Yesterday I attended a writers’ conference in Brighton called The Road to Published. The title kind of says it all: not publishing, published. You know, wide is the path to publishing and many shall go down but narrow is the path to published and only a few shall find it? Paraphrasing a friend of this blog in a recent facebook post, these are the times that try ones soul – not having enough spare change to buy a Diet Pepsi (or coffee, in the case of our Will Steal for Shoes protagonist, Mary). And I would add snagging that elusive publishing agent/contract.
I met four and a half wonderful keynote speakers (the fifth I didn’t actually get a chance to talk to). They were professional, personable and only just a little sadistic. Funny guy and syndicated columnist Mike Ball, the organizer, challenged us unsuspecting attendees to write a blurb based on a photo prompt. We had 15 minutes. Then we had to read it aloud. I nearly choked, but persevered as I was solo in representing Team Lisa. When I made mention of my invisible co-author, I did wonder if other people could see that six foot rabbit in the room too.
I also met Pam Gossiaux, author of Why is There a Lemon in My Fruit Salad?, Darci Hannah, whose first book of historical fiction, The Exile of Sara Stevenson is due out in July, and Colleen Gleason, author of the popular series, The Gardella Vampire Chronicles. Colleen also writes another series under the name Joss Ware. She is amazingly prolific. I asked her how long it takes her to write and edit one of her stories and I believe she said between three and six months. I was trying hard to snap my jaw shut and push my eyeballs back into my head, so I can’t be positive (there was also a ringing in my ears). I take longer than three months to decide what to wear to a writers’ conference. I gleaned (or glormed, as Mike might say) a lot of valuable information from the day-long event and I’d just like to say thank you to everyone who made it possible. I’d like to thank my parents, my husband, my co-author and our wonderful agent… *see, I was paying attention during the “positive affirmations” section.
Someday (preferably soon) my dream is that Lisa and I will be on the authors’ panel, the ones invited to speak at conferences. Willingly, graciously we will carve time from our busy schedules to pass on pearls of words of wisdom and encouragement to insecure, aspiring writers locally and abroad, shepherding them through the stormy publishing world.
But for now onward ho! This week we will continue writing Project HSOTI and knocking on agents mailboxes with a confidence that is born of knowing our work is ready, worthy and able to traverse that road less traveled.