Novels come in all shapes and sizes, of every age and flavor from sassy to edgy. Not surprisingly, romance novelists mirror all these descriptions. Yet, the sweetest little lady, may write the edgiest, sexiest stories. Even in a room full of novelists, you can’t tell their story by their look.
The Emerald City Writers Conference included more than romance novelists. There were workshops to learn how to “Talk Geek” and “Tax Talk for Small Business”; “The Military for Writers”, and practical tips for introverts to have fun promoting themselves. A variety of workshops were presented by talented authors on every aspect of writing craft; from plot-storming to self-editing, layering to love scenes. There were themed workshops from the Wild West to Medieval Castles. The featured speakers inspired with talks on how to measure success and adjust your goals.
Editors from three different publishers, agents with a variety of interests, and authors who’s books have climbed many of “The Lists”, held chat sessions. The newly pubbed and unpubbed were able to ask questions, and learn even the greats started in the same place, with a desire to write and a passion for story. Regardless of the fears of shy, new writers, I can assure you that agents, editors, and best-selling-novelists, all put their pants on one-leg-at-a-time, except maybe the two that wore skirts.
Personally, I didn’t attend that many workshops, instead I focused on the chats and additional chatting. I learned more about my friends, their real life, their professional dreams. I spent time with authors I see occasionally, yet now know better from reading their novels, and online connections.
The greatest gift for me, this past weekend, was having time to truly talk about our passion for story. To share with those of like ideals, the responsibility of the author, to maintain an honest truth, for the benefit of the reader. All of us have favorite books and stories that resonate with us at a deep level. It’s possible the upheaval in the world of publishing will help bring the quality back to the pages, instead of quantity to the bookshelves.
And all authors attending the ECWC that are published in mass-market, cringe at the mutilating practice, of bookstores stripping the covers off books that didn’t sell, for full credit.
And the most repeated song, on Karaoke Night, that rocked the hall with all voices? Paperback Writer by The Beatles.