Sunday, August 21, 2005

Life After Conference

Well, I'm a little slow, but finally posting conference news and after-conference news. The conference was wonderful in every way. Buzz phrase for me and my roomies: "Reno is magic!" We all kind of dreaded it being there, but everything about it was great. We had a high-roller suite which was huge and well-appointed. Food at the hotel was very good and cheap. Great coffee place in the lobby. Overall, we were tremendously spoiled and will, no doubt, be disappointed in future when we compare other venues to the Reno Hilton.

Better yet, many good things happened to us all! My dear friend Debra won the Royal Ascot contest, sponsored by The Beau Monde. This is a very tough contest and the competition is fierce. Hurray, Debbie! My friend Sabrina Jeffries won a National Readers Choice award and a bunch of other stuff. She was much-touted by her editor at the Spotlight on Pocket session, where everyone got to hear how fabulous she is and how everyone loves her. Also at the Pocket session, my friend Liz Carlyle was raved about by her editor. Nice to be surrounded by such greatness in my everyday life. Really.

For me, the highlight was getting to chat at length to Kathryn Lye, with whom I've been working on submissions for Harlequin's Next line. I have to say, Kathryn is a wonderful person and someone I enjoy talking with a great deal. I also met with the senior editor for the line, Tara Gavin, who was very gracious and easy-going. I went to the Next signing in the Harlequin suite and picked up six of the first-issue titles. I cannot say enough good things about Rexanne Becnel's 'Old Boyfriends'. I also got the book that mine was so similar to they couldn't buy it, 'Taking Back Mary Ellen Black'. The book was very good and, superficially, had many similarities to mine. However, I found the heroine and hero to be a bit too young and the heroine to be too unsure of herself for my taste. But overall a great story. I only wish they had found a marketing angle to definitively differentiate my story from hers!
My agent appointment was rather disappointing, but it was one I picked up at the last minute and had not anticipated. Also, it was on Saturday afternoon. By then, we were all exhausted and ready not to be 'on' even one minute longer.

When I returned, exhausted, at midnight on Sunday, my dear husband had separated my employment package into piles. I spent until 1:30 Monday morning filling them out and reported for said new job at 8:30. I look kind of stoned in my employee i.d. photo. Small wonder. Now that I've been at the new paying gig for three weeks, I've decided I love it and it's the best thing that could ever have happened to me.

Enough for now. Must dash off and write some more, so I'll have something new to submit!



At 8:16 PM , Blogger Elizabeth Bemis said...

Yay with you and the writing! It was SOoooo good to see you at the conference! I'm so glad you came!


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