My next POLAIK (Profile Of Local Authors/Artists I Know...) is Jay Barnson. Jay is a fellow Xchyler author that I met at my very first convention--the 2013 Salt City Steamfest Convention held in Layton, Utah.
And, he may not agree with this, but I feel like I had a little something to do with Jay's literary success.
That convention was very eye-opening, and not just because of all the steampunk costumes (with the top hats, goggles and corsets...). It was the first time I had a book for sale on a table that had my name on it. Granted, there were seven other names on that same book, but I didn't care. My name was one of the eight. Still, as far as convention protocol, I really didn't know what I was doing.
I learned, at that convention, that fellow authors like to support each other. I learned that fellow authors are interested in what other authors write. I learned that people who attend these conventions really like to get to know the other attendees. So when I met Jay and his lovely family at that convention and I asked him if he liked to read or if he was a writer, he said "yes" to both. Turns out not only was Jay a writer, but he had a project he'd love to see published. I told him about Xchyler and my brief but favorable experience with the small-press publisher and he was very interested in learning more.
Fast forward a few months and Jay's name appeared on the cover of a book that found itself for sale on tables at conventions all over the world. Fast forward a few years and both Jay's name and my name appeared on the cover of the same book.
In addition to being a writer, Jay's also a video game maker, and a talented one at that. I am not a big gamer but since Jay's local and we've attended many of the conventions together, there's a lot of time to chat in between sales. The more he's told me about the video game industry, the more respect I have for anyone willing to jump in and give it a go.
So, if you're at a convention and Jay's in attendance, he'd love to talk to you about writing or gaming. He's good either way.