Sunday, November 16, 2008

FWA Conference

Didn't win the Royal Palm Literary Award. At least I was a finalist. And the banquet food was good. Congrats to the winners.

The conference itself had a few interesting lectures. The topics were of value, although presenters really needed to stop looking at their notes and perfect those presentation skills. It would have been better if the allotted times were shorter. Often it felt like the presenters were stretching their material and purposely speaking slowly to fill their time slots. The only other complaint I have is that some of the talks seemed to be thinly veiled commercials for people's services. One was offering to be a writing "coach". Another was pushing self-publishing (and owned a self-publishing operation). Go figure. I really prefer conferences where the speakers are ONLY writers, agents, and editors of legitimate houses. Their only agendas are helping/finding new writers. If I'm paying money (and in this case, it was rather a lot of money) I don't want to watch someone try to sell me something.

On the up side, both the hubby and I pitched an agent. She was extremely nice and wanted to see chapters from each of us. And since she is in the process of opening her own agency (leaving a very legitimate one) she is looking for new clients. When she found out I had an author mentor whom she had heard of and respected, that increased her enthusiasm. She even started talking about where and to whom she would pitch my novel, if she took me on as a client.

We also met some very nice people and did some networking.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

mentor meeting

Wow, two posts in one day. I'm setting a record here.

Went to see Linnea Sinclair yesterday at a writing conference in Tampa. I'm assuming it's ok to mention that she is the one mentoring me here, since she announced it publicly to the conference goers. If she's not happy about it, I suspect she reads this blog and will probably tell me. I don't think I've mentioned it before, as I didn't want her to be hounded by people hoping she will mentor them as well. Anyway, I hope it's ok. Several of the conference goers stopped me and my husband to tell us how fortunate we are to have her as a mentor. Believe me, we know.

Linnea is awesome. She gave a great talk on conflict development that nearly had me spitting my soda at the humorous moments. We had a chance to talk at the signing afterward and she offered some new suggestions on my opening chapter. My protagonist needs a more personal moment in that opening, something emotional that grips the readers and gets readers to know her on a deeper level than is currently available to them. I've got another request for a partial, so I need to get working on that.

She also had fashion advice for me. The Royal Palm Literary Awards are this coming weekend, and as I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm a finalist. And a fashion disaster. I don't do clothes. I don't do hair. I don't do make up. Thank God I found a husband who is into the "natural" look. He doesn't care for make up or trendy styles either. Whew!

Anyway, she had some suggestions on clothes and hair. I went shopping. The clothes suggestions didn't really work for me. When I looked at the "twin sets", I just didn't feel comfortable. But I did go with the black pants she suggested. Then I found a lovely mid-thigh length gray and black sweater with a wide collar. Very figure flattering. And I FINALLY found some black suede flat black boots that FIT. I've been looking for those for years. Everything always had too pointy toes or were too narrow around the legs to fit me comfortably. Yay! I'll also wear the lovely Indian bear bracelet she gave me this weekend. It's gorgeous, and exactly my style. I wear minimal jewelry, but this was perfect.

For make up, I've finally found colors that work with my complexion. Only took me about 36 of my 38 years to figure them out, but I've got that covered.

Hair. Well, she suggested I dye it a bit lighter. The dye would also contribute to the volume, which is always a problem for me since I have very thin hair. And a shoulder length cut. And some better hair care products. Well, I'll do the cut and the products. The dye job will need to wait until Winter Break so that if I don't care for it, I won't have to wear it to work right away.

So, I think I'm covered for the awards dinner. At least I hope so. I've sent Linnea a description and links to the outfit. If she hates it, I'll wear it on Thanksgiving.

Book Review of the Day - Kat Richardson

Another one. Yep. Underground may be her best yet, although her "monster" was rather hard to accept at first. Throughout the reading of the book, the line, "Alligators in the sewers," spoken in the little girl's voice from E.T. kept going through my head, and it was darn distracting.

Other than that, though, the main character, Harper Blaine, is extremely well-developed and enjoyable to read. She is strong, yet sympathetic. Her needs and wants are clearly demonstrated, along with her determination to do the right thing despite what it may cost her personally. It was also nice to see the new love interest developing. Oops, that was a touch of spoiler, I guess.

All in all, a good read.