I haven’t posted in a few weeks. I’ve was away at the RWA conference a few weeks ago. But more than that, have you heard? I’m going to be a Carina author! Carina has offered a contract for Fatal Visions!
Yes, the point of most importance of the week… the moment I was nervous about all week, sick to my stomach until I woke that morning hyperventilating and so nauseous I could barely sit still. The Pitch that I’d studied and rewritten at least a hundred times… and memorized and rewrote again. Oh yes, that Pitch.
As a first timer, I didn’t know what to expect. Would he be nice? Would he ask me questions I didn’t know the answers to? What if I messed up and stumbled over my tongue? The last two were my foremost worries because it’s what I do. I’m a tongue stumbler. I’m bad about it. I’ll admit that I have a nervous way about me. If I’m going to be late I get nervous. If I’m meeting someone new I’m nervous. But I KNEW my story. KNEW the characters. The plot? I knew it but it’s so complex, too much crammed in that I knew I’d end up stumbling messing up.
Which I did. I’ll admit that. I sucked. I did bad. It wasn’t a sparkling moment. So I got up early, showered, didn’t eat anything at all with fear that I’d lose it (I’d heard stories before…). Kai walked down with me. Helped calm my nerves. Down in there, once I’d signed in we saw Chi and Lori. Lori was doing hers at the same as me so when our time was called, we lined up… and waited. It was one big room. One room with rows of tables and behind sat the agents/editors.
I had an idea who to go to. I’d researched and found a picture. But that doesn’t mean anything when it all comes down to the wire and you’re waiting your turn, just watching them at the tables. Nerves does not begin to explain the nausea I felt. I could have easily turned around and left. I told myself that. That I still had time to back down.
And when it came time, I went. I walked and shook. Oh yeah I was shaking badly. And then I was at the table. Sitting was more of a stumbling sitting, my hand shaking so bad as I shook his. The paper I’d brought with of my pitch was on the table in front of me. And I was prepared to read it. And then… the first words from my mouth, “Fatal Visions is a 90k word paranormal romance taking place in the rugged mountains.” I stopped. “Have you ever watched The Pretender or Dark Angel?” Wait. He nods, “Well it’s like that but with a bit of Mutant X thrown in for good measure.”
That could have gone two ways. He could have not seen any of the shows. Luckily he’d seen them and he was interested in hearing more. My spiel went on reading a bit… then going off course and talking as I went. So yeah, I KNOW I messed it up. I KNOW I went off course.
In the end, he asked a few questions. I talked more. And that was it. I got up and left feeling incredibly glad that I took the chance I had to do it. I’m not a gusty person and that was… awesome. He was nice. Incredibly nice to put up with my nervous banter. Even weeks later that was a high point to the trip. Not just meeting everyone, but the pitch and feeling as though I’ve done something to put myself out there.
Will I do it next year? If I go to Nashville next year you can bet I will. And I will be better prepared. I will know more about what I’m doing.
Day three started early. Up at 7, out by 8ish to head to the Rogue Digital Meeting. Kai and I stayed a bit then slipped out early to go to the Opening Session with Janet Evanovich. I’ve read a couple of her books, I’ll admit I haven’t read a lot by her but her speech was heart warming. She told us about how she was unpubbed for like 10 years… and had a crateful of rejections before she got a contract. It was here, when Kai and I were looking for a table that I noticed someone who look familiar.
Who might that Diva be that was passing right by us?
Sam! So of course we flagged her down. And might I say that she’s adorable and nice? Because she is. Oh and this is just aside because I didn’t put it in before but apparently sweet tea is what I usually know as Iced Tea… and ice tea down there is unsweetened blahness.
The three of us decided to go to the general meeting. Yes, we went, sat down to listen and show our support to RWA Change. Um yeah, that was a flop. Everyone expected it, were waiting for it but no one had the Resolution in hand. Genuine surprise amongst everyone on the board it seemed. So the meeting turned to regular questions… ten mins or so the Resolution is found, sent to someone’s phone. Yeah… didn’t go over well. Although it was read clearly, there needed to be a hard copy. In addition, it apparently needed to be handed in 120 days prior… and things had to be specified what they wanted to change. So yeah, no vote.
Lunch followed at the keynote luncheon with Linda Howard as the speaker. Can I just say that all of the speakers were awesome? Because they were and way too motivational.
2:00 started the workshops. Kendal and I took off to go to Honing your Pitch. It was great. We got some good information out of it that helped me when going into my pitch session on friday.
From there it was the Avon book signing and one thing I should have figured but didn’t, was how many people would be crammed in a small room. And I don’t mean authors. I got claustrophobic after so long of being jostled around and having no room to get around. It was… crazy but I got a lot of books and saw some authors I love, others who I’ve never read but sound interesting. At this signing in particular I noticed a LOT of historical writers.
Then up to the room Kai and I went cause it was changing time into evening dress clothes. Black dress. Strappy gladiator heels… We headed off site to go to the Passionate Ink party and then after that the FF&P party. The night didn’t end there however, and soon we were headed off to a gay cowboy karaoke bar with the rest of the divas… where… there were drag queens putting on a show. I’ll admit I didn’t quite know what to think. I wasn’t too comfortable when they went up into the crowd of people. Some divas got brought up on stage to dance. It was interesting. Upstairs was where a bunch of divas already were. And might I say divas can SING?! Cause yeah.
At 12:30am it was time to go back. I needed to work on my pitch because my appointment was that morn at 9 and I wasn’t ready. At all.
The moment the conference began, there wasn’t much, if any free time. The only free time really was on Wednesday, with the Literacy Signing starting at 5. I was at Kai’s still, worrying about my pitch. I was just getting around to what would be the first pitch revision. We left in time to gather a few things and do a bit of shopping before getting to the hotel to change and get ready.
Up in the room we were met by the lovely Cambria and the awesome Teresa. The six of us (Kendal, Chrissy, Cambria, Teresa, Kai and moi) headed to the lit signing, where we stood in line for what was like 30 mins or more. Probably closer to 40. In the meantime, while we waited, the lines gathered and gathered… and did loops around the room. And then… they let us in and the frenzy began. It was literally push and shove to get anywhere. At one point I was going to follow Teresa around but lost her in my fan squee moment at Cherry Adair’s table. I had to get a book… and by then I had found Kai (who I then latched on to).
There was no cell reception. I knew that. I’d tried to text a friend, Maya, earlier about what books she was interested in and if there was a particular author she wanted one from. But it didn’t go through so I knew if we all were separated and the fact that there was no reception… well yeah that wouldn’t be good.
So I went around with Kai, getting some photos, finding Eden Bradley, Jax, Kate Pearce and a few other divas, as well as some members from my Toronto chapter.
After 3 hours or so it was time to leave and we headed back to the room to dump our books before heading off to Mediterra for the Diva dinner. When we first go there it was quite full as was. By 9 or so we had to add more tables to add in more divas. I met Lori there and ran around the table to see Chi and MG and… it was great to see everyone.