very personable man, Brian speaks with the energy of a writer who loves what he does and wants others to achieve their writing goals. In his presentation, he gave us quite a number of valuable business tips.
Lastly, I must give a shout out to Donna Gray-Banks, the main drive behind the F.R.E.S.H. Book Festival. She ran a smooth, sleek event which brought in the Mayor of Daytona, and a number of other dignitaries. She had the event organized and well presented throughout, and kept the everything moving along in a positive, helpful manner. I am grateful I had the opportunity to participate in the event, and I will be back next year without at doubt. If you really wish to increase your knowledge of what is going on in writing and publishing, finding events like this one should be one of the ways in which you pursue that knowledge.
I’m motivated! I’m not only ready to write, I’m ready to take on whatever comes my way, and most importantly, I’m ready to learn. Check out those gentlemens’ books mentioned above. I’m willing to bet you won’t be disappointed in their writing.