Have you ever had the opportunity to meet a published author? Or to listen to one speak? If so, congratulations. If not, I highly recommend it for any of you aspiring authors.

I can almost guarantee that you will leave an author’s talk inspired to write. Authors speak about their writing process, their publishing process, and what inspires them. They’ll often share their own struggles with writing (yes, they sometimes struggle too) as well as the joy their find in writing.

They’ll share their struggles and triumphs which we can understand since we’re all writers.

Over the past year, I’ve gotten to listen to Maggie Steifvater, Libba Bray, April Henry, Shannon Hale, and most recently, Josh Hanagarne, author of The World’s Strongest Librarian, an inspirational memoir of his lifelong struggles with Tourette’s syndrome.

Last week, Josh returned to his old high school to speak, and thankfully, I teach there. Usually, seeing authors speak takes a bit more work than just showing up at school.

The best way to find them is to check out your local bookstores and library for visiting authors and author signings. Even if you live in a small town in the middle of nowhere (like many of us do), bookstores and libraries will often feature local authors who will share their writing journey.

I encourage you to go, listen to them speak, and ask them questions. If you can’t find authors to go see “live,” get on youtube and search for some of your favorite authors. Many of them have videos posted where they talk about writing. I’ve shared some of my favorites on this blog.

This video the book trailer for The World’s Strongest Librarian, but Josh also talks about what he thinks makes a good memoir.

What authors have you seen and what have been their best tips? Share in the comments below.