by Tj O'Connor, Author of Dying to Know, Dying for the Past, and the upcoming, Dying to Tell
Since I’ve made the transition from being a writer to an author—the difference is an imaginary line between being unpublished and published (or so I’m told)—I’ve been fortunate to have experiences and meet people I never would have before. As a consultant, life revolves around problem solving. I generally meet very interesting people under the worst of circumstances—they have a problem and they need help … now. In ninety-five percent of the cases it’s a pure business arrangement, with no opportunity for friendship or camaraderie. But as an author, I’ve had the privilege of meeting the most extraordinary people without a cry for help. Most often it’s simply because we share a vocation and love of books—a small, friendly club of authors. How novel. (Sorry, couldn’t help myself.)
Still, I’m an unknown, and except the few who recognize an email or Facebook post here and there, no one has heard of me. In my prior government life, that was how I wanted it—anonymity meant I was below the radar. As an author, anonymity can be fatal.
Yet despite this veil of “who are you again?” I received an invitation from an amazing charity to be one of five authors to speak at a fundraiser this month—The Children’s Specialized Hospital Friends, in Summit, New Jersey.
Who, me? Are you sure you have the right Tj O’Connor? To my amazement, they did.
And so, on April 30th from 11 am to 3 pm, I will share the spotlight with four talented authors to help The Children’s Specialized Hospital Friends. I’ll be speaking along with Marta McDowell, author of Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life; Jerry Parr and Carolyn Parr who wrote, Inside the Secret Service; and Jennifer Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. And all of us will be serving up “A Literary Luncheon” at the Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit, New Jersey, to help raise funds for this charity.
Here’s a little taste of what this hospital and charity are all about (from the hospital’s website):
Children’s Specialized Hospital is a non-profit rehabilitation hospital that serves over 20,000 children annually in 12 sites throughout New Jersey. The hospital serves children affected by traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, complications from premature birth, autism, developmental delays and life changing illnesses. The hospital’s patients come from New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut and of course New Jersey. Renowned therapeutic programs include physical, speech, and occupational therapy; psychology services; neurodevelopmental physician services; recreational therapy and child life, and a full complement of support services. Read more about the Children’s Specialized Hospital at http://www.childrens-specialized.org.
So, if you are in the New Jersey area, or have friends or colleagues in the area, ask them to check out this event and consider joining us. If they can’t make the luncheon, perhaps they will consider a small donation or consider passing this blog and flier along to others who might wish to support us.
CHILDREN’S SPECIALIZED HOSPITAL FRIENDS
Invite you to
“A LITERARY LUNCHEON”
Thursday, April 30, 2015
11:00am to 3:00pm
Canoe Brook Country Club
Summit, New Jersey
Marta McDowell Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life
TJ O’Connor Dying to Know
Jerry Parr with Carolyn Parr Inside the Secret Service
Jennifer Smith The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Ticket price for luncheon and program is $50.00
For more information or to purchase tickets please contact Marilyn Zocca
All proceeds to benefit Children’s Specialized Hospital’s “Friday Night Fever”
And here’s a bonus … for the first twenty people who donate at least $50 to the Children’s Specialized Hospital charity because of this blog, I’ll send them a signed copy of Dying to Know or Dying for the Past (their choice) as a thank you from me. If they have read the books and have a favorite charity, I’ll donate the books in their name to the charity. All they have to do is email me with confirmation of the donation and reference this blog and the catch phrase, “Dying Is Overrated. Giving To Charity Is Not” and the book will be in the mail.
So come on, all my author and writer pals, pass the word along. We get a lot from writing, and I’m not talking about royalties (at least I can’t talk about royalties …) Let’s share a little of the jazz we all get from belonging to this small club of authors and book lovers.
End Note: In full disclosure, this invitation did not come from any sudden fame or notoriety. Two dear friends, Tom and Gail S., who joined me for my book launch party last year, arranged my invitation. Tom is a great writer in his own right seeking publication. Gail, his wife, is a mover-and-shaker and the Fund Raising Chair for the Children’s Specialized Hospital Friends. Thanks to both of you for this opportunity and for your continued support and friendship.