Speaker and Session Preview: Tara Caimi, author of Mush

tara caimi holding mug in frong of shelfTara Caimi is part of our Friday night reading and then kicks of the conference as part of Saturday’s opening debut authors panel. We’re excited to learn how Mush went from idea to published book. In the meantime, before we welcome Tara to Lancaster, we had this brief conversation with her via email:

Hippocampus: We don’t want to give too much away about your panel, but please share with us a golden nugget that you hope attendees will take away from your talk that isn’t found on the program description.

I think it’s important for authors to know their options and to make educated decisions about how they want their books to be published. In this day and age, the choice isn’t between “traditional” or “vanity.” Self publishing is a viable option, partner publishing is on the rise, and independent publishers abound, each varying in focus and process. There’s a lot of information out there, and newer models are still growing and changing. It’s an exciting time to be involved in publishing because of the breadth of options. There are benefits and challenges involved with each method. That’s why it’s so important for authors, first and foremost, to know what they want out of publishing their work; then they can do the research required to make sure they accomplish their goals with publication.
Aside from speaking, what you are most looking forward to about being part of the inaugural HippoCamp? 

I’m looking forward to immersing myself in the conference and taking part in the energy generated by a swarm of creative writers. I’m looking forward to learning from other writers and having meaningful and enlightening conversations. I’m looking forward to catching up with old friends and making new acquaintances. I’m looking forward to the keynotes and the sessions and to soaking it all in. I’m looking forward…
What’s on your personal conference agenda? Perhaps share with us a session/event you don’t want to miss.

I don’t have it all figured out yet, but I’m interested in the panel discussion on literary citizenship. Since my work has been published in some journals and magazines and now that I have a book published, I’ve been thinking of ways I can share the knowledge I’ve gained and generally give back. I also like the idea of “Acting the Book,” which is a session Lori Myers will present. I attempted a performance of scenes from Mush at the independent bookstore in my hometown. It was completely experimental–sort of a literary reading meets readers theater style event. I made some mistakes, as often happens with the learning by doing approach. I could use some pointers for comparison and improvement if I choose to do something like that in the future.
What are you most looking forward to about visiting Lancaster?

Farmers Market.


Thanks, Tara! Congratulations on Mush, and we’re looking forward to hearing more of your story… both from the book itself and the story behind it!