Wednesday, May 4, 2011


         Another great NEC Romance Writers' Conference! From the beginning to the end, I had a wonderful time. I saw old friends and made new. They held some helpful workshops. I got to met another Rose, Laura Breck...I'm getting ahead of myself. I need to back up a tad.
         This year I pampered myself. Yes, I did. I got a new haircut, a manicure, a pedicure (heaven) and a couple of new outfits. Alright. Alright. So I had a wedding to go to after the conference. It was all good! I got to spend the conference with a good friend. Its a shame really that we only see each other at the conference.  
         Salem is a quaint town. We stayed at the Salem Inn. Historical. I think it would be understated to say I like history since I write historicals. Not that I got a chance to tour Salem. I was way too busy. It was a lovely atmosphere. Although we weren't able to stay at the Hawthorne where the conference was held, everything was close by. I have to go back and tour Salem on my own.
         On Friday afternoon the major workshop was held by Donald Maass. For anyone that doesn't know Mr. Maas, he's a major agent for writers. He's written numerous books for writers on how to write and sell. My impression of Mr. Maass...he struck me as the Simon Cowell of literary agents- opinionated, brutally honest, and more than likely correct in his assessment. He offered for us to send him the first five pages of our manuscript. As you well know, agents aren't my thing or I'm not theirs. If I build my courage up and work endlessly of the first five pages for say maybe six months to a year, I might, maybe or maybe not...Honestly putting aside my jesting, anyone would be fortunate to have someone like Mr. Maass to represent them, but I'm not even looking for an agent until I sell a couple of more books. A side note, I have to say not only am I impressed with him professionally, he and his wife had only recently adopted the most adorable three year old little boy. Impressive. I wish the both of them the best with their son. Enjoy!
        The fun part- the speakers- loved them all three. Anne Stuart- I love the way she marches to her own beat. Annette Blair-What a lovely lady! But my inspiration this weekend came from Lani Diane Rich- I AM A GREAT WRITER.
        A simple statement yet powerful. As authors we all love what we write. If we didn't we wouldn't write. The whole of the field is so competitive. Did you know that they gave out the statistic that on any given day there are over 1500 books released? With those kinds of stats, as an author I need to convey confidence. Do I like my stories? Yes. Do I believe in my stories? Yes. Then I don't need to show any sign of weakness. A great attitude- one I need to work on it a tad. But just saying the words is empowering.
         Then came the dreaded pitch. Thankfully this year we had sent in a query and the first 10 pages. A much better start to my pitch than last year (walking into the room without crying would have been a better start than last year). I'm awful trying to sell myself when I talk. Put me behind a computer and I'm fine. So sending in the first 10 and a query let's somewhere feel my writing before I sat down. It went great! A few revisions and then they want to see the whole manuscript! Excited. She thinks the manuscript could fall under the new genre. I believe its called New Age. Now I have to figure out what the New Age genre expects from a love scene. My first instinct was to their advice on revising and send it out this week, but I'm going to take my time with the revisions. I even going through the whole book. I'm taking Mr. Maass advice. Don't rush. Make sure its great writing. So within two weeks...
         I did run into the editor I sent Whisperings of a Southern Heart. She was so cute. A young thing. I could have been her mother, but so polite. When I introduced myself, she hadn't a clue who I was, but she said my name sounded familiar. So I'm not expecting much from my query, but I respected her reaction to me. Professional and didn't put me down for not knowing who I was. I liked her. Wish her well. Honestly, I couldn't expect much from Whisperings. It's almost 200,000 words. I'm going to have to sell more books to get anyone to seriously look at it.
         I ran into so many of my Facebook friends. It's funny. When I introduced myself, I would say something stupid like We're friends on Facebook. You probably don't know me but... You know what whether they knew my name or not, they acted like they did. I did speak to Miranda Neville, Anne Stuart, and Mia Marlowe. I am going to be spotlighting Mia and Annette Blair on Novel Works. I hope to spotlight Anne Stuart (such a character. I do love her) among others at the conference. I also am suppose to be doing a blog for Hannah Howell if I get in touch with her PR person.
        A wonderful conference. I hated to have to leave early before the book signings, but I had a wedding to attend. I also missed the Ghost Hunt.  But definitely a good time. Can't wait until next year

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