Monday, April 30, 2012

Spring Fling

Last weekend brought the biennial writers conference presented by the Chicago North chapter of RWA - Spring Fling. This year the exciting event was held in a new venue, Marriott at Hoffman Estates.

Things began with two-hour master class on pitching presented by Carrie Lofty. She gave us a great overview on pitching graciously stayed at least an extra hour, well into lunchtime, to ensure that she read and critiqued every practice pitch people gave her.
On Friday afternoon, I presented an abbreviated version of my MAN TALK online class. I had a full room of ladies, and one male, who listened attentively, asked questions, and, I hope, went home with ideas they will be able to use while creating and editing their manuscripts to make their male characters appear more realistic. 

BTW, the male ringer in the class sat in the back with a sneaky smile as I talked. After the session, he came and told me I was spot on in a number of points. 

He and his wife became two of my newest fans, and we spent a lot of time together during the rest of the conference. I got a lot of new information on REAL MEN from him as well. We determined we were both INTJ types on the Meyers-Briggs personality scale, and sat around observing other conference participants.  He also let me know he was the Chief archetype.
I have to admit to loving the "Hot Night" feature of the program. I was part of the "sweet romance" group, and read a selection from Being God, my next novel, that is currently being edited, and got some great feedback. We enjoyed all the readings and as midnight approached we had to be chased from the room.  And, we had another male romance writer joining us to read a hot wedding night scene from the guy's POV.

The headliners were all spectacular and filled our heads with stories of hope and encouragement. Special thanks to Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Diana Love, who both stepped in at the last minute when earlier headliners had personal emergencies.

Hope you were there, the fun, and knowledge gained, was awesome.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Barbara Vey's luncheon.

Last week was one of my busiest ever!!

Things started in Milwaukee at Barbara Vey's 1st readers luncheon. I was there Monday night for her library event, and then for the Tuesday luncheon.  I especially thank the lovely, hardworking WisRWA ladies who greeted everyone when they entered. 
I shared a table with another YA author, Erica O'Rourke. She and I presented the young people at our table with copies of our books. Doesn't this look like the happiest table around, including the parent who came to sub for her sick child and Leah Hultenschmidt, SourceBooks YA editor, who came to join us. I also managed to find a new beta reader for my next book, Being God. He and his mother both intend to give the story a try.

My publisher was the only one who did not get my book to Barnes and Noble in time for the sale. This is the third time in the last year I've gone to an event and 'look Ma, no books.' The rep was sympathetic and handed me a stack of bookplates that I could use for people who ordered the book - and yes, two people still did.  I don't understand why Everbind can't get the book into booksellers' hands. I'm being driven to distraction when they say the book isn't selling - maybe it would sell better if it was out there? (hint, hint)

I came back to Chicago Tuesday  night, just in time to get a little sleep and re-pack for my next venture - Romance Slam Jam in Little Rock Arkansas.
More about that next time.

FYI -  I've put a host of pictures on facebook