Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Conference Report- Day 2!!!!

Okay, let's pick up where we left off!

Day 2, Part 1: Woke at 5:30 a.m., unable to fall back asleep. It had been an awful night. I never sleep well the first night in a new place, but this was horrible. The heater was sooooooooooooo loud and seemed to click on every 5 minutes with a whoosh so loud that it felt like I woke every single time. The night before, when Sarah and I were on our laptops on our beds, the heater was on my side, and if it was on and she said soemthing to me, I had to ask her to repeat it louder. I could not hear her...and she was only about 5 feet away from me!!!

So we got dressed, primped and preened, then headed to breakfast, after dropping off my entries for the flash contests. I wrote a couple things to enter, fiction and non-fiction, 100 word max. That was incredibly tough!!

Breakfast was typical continental fare- muffins, danishes, bagels, fruit, juice, coffee, tea. But it was tasty! We chatted with some writers while we ate then went our separate ways.

Sarah and I ended up at only two sessions together...we write different genres, so there were sessions that appealed to each of us differently.

At 8:50 was the Agent Panel. It consisted of Kim Lionetti, Michelle Humphrey, Eddie Schneider and Jessica Papin. The moderator led off with some questions and each agent answered, stuff like trends and demystifying the publishing industry. The floor was then opened to the rest of us and there were some great questions. It was quite informative.

Next at 9:50 was The Power of Knowing Your Premise by James Frey. This was quite interesting. He is very entertaining and basically he tells it like it is. I guess I had never really given thought to my premise...I mean, I know what my books are about, but to simplify it into a few words.....seemed impossible. He really seemed to resonate with me when he said "Shit doesn't just happen." Something leads to something that leads to something. Our characters need to be dramatic, extreme of type. They need to have a grueling passion, but it can change. There needs to be a dramatic change in your character, a struggle, high stakes, whether it be love, relationships, honor, money, family.

In the end, I discovered my premise for A Bitch Named Karma is this: Selfishness leads to self discovery and true bliss.

For Spellbound, it's this: Love defeats family loyalty.

I had to miss the last 15 minutes of this session to make it to my pitch appointment on time. It was set for 10:30. I left, arms and legs shaking with fear, and took my place outside the meeting room with a few other writers waiting for their 10:30's with their selected agent. One of the women asked who I was seeing- I told her. She was also seeing Kim...at the same exact time. Yikes! We were escorted in, informed the moderator of our problem and she approached Kim and told her of the mix-up. She agreed to meet with one of us immediately and the other, right after, even though pitch sessions were over for the morning. The other woman went first, leaving me 10 more minutes to freak out inside. I decided to get my mind off of it for at least a few minutes and went to the table displaying the flash contest entries and made my votes. I headed back and waited, insides churning. I went in and shook Kim's hand, hoping she didn't hear my thundering heart. I introduced myself then fumbled with my bag and yanked out my notebook with the notes I had prepared. I started talking and didn't once glance at my notebook. I did relax after that first sentence and Kim was easy to talk to. I felt like I was jumping around in the book, but it was more of a casual conversation so I didn't think too much of it. Kim asked a few questions, the resolution of course, and also how my MC's mother felt about the events that were transpiring. Then she asked me who's work I compared myself too. I was never so thankful in my life than I had been in that moment for taking a minute to ponder that simple question the night before. I was 100% prepared and that feeling felt GREAT!! I'm hoping my confidence shined then though I did honestly tell her that I had been prepared from the moment she mentioned it in her pitch workshop the night before. I told her I compared my writing to Emily Giffin's and her ability to write characters that the reader can't help but root for and want to know more about. She smiled and seemed pleased with the answer (Kudos for me!!) She asked to see a partial and slid her business card across the table!! I thanked her, said my goodbyes, and tried not to skip out of there.

The rest of the day, I floated through. The weight had been lifted and I felt great. I thought my pitch went decently well and I was pleased with how relaxed I did feel when I went in there and just let it flow from my mouth. I didn't try to organize it and I hope my passion for the story shined through.

I met up with Sarah and another writer we had met, Nicole. There was a short break before the next sessions started. I relayed my experience then parted ways with them to attend Seducing Your Reader!

Check back tomorrow!!!


  1. How exciting. I've never been to a pitch session before. I would be just as nervous, but it sounds like you did marvelous. Good luck with submitting your partial!

  2. That's great! I'm so glad it went well for you.

  3. Awesome!!
    Have you sent her your partial yet?

  4. Wow! Glad your pitch session went well! Good luck with the pages!

  5. Thanks everyone! Yes I did send my partial yesterday. I didn't want to wait...the longer I wait, the greater the chance that she forgets me! I had already been through the story tons of times, especially the first 50 pages, so after one read-through, I felt confident in sending it.

  6. Wow -- what a great day! Congrats on the partial and good luck! :)