Once again romance writers have proven how gracious they can be, how supportive of their comrades in the trenches, both published and unpublished.
At the Nola Stars Conference in Shreveport this weekend, 100 writing professionals converged to enjoy the company of fellow writers, pitch to agents and editors and learn about the craft and the industry. Missing at these meetings is the stereotypical 'female' competitiveness, back biting, and jealousy. Romance writers continue to gain respect as a community for helping other romance writers achieve their dreams.
Every encounter with another author for me was instructive and encouraging. My online partners and fellow writers who helped me prepare for the meeting - well, I just can't say enough. There's no way I could have even made it to the conference without their help, specifically Leah's. How would I have ever gotten my pitch together?
She reminded me to breathe, to take it slow, and to look at the whole conference as fun. Networking. Educational.
I did breathe, fifteen minutes after my pitch. Honestly, I had practiced so much and was sure I would screw it up, leave out the most pertinent details. But everything I'd heard from other writers and at conference workshops proved true. On the whole these editors and agents are an extension of this great romance writer community.
Margie Lawson was fabulous, when Susan Wiggs' plane was delayed and she was unable to make the conference, Margie stepped in to do the keynote and a full day of her Emotions seminar instead of half.
And I'm still thankful for Christine's challenge which prepared me to answer the question, "Where do you see your career going?"
I was excited to be asked for a partial by both my agent and editor appointments. So now the tough work begins, editing, finishing, getting the work ready to send within a self imposed time frame to take advantage of the momentum gained from the conference.
And to everyone I met at the conference, Beth, Cora, Karen, JoAnn, Keri, and may others, thanks for the great time and good luck. The Nola Stars did a fantastic job with this meeting down to the last sparerib.