Getting in The Mood: The Conference Blues
Have you ever really wanted to go to a writer’s conference, but it wasn’t in the cards? (cough-cough RT) Doesn’t it always seem that all your friends are going and you’re left all alone not having any fun? Following it all on twitter is OK, but it’s just not the same as being there. It got me thinking, what are the reasons most people go to a writer’s conference?
- To Network
- To Meet New Authors and Hang Out With Cool People (at the bar)
- To pick up free books and swag
- To pitch to an agent/publisher
- To take workshops on the craft of writing.
There’s no reason why you can’t have your own writing convention while your friends are at Romantic Times in this week or RWA National in July or just about any other fun conference that’s either out of budget or too out of town to travel too. (My favorite is the Aloha Writer’s Conference. Someday man, someday!)
Pick a weekend that works for you. Start out your Friday night conference with a cocktail. Might I suggest the Sloe Gin Fitzwilliam?
2 oz. Sloe Gin
1 oz. Cognac
4 oz. Lemon/Lime Soda
Of course, your favorite beverage will do as well. Now, it’s time to network, meet new authors, and hang out with cool people! Go to www.Goodreads.com and find a new group. Just click on the Group tab. If none of the featured ones floats your boat, try browsing by the tag. You’ll find something of interest. Find a topic that interests you and put in your two cents.
Or head on over to www.absolutewrite.com/forums and see what’s shaking. You can join in some of the fun threads like “Scenes from a Hat,” which mimics the TV show “Whose Line is it Anyway?” or get into a heated debate in the “Politics and Current Events” board.
Make sure to go to www.Pandora.com and put on a nice playlist. Something festive like “Party Rock” or swinging like “60’s cocktail party.” Pop up some popcorn or serve some crudités and munch away while your fingers do the clicking.
Tonight, your networking goal is to find a social media sight you’re not on or have a limited presence in and explore it. Go to www.Pinterest.com and upload some pictures from your last vacation. Sign up on www.twitter.com and follow your favorite authors. Then start tweeting about the songs you’re listening to or the books you’ve read or your favorite TV shows.
Go to bed at an early time, you’ve got a busy conference schedule for Saturday!
Saturday, rise and shine! You’re on a mission today. Take your camera and go to the park, a museum, the beach, or somewhere close by. You are going to take a lot of pictures. These pictures are going to 1.) Go up on Pinterest. 2.) Be the base of a cover for one of your novels/novellas and 3.) illustrations for blog posts. Get up close and personal to statues, items on a shelf. Even the carousel at the mall can provide some interesting fodder. You get bonus points if you start the day with a theme. If it’s an erotic cover you’re looking for, get thee to a Victoria Secret or a Frederick’s of Hollywood or a VIP (Very Intimate Pleasures) Store. You can even raid your own panty/sex toy drawer. No one will know! Arrange still life art shots.
After your picture taking it’s time to get down to learning some writing craft. Off to the library you go! Use the card catalog to find a writing book that you’ve never read. Some of my favorites are On Writing by Stephen King, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, and Writing Down The Bones by Natalie Goldberg.
Head on over to www.critters.org and consider joining up. You can get your work critiqued by critiquing the work of others. If you got past fifty posts last night on AbsoluteWrite, you can submit your query letter to be critiqued by the squirrels in Query Letter Hell. Not for the faint of heart, but you’ll walk away with a better query! Consider joining a local writing group. If you write romance, your local RWA chapter will meet once a month and it will be like a mini-writing conference.
Saturday night, order a pizza – trust me, it’s better than the banquet food that you’re friends are eating and round out the night getting your free books and author swag. A lot of review blogs offer contests where free books and goodies are there or the taking. In fact, comment below on this post. One lucky winner will receive a pdf copy of SPANK ME, MR. DARCY. If you’ve already bought a copy – THANK YOU! If you email me at LissaTrevor (at)gmail(dot)com and cc a friend, I’ll send you BOTH a pdf of my dark erotic horror short story DARK SUMMONING. If you don’t know where to find all these cool give aways, start off at Goodreads. Under the “explore” tab there, is a section marked “Giveaways.” There’s a bunch there. You can also google “Romance Reader Blogs” and surf around.
Netherfield, infamous for its debauched parties of excess and luxury, has a new Master.
After finagling an invitation to the ball, Elizabeth Bennet is introduced to the powerful and prideful Mr. Darcy, while her sister Jane has captivated the new owner, Mr. Bingley. Having contented herself with the pleasurable caresses of her best friend, Charlotte Lucas, Elizabeth is intrigued with the sensuality she finds at Netherfield. But it isn’t until her sister Jane is taken ill and Elizabeth stays at Netherfield to nurse her back to health that she finds the dungeons of Netherfield and the man in the black mask who becomes her Master.
By the time she leaves Netherfield, Elizabeth will have become disenchanted with her childhood playmate and obsessed with Mr. Darcy, her Master, who has told her that she would be more marriageable as a Netherfield submissive than as a curious virgin. Elizabeth holds on to her affront at his callous regard for her until Charlotte marries Mr. Collins and Jane is discarded by Mr. Bingley. Unwilling to save herself for a man who’ll make a good match and determined not to suffer Jane’s heartbreak, when she meets Mr. Darcy again at Rosings Park, she decides to become his slave and offers him her virginity.
But when she finds out that her cruel Master has destroyed Jane’s chance at marriage with Mr. Bingley, she rejects Mr. Darcy – even as he reluctantly proposes marriage to her. It isn’t until he saves her sister Lydia’s reputation and brings Jane and Bingley together, that Elizabeth realizes that she loves him. If he still loves her, she would be most willing to take her punishment for rejecting him – and live happily ever after.
On Sunday, it’s your last “conference” day. While your friends are packing their suitcases and trying to figure out how to fit all their swag into the carry on, you’re going to start pitching to agents and publishers. Check out www.querytracker.com and www.agentquery.com to find out who you’re going to send your query letter to. If you want to go the epub route with your book, start your research by looking in AbsoluteWrite’s Beware and Background Check’s Forum and www.eroticromancepublishers.com. Then send out ten queries. You heard me. Drop and send out ten! If your friends had to pitch face to face, you can send out ten query letters.
Lissa Trevor has her stilettos firmly entrenched in the romance community. Spank Me Mr. Darcy is her debut novel from Riverdale Avenue Books. She is a frequent reader at Manhattan’s Between The Covers events, where her novellas Wild Oats and Timelash from Coliloquy’s Entwined volumes 1 & 2 have been very popular. Lissa also created an erotic story template for Coliloquy’s ValEntwined promotion that allowed readers to download a personalized ebook starring themselves and their significant other. You can find her at http://lissatrevor.wordpress.com/