May 8, 2006

First Base

Where do I start? The conference was a stomach-churning, nail-biting, delirium-inducing whirlwind of sheer amazingness. I got requests from everyone I pitched to (seven total), which makes me very, very happy. I’m going to take a week to polish the novella until it gleams and then send it off.

Kerensa Brougham, my critique partner and conference roomie, also got requests. We were both so keyed-up, we woke at 5:00 a.m. on Saturday and started pitching to each other before we even brushed our teeth. Nervous energy is such a strange phenomenon. I’m accustomed to being on stage, but nothing could have prepared me for the terror that struck when I realized that in two minutes I would be face to face with a senior editor at Kensington (she was extremely nice by the way). I had my lines carefully rehearsed, but promptly went off script. Luckily, she seemed to like it.

And all that time I spent analyzing what outfit to wear paid off as well. My sweet vintage red shoes with the white piping got lots of compliments, as did my business cards with the plush red wallpaper on the back (thank you, Laura!). I was glad I spent the time to research and create my identity system before the conference.

Julia Quinn taught a very helpful dialogue class. She’s funny, honest, and down-to-earth. But my favorite speaker was Stella Cameron. I’ve never read any of her books, but I’m going to. If she were a guru, I would grasp the hem of her robe and follow her to the ends of the earth. All the speakers shared a common theme: don’t let fear hold you back. I needed to hear that. I’ve spent too long doubting myself.

It’s time to stop hiding and get out there and WRITE!