Saturday, July 26, 2008

Conference Call

My oldest daughter thinks I've become a recluse. She doesn't seem to understand when I'm at work, I talk to hundreds of people every day, and in the summer, all I want to do is write and not talk to anybody (except for my husband, kids and their kids...and even then...*g*). But the Other Grandmother, a wonderful woman who shares my joy with Sadie, invited me out to see three published romance writers at her local library, a place with which two of them were amazingly familiar.

Yes, Kensington vampirist Kathy Love and Golden Heart nominated, Harlequin and LBD author Julie Cohen both grew up a few towns over, went to high school together, hung out at the library and now take the romance world by storm. They were joined by debut romantic suspense author Anna Louise Lucia.They made me laugh, answered my obnoxious questions, and gave all the proceeds of the sales of their books to the library. I had my own mini-RWA conference right here in Maine and now have three authors to glom. Their call stories were inspiring. Anna waited eighteen months to hear about her book from a publisher. I've only been waiting ten, LOL.

This week the romance world will go simultaneously dark and bright. San Francisco will be the epicenter of light; those of us not there will glumly go about our business in the gloom, living vicariously. My goal is to 'almost' finish Mistress by Midnight, when perhaps the Internet distractions will not be so alluring. If you're going to SF, what do you hope to achieve? If you're not, what's your goal this week? Do you want to go to Washington, D.C. next year? What authors have you met/inspire you?


skirbo said...

I don't mind not going to San Fran. I'm hoping to get some quality writing time in. I'm also planning to participate in the Romance Divas' Not Going To Conference Conference, since they have some really interesting virtual workshops scheduled.

It would be nice to go meet some people I know from the internet, but crowds sometimes overwhelm me, so I'm not sure I'll go until I have to, and definitely not until I can easily afford it.


Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Thanks for mentioning that site, Sarah. I know Gillian Layne has posted some other fun lists on her blog, too, for those of us children left behind.

I'm not exactly shy, but sometimes I think I might find the whole thing overwhelming. So many authors. So many workshops. So many bars, LOL. Which is why it was so nice to dip my toe in locally,*g*

J.K. Coi said...

I don't mind not going either. It's a lot of expense, and a lot of hype and probably a ton of fun too, but I just can't work it into the schedule this year.

Elyssa Papa said...

It sounds like you had a great time! That's the best type of conference... casual, but still fun without breaking your bank account.

There was one way I would've went to San Fran. But you know, everything does happen for a reason in why I'm not going.

I think San Fran will be fun for those that are going; I'm sure there will be lots of stories. Who knows if there'll be another swan hat incident? Time will only tell.

Although I am a bit green with envy at the EJ/JQ lunch (which sounds like it's going to be a ton of fun) and that one agent will be there that I'd love to meet.

Any pearls of wisdom that you got from the dinner you can share with us, Maggie?

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Ely, the most important thing was just don't give up. And finish stuff! That whatever you started with might have to be tweaked---for years---but just do it. One of the authors still does not have an agent, one got an agent after the book sold, one started w/ an agent, so there were three routes for three people.

Oh, and to clarify---I went to dinner (delicious scallops) with the Other Grandmother, and went to the authors' reading/book signing afterward. Altho they would have been fun to eat with---the three of them were very charming.

JK,we need to win the lottery. :)

Gillian Layne said...

Maggie, that is so cool! Sounds like a totally fun afternoon. :)

I'm not very upset at missing Nationals (besides the Gala--I would LOVE to be there to cheer everyone on!). Last year was my first, and it IS huge and overwhelming and really wonderful. I met Christina Dodd (ridiculously nice person) and Anna Campbell (ditto). I know I'll make my way back to Nationals at some point, so I'm not too concerned.

D.C. sounds nice--I guess it depends on the money...just like everything these days. Nashville is a definite--it's so close I'm going to fly out and hubby and kids are coming at the end so we can all drive home and make it into an extended vacation.

I'd like to really tighten up my synopsis and query letters next week.

J.K. Coi said...

I know,I'd love to win the lottery--but I'd actually have to play for that to happen.

Kelly Krysten said...

I definitely want to go to D.C. next year! I can hardly wait. This year, alas, I won't make it to SF and I'm sorely disappointed.

My goals for this week are to start rewriting my WIP and to finish reading my library books that are due back soon-I know I lead a wild

Good luck finshing Mistress, Maggie!

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

You and me both, Kelly, LOL. Bonus for me that 2 of the 3 books I checked out of the library are unreadable so they'll be going back well before the due date.

JK, I never buy tickets either. And when I do win $2 on a scratch ticket, I never even turn it in!

Gillian, if I go to DC next year, our best friends are about 3 hours away. I'd do the whole vacation thing, too. But DC in July/August---gasp. Even the Congress is smart enough top get out of town.

Terri Osburn said...

Maggie - I'm just so happy to hear you put your toe in the water. Kudos to the other grandma for getting you out there.

I went shopping again today for last minute conference stuff. The suitcase is pretty much ready to be zipped up. All that's left is packing the carry-on and the everyday stuff I have to use every morning.

My goal for this conference is to meet as many people as possible, bring back as much inspiration as I can stand, and have fun. The only thing keeping me sane is knowing I don't have to pitch. :)

I'll definitely be in DC next year as I'm only three hours away. Can't wait to meet everyone I won't get to meet this time around. And I'm steeling Gillian's links for non-conference goers in my blog tomorrow. LOL!

Tiffany Clare said...

Maggie... I'm with you in goals... I want to wrap up Hidden Beauty this week.

Funny thing is I booked this coming week off last September, thinking I could make RWA, but in the end couldn't justify the thousands it would have cost to go. Next year, it's a drive (not a fortune on a plane ticket) away. :) And I've booked that week off work already. No matter--I am going to the NJ conference, where I've already booked my agent appointment.

I'm good with not going, because my darling Jinan is not ready to be viewed, at least till end of september--when I think I'll get through second draft.

Maggie... mmmmm to the scallops, I love 'em wrapped in bacon... and I'm in on the lottery, it's my life time goal... to win!

awestruck moment--seeing Kelley Armstrong speak at my local chapter meet, I loved her first release soooooo much---Bitten--it ranks as one of my all time fave werewolf novels, and it takes place in Toronto--made me realize there were big writers here too!