Jam packed into all the holding and spoiling and crooning and holding was a lot of writing and editing--and self-analysis about where I want to go from here with my writing.
Warning: Rambling thoughts ahead!
At 70, I still can't decide what I want to do when I grow up. Am I going to lay aside what is "supposed" to sell and simply write what I want? Boy, would I like to write a political thriller. Yes, the pantser who loves writing comedy and steamy sexual tension would also like to pen a complicated, well-plotted, fast paced thriller.
And who would read it because I'd have to use a different name so the romance readers wouldn't buy it in error. Maybe I'll write it just for me. You know, to get it out of my system.
Before I ramble too much about feeling lost and wondering what to do next, let me share what I learned at Midnight and Magnolias.
- 175 romance authors can make a lot of noise. Kind of like a swarm of bees on chocolate and steroids.
- The Georgia Romance Writers certainly know how to be well-organized. They even had an app listing what was happening next and who was there. One could message another attendee. "Martha, I'm so glad you're here. Meet me in the main hallway so we can catch-up" I had two other ladies contact me like that. I'd never have known they were there without the app.
- Serve women sandwich wraps, a bag of chips, and a cookie for lunch and they will bitch like nobody's business. I was shocked.
- If you sign up for professional head shots, be prepared for most anything. Or maybe it was just me as the subject matter. I watched the author scheduled before my shoot pose in front of a backdrop. Me? I was escorted out of the room to the end of the bar to have half of my pictures taken and then taken into the ladies restroom (I kid you not!) for the other shots. She claimed the lighting was better in there. I found it hard to smile with all the added "sound effects." And I kept thinking I'd paid $90 for this unique experience. I'll share the best of the pictures when I get them.
- Pitching to potential agents wasn't as bad as I thought. Yes, I almost cancelled my appointments because I'm not sure I want an agent. My writing schedule is fairly relaxed right now. Do I want to step back into the stress of deadlines, editor demands, and early morning writing sessions? I honestly don't know. Figuring I had nothing to prove, I sashayed into the "pitching room," sat down with an agent from Seymour Agency and said, "I'm a pitching virgin so be gentle with me and take your time." She nearly fell out of her chair laughing. Then asked for a query stating my publishing history, a synopsis of the unfinished book, and the first fifty pages. The next agent wants the same and the third asked for a full.
- Christian publishers are hot for Romantic Suspense. Could I write for that market one of the agents asked. Sure, under a different name. I wouldn't want a little old church lady to grab a copy of my erotic "Mr OH" by mistake.
- For grins and giggles I pitched to a Harlequin editor knowing I was not a category writer. She was so intrigued, she said she'd refer me to their other branch Graydon House. A select hardcover and trade paperback imprint dedicated to publishing book club worthy women's fiction. I'd need an agent to submit. But I could send HER the full for her to read and recommend if she liked it.
- And there's no sight better than 175 romance writers OD'd on sugary desserts and wine dancing with abandon to "It's Raining Men...Hallelujah."
- I need to attend more writing conferences. I took workshops in the criminal mind led by the supervising crime scene investigator of Atlanta; the world of an EMT and paramedic with a twenty pus year veteran of the job; how a K-nine unit works with a darling German Shepherd who showed us his sniffing talents; there's more to military heroes than SEALs presented by the wife of a submarine captain; how to keep the sexual tension going after the deed is done; the rise in sales of the audio book; and self-editing tips.
Vonnie Davis writes sizzling romance with an edge.
Visit her at www.vonniedavis.com
Releasing in November, a novella as part of the "That Old Black Magic" series with other paranormal authors.