If you want to be an author, one of the most helpful ways to learn besides writing is to talk to published authors – listen to them speak, ask questions, etc. Fortunately, many authors do book signings or talks as a way of making money or marketing their work. These are great opportunities to see them talk and ask them about writing and publishing.
Some of the most common places to find these book signings and talks are at local book stores (check the chains near you), conventions, festivals, colleges, and universities. Check out what big events are going on around you, and you’ll probably find that at least one author’s talk will be included.
If not, you can always go to the websites of your favorite authors and find out if they’re touring. If they are, they should have a schedule posted. You may have to travel, but in my experience, it’s worth it.
I would encourage you to go to see authors you’ve never heard of, as well, especially if there is a place near you that hosts book signings. Besides possibly finding new books you like, the more perspectives you get on writing and the publishing industry, the better picture you’ll have of how it really works and what options are available.