Getting Close Now – RWA11

Another crazy week gone by, but this one is filled with excitement! Next week, RWA is holding its National Conference in New York City. I’ve been to National a couple of times – whenever it’s in New York. Going any other time has been difficult to justify, due to the high costs involved, conference fee, airfare, hotel. Not to mention, the conference usually takes place the week of my annual family vacation (that warrants its own separate post).  So logistically, I can rarely make it work. This year helps as well because it’s early this year. However, that had a glitch of its own – we hold an annual July 4th bash, usually the weekend of. But that is being cancelled for the first time in 19 years because I’m going to National!
This is my first time as a published author. The last time I went, in 2003, I was shopping my vampire book, The Taste of Magic. It had done well on the contest circuit, finaling in contests several times, and I pitched it to Dorchester. Sadly, that book didn’t go anywhere at the time, it took another three years before I finally contracted it in 2006.  But I remember having a great time at the conference, seeing friends I hadn’t seen in a while, some I’d only ever met online. I networked, I partied, I learned.
Now, I’m going to experience it from the other side. I’m looking forward to my “First Sale” ribbon on my badge, I’m looking forward to participating in the literacy autographing, and I am very excited to see and meet old and new friends. There are a few parties I’ll be attending, which I love, because they serve a dual purpose. You can have fun and network at the same time. I find it much easier to chat without the constraints of a set time-limited pitch. I’m less nervous, and I get to drink at the parties! lol And there are some really great workshops I’m eagerly anticipating. I volunteered to moderate one, and they assigned me to the Time Management one. Perfect for me! I’m looking forward to learning from some of my colleagues and authors who I am a fan of. And yes, I can guarantee, the fangirly moments will occur. I can’t help myself. One of my all time favorite fangirl encounters was when Carly Phillips and I stalked Catherine Coulter in NYC in 1993 (or 1994 – somewhere back in the early 90’s). There’ll be more moments like that this year, I am sure.
I’ve even signed up for editor and agent pitches. I’m not sure I really need or want an agent at this point, but there were a couple who interested me with their views and experience in the publishing world, so I thought I’d take a chance and take advantage of all my options. As for an editor appointment, I’ll admit part of that was because I am looking forward to meeting the editor I signed up with, but the book I’ll be pitching is a tricky one. The set-up for the story is a bit unconventional and while I certainly am free to submit at anytime without a prior pitch, I wanted the opportunity to actually discuss the possibilities with said editor. I do much better talking about my books than I do trying to condense it into a 2-page or less synopsis. Any one of my critique partners can tell you I suck at writing synopses, and like many, many authors I know, I despise having to do them.
So who else will be there? If you’re going to be there, I’d love to say hi face-to-face, so let me know.
See you there!
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