Better late than never?
I really enjoyed National this year. Aside from getting sick, that is. I couldn’t find anything about the hotel to complain about. Excellent location, the elevators didn’t get clogged up, and I had an excellent roomie. The only thing I found weird about the hotel itself was how some workshops were held on the fifth floor, was it? I wasn’t paying that much attention due to the illness, but I seem to remember a hall of hotel rooms as well as the meeting rooms. I couldn’t help feeling like I was infringing on the guests of those rooms. Or did I get that wrong? Were there guest rooms on level 5?
I’m used to seeing a lot of signage at National. Bulletin boards with announcements, placards pointing the way. We didn’t get that this year. I kind of liked not having the placards and bulletin boards, but it did make the first day or so of conference a bit confusing.
My favorite workshop? That’s a tough one, because I attended very few workshops this year. I didn’t attend any on Thursday because of meetings and other functions, and then Friday I had editor/agent appointments, plus by then my sickness had invaded full force. I’m not even sure I attended a workshop on Friday! Crazy, huh? Well, not so much. The more conferences I attend, the more the conference becomes, for me, a networking and business meeting environment. I can only attend so many workshops on similar themes. I understand the Eric Maisel Creativity workshop and the Save the Cat workshop were divine. However, both were two hours, and I didn’t have the energy to sit there that long. (Yes, I’m pathetic.) I must seriously consider ordering the podcasts for these two workshops, however.
Attended a lot of Spotlights, including the Sourcebooks Spotlight. I also had an opportunity to meet the Sourcebooks editor one-on-one Thursday before lunch. I just love putting a face to a name.
Thursday afternoon revolved around meetings with Penny’s Red Sage editor and publisher, then the Red Sage Coffee Mixer, which was packed!
Friday, more appointments. Met with two agents, one outside of the official RWA appointments. Both meetings went well, however, I was quite dizzy during the official appointment, and I’m not sure how I came across. Like a ditzy brunette? I warned the agent that I wasn’t feeling well and for that same reason I decided not to shake her hand. We hit it off on a personal level (well, I did—maybe she thought I was nuts!), but, as they say, it’s in the writing.
My second agent appointment went swimmingly, if you don’t count that I had a hard time figuring out the message she left on my cell phone about where to meet her, both because there were voices in the background and because my ears were blocked. I scampered up two or three escalators while re-playing the message until I figured out that she was waiting for me at the top of the escalator for the Terrace Something restaurant. Again explained about the illness.
With all these explanations about the illness, I’m now realizing I didn’t actually pitch to any of the agents. We talked about my and Penny’s careers and what single titles I had going for both personas, but only in general terms (ie., erotic romance single title and contemporary romance with a mystery sub-plot). The editor, however, did ask me to read the pitch for the contemporary romance. And read it I had to do. I’d had it memorized, but no way was I relying on my memory with my brain so befuddled by the cold, so I read from my index card, lifting my head every few seconds to make eye contact. The result was the editor asked me to re-send the full of the erotic, which she saw last fall pre-revisions when it was a very hot contemporary, and she asked me to send as much as I have polished of the contemporary with mystery subplot. That’s about half the book. I need to finish a chapter, and then I’ll send her both books in the same package.
Fulfilling the editor and agent requests is my goal for this week. All in all, I received a request for one full and one extended partial from an editor, and requests for 5 partials from 3 agents (two wanted partials of both the erotic and non-erotic story while one agent wanted a partial only from the finished book, which is the erotic). Looking back, I can’t complain.
How about you? Any gripes or raves about conference? How did your editor/agent appointments go? I had grandiose plans to haunt the appointment desk Friday and Saturday and snatch up any skipped or cancelled appointments, however I felt bad enough putting the scheduled agent and editor through my disastrous “pitches” without exposing more industry professionals to my germ-laden self.