Countdown to Conference – What to Wear

on June 16, 2010

Hi all!  The RWA national conference will occur in late July – and it’s time to prepare!  Thousands of people will converge upon Ths Swan and Dolphin Hotel in Orlando Florida for workshops, pitching appointments and er, cocktail parties.  I can’t wait!  I attended the national convention in DC last year having only been writing for about six months.  I didn’t know a soul and hadn’t joined any of the online specialty writing chapters.  So I went to the workshops and pitched my books to editors and agents.  That’s it.  And I enjoyed being anonymous. 

But  now I’m a member of several online chapters, have an agent and an editor and have made some good friends.  So along with the workshops there will be…yep.  Social stuff.  Cocktail parties.  Get togethers.  Yay!

Last year I couldn’t quite get my head around the dress code.  What the heck is ‘business casual,’ anyway?  Here’s what I saw:  On Thursday (opening sessions, keynote luncheon) – people wore casual skirts, capri’s or pants with blouses, sweaters and/or blazers.  While it’s hot outside, the A/C is pumping inside, so have a blazer or sweater handy!  On Friday – same dress code.  Some people had their pitching appointments on Friday – so the skirts might be a bit nicer or the pants a bit more pressed.  I wore tan pants, white shirt and a red blazer for my pitching appointments. 

Finally, on Saturday you might see some jeans.  (Yes, I wore jeans with a nice blazer on Saturday because both of my pitching appts were the day before.)  But some people will have pitching appointments on Saturday, so they’ll be in…you guessed it…business casual.  🙂

Finally – night time.  From what I observed, normal cocktail attire worked.  Though there are some fancy dresses donned for the Golden Heart/Rita award ceremony. 

It's all about the shoes...

I think the important thing is to be comfortable in what you wear, because that will show.  As always, shoes count.  There’s quite a bit of walking around, so they should be comfortable – and adorable, or course!

Countdown to Conference

on June 9, 2010

Hi all!  I’m starting a new blog series today about the countdown to the RWA National Conference to be held July 28-August 1st in Orlando Florida!  There will be thousands of people, hundreds of workshops, several parties and…famous authors, acquiring editors and impressive agents.  In this blog I’ll cover what to wear, how to pitch your book, and how to stay organized (and sane). 

So for today – here’s the link to the RWA Conference:  http://www.rwanational.org/cs/conferences_and_events  where you can go and find how to register, a list of the workshops and notes on which editors and agents will be attending.  My next blog will include what to expect from your pitching appointment.

Writing Ain’t so Lonely Anymore…

on May 15, 2010

My husband thinks I’m becoming too attached to my computer.  I’m not.  And Big Tone will always have my attention – I mean, the guy is hot.  Even though he gets up way too early on a Saturday to go to a car show…

But it occurred to me the other day that my people aren’t here.  Yes.  I have people.  And considering I’m not exactly a ‘people person,’ that’s saying something.  (By people, I mean writing people.  Of course my family and friends are here…where else would they be?)

My editor gave an excellent interview and answered a bunch of questions yesterday on the Brava Writer’s Blog.  Here’s the link if you’re interested:  http://www.bravaauthors.com/blog/.  Megan sounds like a lot of fun, doesn’t she?  I have no doubt if we were in the same town, we’d meet for coffee.  Or bagels.  Or whatever New Yorkers meet for.  (On Sex and the City, it was always Cosmos.  But I think that train has passed).  But instead we email and hopefully will meet up at a conference sometime.

Same with my agent.  Caitlin is in New York, which of course, I love.  I know agents can be anywhere.  But let’s be honest.  Saying my agent is in New York gives me a happy little buzz.  Though we can’t meet for coffee.  With my being in Idaho and all.

And my critique partners.  Brandi is in the central time zone in what I thought was a cosmopolitan area.  Turns out her town is more rural than mine.  And Jenn, from the deep south, says things like, “Roll Tide Baby.”  What the heck is that?  I’m afraid I truly insulted her the other day when I said – ‘go Tennessee.’  Sorry about that, Jenn.  I thought you liked them.  My new friend Christal is in Canada and I think we could meet if we both drove four hours or so.  Hey.  It might happen.

Some famous writer once said that writing was lonely.  That must’ve been BEFORE the internet.  Where I find all of my people.   🙂

From book sale to bookshelf – contracts and the name game

on March 17, 2010

Okay – my contract arrived!  Yay!  All 19 pages of it – in triplicate.  Also, my agent sent a copy of the changes that had been negotiated – percentages of certain rights, deadlines and so forth.  So I read through it, more than a little thankful for being a lawyer.  However, while I can read a contract, I still didn’t know what terms were good.  Now I do.  Thanks to Caitlin.  Having an agent certainly makes this path smoother.

The other thing going on today is that we’re trying to name the book.  My editor at Kensington, Megan, said she’s working on it, so Caitlin and I threw together a list and emailed them to her yesterday.  I just received an email from Megan with a list of four possibilities.  So, of course, I sent the list to Caitlin, my writing buddies Jennifer Dorough and Brandi Hall before calling my husband, mom, sister and cousin.  Ummm.   So far the answers vary.  BUT, I do think we’ll  have a name by the end of the day.  Or maybe the end of the week…

My sister Debbie keeps saying that she liked ‘Urban Bite.’  And I keep saying, “Me too.”  But, I do understand why the title wouldn’t work for a paranormal romance.  So I’ll check back soon once we get a title.  Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

From book deal to bookshelf – lessons

on January 13, 2010

Well, I’ve added the 20,000 words to Not Urban Bite – some backstory, some fleshing out and some foreshadowing for book two.  Oddly enough I enjoyed the heck out of adding to the story.

I spent some time on the phone with my agent yesterday discussing my other five books.  I learned something, too.  The stories she likes best are the ones I wrote for the heck of it.  Just for fun – just for me.  Not the ones I wrote with the publishing industry in mind.  Hmmm.

Also, I have two young adult books  (YA) that aren’t truly YA.  They’re adult books masquerading as young adult.  (And apparently not hiding very well).  This point was driven home the other day at Costco.  I was walking out the door, waiting for the lady to check my cart and give me the coveted yellow highlighted slash across my receipt, when two teens ahead of me had a conversation.  It went like this:

LOL

OMG

ROFLMAO

And I thought ‘WTF?’  Are they actually using texting acronyms to have a conversation?  It took every ounce of control I had not to bash their heads together to see if a complete word would pop out.  So, maybe I should stick to adult writing for now…