Monday, October 17, 2016

Conference Corner

I just returned from a fabulous romance writers conference this weekend. Sponsored by my local RWA chapter, the Put Your Heart in a Book Conference featured workshops, networking, pitching opportunities and chocolate—what’s not to love?

For me, it was a needed jolt of energy and inspiration. I’ve been down on everything writing-related recently, and hadn’t even planned to attend. But my online writer friends were talking about it, my critique group was involved in planning for it, and a writer I admire, Virginia Kantra, mentioned coffee. So I registered.

In a “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie” moment, I decided if I was going to the conference, I might as well pitch. So I chose three editors/agents I thought might be interested in my work and signed up to pitch them. And then I panicked. Luckily for me, one of my critique partners, Miriam, was in charge of the appointments. She talked me off the ledge, adjusted my appointments and even invited me to sit at the editor/agent table for lunch – a surefire way to guarantee I don’t actually eat anything.

For weeks I prepped and worried and planned and worried and worried some more.

But I’m so glad I went!

I met up with lots of writer friends, pulling me out of my introverted writer shell. Thank you, Laurie!

I attended two fabulous workshops—one by Tessa Dare on “Firsts”—first kisses, first meetings, etc.—and how to use them to improve the emotional content of your writing; and one by Robin Covington on adding intimacy to your sex scenes (insert tab A into slot B is really only good for Ikea directions). They both inspired me and I’m busy incorporating what I learned into my current manuscripts.

My pitching went well—and the editors and agents were nice people too!—and I’m planning to submit their requested materials within the next two weeks. Hopefully I’ll have good news soon.

As I’ve often said, one of the best things about these conferences is the support we all give each other. Romance writers are some of the nicest in the publishing world. We constantly look for ways to prop each other up, no matter our success level. With that in mind, if any of you are looking for some new-to-you authors, may I suggest any of these wonderful ladies who have been so supportive of me?

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