WESTBOROUGH, Mass. — Self-promotion is nice, author Diana Renn says, but when she participates in events such as Wednesday's author showcase at the Westborough Public Library, her main goal is to promote education, reading and writing.
"I always look at it as more of service than sales," she said.
Renn, whose first book "Tokyo Heist" was published last June, joined fellow New England authors Gina Damico, AC Gaughen and Hilary Weisman Graham at the event.
The authors, all of whom write in the young adult genre, shared tales of their writing histories, struggling to find the right agent, editing woes and publishing their first books.
Showing her writing to someone else for the first time was, Damico said, in one word: "Terrifying."
"To actually show your work to someone else is very, very hard, but you have to get over that," said Damico, author of "Croak" and "Scorch."
Gaughen, author of "Scarlet," said she didn't show her writing to anyone for 10 years after her first novel was shot down by a publisher when she was 14.
Although all four authors had very different stories, they agreed that presenting in groups is preferred and that nothing is better than when people show interest in their work.
Weisman Graham, author of "Reunited," said she recently had a young reader tell her how one of her presentations had made the girl's day.
"I said, 'If I made your day, you totally made my day,'" Weisman Graham said. "It really feels great."
The author event was the second of the week at Westborough Public Library, after a similar event was held Monday.
Charlotte Hebert of Northborough and Jan Lewis of Upton, who hosts the show "Be My Guest" on Upton TV, said they enjoyed the event.
Hebert, who has been writing for 20 years, says she's a regular at author panels.
"I always feel like it's sort of a pep rally," she said. "You always feel so much more encouraged when you leave. I kind of come out with a renewed sense of fervor and then I really want to write."