Greetings from the Spring Fling, the conference of the North Shore RWA outside Chicago. It’s about 50F outside so I don’t know that I will be flinging anything. I’m more likely to add a layer.
I am speaking tomorrow about online marketing and what authors and aspiring authors need to know about online interaction and branding, but today, the conference starts with sessions on plot, character, and point of view.
Plus there’s a dinner tonight with a keynote from Julia Quinn. I confess, I totally get a squee-level thrill when I meet up with her at a conference, since she wrote one of my favorite romances of all time. Her new book, 10 Things I Love About You is coming out May 25 – and I received a link to the trailer which is really cute. Where’d. I put it? Here it is!
Its on YouTube over here. Why I can’t embed, I have no idea. Why can’t I access embed code on the iPad? Good question. (I am using the iPad to take notes and blog about the conference, to try it out as a traveling device. So far it gets a B.)
Cherry Adair is also giving a speech on Saturday night at the dinner gala – and I confess I have not read her books. Got any recommendations? She and Quinn are doing multiple Q&A and conversation panels, so the folks who are attending will have a lot of time with these two authors.
I’m going to be writing about the different sessions, though I’ll be attending a few out of interest in the speaker more than the topic. Tomorrow I’m up against Jade Lee talking about worked building (darn it) and afterwards Carrie Lofty is speaking about research and point of view. Elizabeth Hoyt is talking about “Sex Scenes Viagra” – a session that would have won the “Best Workshop Title” award except then I saw Kim Castillo’s session “From Suck to Success,” which, dude. Awesome title right there
Courtney Milan is giving a talk on editing for voice which sounds very cool, and there’s a session about author branding that’s up against Hoyt’s talk on sex scenes. I’ll be scurrying between sessions tomorrow like whoa.
One thing I love about writer’s conferences is that I get to hear about works in progress and find out what might be coming towards me as a reader in the future when I’m shopping for romance. I am not a competitor to the writers who attend so I really like asking them what they are working on, and what inspired them to start attending conferences and writing group meetings. Paly Kari from the Chicago North chapter was kind enough to pick me up at the airport last night (thank you!) and she told me she has been writing for awhile, beginning with fanfic and moving on to mysteries and suspense based on her own characters. She’s working on YA (yay!) right now, and uses her travel time on airplanes to write.
The progression of “that’s something I’d like to do one day” to “I’m going to write a novel” to “I am taking this time to write” – which also might occur at the same time as “I’m going to attend a writer’s group meeting and go to a conference about writing romance novels” – I think that is a big deal right there. It is, to put it mildly, sometimes very difficult to find time to do what you want and separate yourself from the expectations of everyone else. There are always chores to do, calls to make, work to be finished, gardens to weed, etc. But saying “I’m going to write a book” and then doing it takes a lot of will and determination.
So I admire the folks who volunteer to organize and create groups and conferences like these, and the people who attend and want to learn more. Go on with your bad selves.
I’ll be writing more about the conference on the site and posting pictures on Twitter so stay tuned for more from the Spring Fling 2010.
What conferences are among your favorites? What chapter conferences rock your socks?