Tomorrow, loyal readers, I am off to hobnob with my fellow wizards. I shall set off on the winding road to the bright mountain where the wizards gather to share secrets. That is to say, I’m packing to go to the Romance Writers of America Annual Conference in New York City. Sigh.
What occurs at such a gathering? Writers (published or not, print or electronic, under contract or independent) converge with editors and agents. A sprinkling of PR folk season the mix with offers of the magic road to the best seller. There are workshops in which those who have successfully navigated the swamp of publishing try to provide wisdom to their fellow travelers, or storytellers teach their art to would be storytellers, or the newest crazes/fads/buzzwords/trends are explained. There is an orgy of social networking and an even bigger orgy of hallway networking. There are spotlights on various publishers. There are published author retreats and “professional” author retreats. There are pep rallies, er keynote addresses every morning. There are bagels. There are opportunities to hone your elevator pitch and your ten minute proposals. There are opportunities to acquire autographed books by favorite authors because authors are invariably readers. There are more bookmarks and business cards than fit in your suitcase. There are parties and, yes, there is wine.
What do I plan to accomplish? I plan to meet old friends and finally meet new friends I know only electronically (including three other Bluestocking Belles). I plan to soak up as much information and as many new ideas as I can pack in my brain. I hope to give away a thousand bookmarks. Motivated by the buildup, I’ve written a proposal for a new series and I have three appointments to talk about it. Since the polite question at Annual is “What do you write?” you can assume I will be using that elevator pitch quite a bit. I plan to swan around the Beau Monde soirée in Regency dress with the rest of the Austen devotées thanks to the genius and generosity of my friend, Susan Gee Heino. Finally, I plan to look cool and sophisticated at the Rita and Golden Heart Awards Ceremony on Saturday night.
Did I mention new series? You can count on hearing more.