Making it Through the Rocks

The road (or boat trip) to publishing a book can be very rocky. What is important is not giving up even when your way is blocked or when your boat breaks up. Talent is not enough. You have to persevere.
I saw this demonstrated over and over again yesterday when I volunteered at the editor/agent sessions. We got to the rooms a half hour before the sessions were to begin and the co-ordinator started listing assignments and asking who would like to do them. When she said she needed someone to handle filling the open and cancelled appointments, I immediately volunteered. That meant I had the first shot at the appointments so I picked an agent and put my name in. Then people started coming in and the next 4 hours were insane.
I’d never realized that you could come to the waiting room for the sessions and check for a free appointment. We did it first come first serve, had people sign in and called them when we got to them. By the time the morning session ended, we had worked through 92 names. Not everyone found an editor or agent they wanted to pitch to but most of those people got a session. Some of them waited almost the entire 3 hours. They persevered, they got to pitch and I bet there will be some who get an agent or contract out of it. Not all were those like me who had procrastinated to long to get one before the conference. Many already had appts but were getting others to increase their chances to find the person who would fall in love with their book.
It was stressful, loud and exhausting but I was amazed at how nice the majority of the people were despite their long wait and the fact that I knew little about what the agents and editors on the list wanted to acquire. An angel named Karen who is President of a chapter, took pity on me and helped me with my job. I learned a lot about the various agents, editors and handling anxious writers from her. I just wish I’d caught her last name. Would I volunteer for that again? In a heartbeat. But next time I will have armed myself with a cheat sheet about the agents and editors and I will request a helper if there are enough volunteers.
Connie Brockaway spoke at the awards luncheon. She likened writers to superheros and used The Heros Journey to describe the journey of writers. Very good and very funny.
The afternoon I spent working on my pitch since I hadn’t planned on doing one so no workshops. Then since I had a few more minutes I visited the agency website to learn more about the agency and the agent.
Back to the waiting room. Reading over pitch. Deep breaths. Finally my turn. Ten very long minutes of sitting at a empty table with no agent. Smiled. Said no problem when the co-ordinators apologized and said they didn’t know what had happened. Left my name, cell and email as requested.
I was upset though. Getting geared up then nothing leaves an emotional backwash. Went back to the room, immediately changed out of my uber professional suit and asked DH if he wanted to go and get a glass of wine. Just before we walked out of the room my cell rang. Stephanie, the co-ordinator told me that Ms. Pomada had come in and would stay late to see me and the other writer who she had missed. Did I want it? Oh yes.
Back into suit. Back to waiting room. Joking with the volunteers I knew from the morning. When I got my time, Ms. Pomada was very nice and very apologetic. I told her that sometimes things happened we couldn’t controll and I appreciated her staying to see me then I pitched. She acted very interested in my concept, the session went very well and she requested the first 10 pages and a synopsis. Just a standard request but I’m happy. And I liked her.
The writers that have impressed me the most at this conference are the ones who have a positive attitude, are appreciative even if things don’t go their way and who smile. I am trying to immulate them.
So did not make it to any workshops today but I learned a lot. It was a good day and made better by getting to meet online friends and go out to dinner with them. But more aobut them later. I need to get dressed for today.

One Response to “Making it Through the Rocks”

  1. GatorPerson Says:

    10 pages! Congratulations! Go, RSS!

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