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Saturday, July 28, 2012

RWA12 Day 2...And your correspondent wins an award

SO HAPPY (and a little unsteady on the unfamiliar high heels). Yes, your humble correspondent is the winner of the 2012 ROMANCE THROUGH THE AGES contest run by the Hearts Through History chapter of RWAm.  LORD SOMERTON'S HEIR is currently with the agency who judged the final entries and we'll see what happens next... terrific night! My darling Sebastian Alder (the hero of LSH) is delighted and thanks everyone for their warm wishes.

So back to the business at hand...I am pleased to report your Anaheim correspondent woke feeling bright eyed and bushy tailed this morning. The early night worked wonders.

A light breakfast is served at the conference venue and it's a great time to meet new people. Having a funny accent helps break the ice.  I just tell people now that it's a Melbourne accent...explaining the whole Out of Africa bit is just too complicated.

A panel of 3 predominantly YA authors, Elle James, Trinity Faegen and Jordan Dane.
A good positive affirmation to start the day...and a won a prize (THE POWER OF NOW - a guide to spiritual enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle which looks really interesting). Winning prizes is always good!

  • Key points I took from this:  Don't let marketing/ networking/blogging/ social media take your creativity. 
  • Manage your time, use calendars to organise your day.
  • Develop positive rituals
  • Drink hot tea...
Above all believe in yourself. Your stories come from your and only you.

Oh my...lions, and tigers and bears....
I had a 1030 pitch with Heather Osborn of Samhain. We were instructed to be there 15 mins early. You are marshalled on to chairs and once all 1030s are assembled route marched to the other side of the room and put in alphabetical order of the person you are pitching to. Trish Morey was in my group - a pair of irreverent Aussies! It did feel a little like we were being lined up to be shot and the poor girl standing next to me looked as if she was expecting a blindfold to be handed out. A bell rang and we were route marched into the next room where the editors/agents were seated at tables.  A second bell rang and we had to find our editors PDQ. Talk about speed dating. Heather was very nice and glad to have a non-regency historical pitched to her. 
I now hold Bob Mayer's advice close to my heart. He said very few people who are asked to submit from a pitch, do. By not submitting you are rejecting yourself.

After the trauma, Trish and I had a debrief with Carol Marinelli and Fiona Simpson over coffee.

Another networking lunch and a chance to meet up with fellow Lyrical press author, YA Karen Bynum. Kandy Shepherd joined me again and we were on a lovely table. I met Mary Oldham from Melbourne, Florida. The speaker today was Robyn Carr. I am embarrassed to admit I have never heard of Robyn but the speech she gave was an antidote to the high drama of Stephanie's speech yesterday...light and funny 

Two Melbourne ladies
Fellow Lyrical Press author Karen Y. Bynum


Firstly I am pleased to report Kandy and I got through the afternoon sessions without nodding off.

Patrick Brown, head of the Author Program at Goodreads took us through how to get the most out of Goodreads. It is reassuring to find out that most of the things I am doing is on the right path. Goodreads is a powerful tool with a long reach for authors but like all the social media you have to engage in targeted communities and groups. Interestingly Romance is one of the largest.


Mark Coker Smashwords

I have been published with Smashwords since June 2010, when it was an itty bitty little enterprise. When I first put my two books up there, it was still a stigma to say "self published" - how the worm has turned. I have always been impressed with the professionalism and usability of Smashwords and seeing quiet, nerdy Mark speak was very encouraging. His little bitty company has quadrupled its users since I first signed on.

The universal messages coming out of today's sessions:
1.  Author empowerment (yes, again!)
2.  It all comes down to writing your best book and then writing your next best book.

Kandy Shepherd and your correspondent...awake!