Wednesday, August 05, 2015

WRI CON HIGH: Day two: "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride"

Rise and shine and off to the Wyly Theatre in downtown Dallas, right across the street from my old high school.

FULL CIRCLE! Sort of....

Everyone was gathered round, notebooks in hand, ready to go to the next level!

The doors opened and we stepped inside to check in and grab goodies...

Writers Love Goodies!
Opening remarks began and we got a quick lesson on how not to pitch to the visiting agents and editors by Tex Thompson. Now this pitching thing is new to me. As far as queries are concerned, I fail. I seem to have trouble communicating what my book is about and how strongly I feel about it on paper. Not that I do that great in person. As I said yesterday, I had to relearn how to talk about my book!

Pitching is baffling. I was not 100% sure what to do and I had one that morning with an editor.

Still I knew what NOT to do and Tex quite hilariously shared with us through a skit with an agent who was such a great sport about it. She began to rattle off about some Twilight, 50 Shades of Grey, Little Mermaid fantasy dystopian that had an enormous word count and 12 in a series.

Her delivery of this monstrosity was so hilarious, I actually want to read the thing! After all, it's MC is a half mermaid, half vampire human living underwater.

I might need to draw that....

Anyway, it was a great start and if there were any nerves in the room, they were gone by the time classes began.

Now since I signed up during the tour, I did not have lots of time to go online and make sure I put myself into those limited seating classes. I'll know better next year. But there were plenty of open seating classes and opportunities to get what I felt I was needing the most help on.

Even though I had no idea how to pitch, I wasn't too nervous about it. I just viewed it as an audition and kept it moving. I thankfully had enough time to go to pitching practice before going to the actual pitch just to get an idea about what I was supposed to say.

Can I say again I was SO EXCITED! At that point I didn't care what happened! It was my first time at Disney World and I had just got on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride! Where I ended up (thanks to not finding the handy dandy "who to pitch to cheat sheet" on the website. Live and Learn.) was with an editor who did not represent my genre, the lovely April Osborn. What I got was genuine interest in my book and contact information to someone in her company that handled my genre and the opportunity to pitch my WIP that she also found interesting. I did it in less than 10 minutes which I had previously thought was impossible!

*Can I just pause a minute and say that Lady Osborn did something for me that I have been wishing for so long! I send my query I get some of the same responses: either form rejection, "nice writing, great idea, don't think I can sell it" or "not right for me, but someone might think differently."

That last one always gets me because my first thought is: well can you pass me onto that person?

She actually did it! Which has proven to me what I have ALWAYS known about myself: I cold read better than I monologue!

After that wild ride came classes and lectures. I won't go through every single one or every single thing I learned. Conferences, I now realize, are to be shown not told. But here is an awesome nugget from Kevin J. Anderson: a typewriter is a steampunk laptop.

The evening ended with a glorious speech from Charlaine Harris about time management, motherhood, and success.

And a cocktail where I got to pitch to another agent. The response: I like. Send pages.


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Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. Proverbs 16:24