This past weekend I attended an intensive and intimate writer conference.
It was at this event last year that Morgan and I did our first marketing workshop and now we are scheduled to present it in May and October. We are creating a workbook to offer more information and examples than we can present in 90 minutes. We have to self publish it in this time frame but we know this is only the first step in building our platform.
I printed out two draft copies of this workbook so we could show our friends, especially those we’ve included as examples, and we were thrilled how it looked. We were told “very professional” and we’ll be taking it to the next level soon. Neither of us were in our novelist mind-frame but the conference schedule included lots of one-on-one communication with agents and editors. We did our best to put on our novelist hats. I’m okay with the self-pub route for nonfiction but not for my fiction.
Morgan did a better job wearing her novelist hat than I did because there’s some confusion regarding my genre. I’ve been told I’m paranormal, and not just my stories. I was able to chat with the editor from HQN about my current novel and how it should be marketed to readers. I’m now content with contemporary romance with light paranormal elements.
On Sunday, we dove deep into our craft with Larry Brooks as he filled six (invisible) buckets with core competencies for writers. These are huge buckets, vats really, but I’ve spent so much of my life working with engineers and analysts that his process resonates with me at a core level.
Larry researched the romance industry so he would be a greater benefit to us for our genre and we appreciated that extra focus from him. I believe he’ll use that research to explore writing some romance novels. I bet they’ll be great!
“What if?” is how stories begin so I thought about this novel of mine that wouldn’t die, no matter how many times I stuck it on a shelf over the years. The initial “What if?” brainstorming was when my girlfriend and I were having one of our wine & woo-woo evenings. It was good I had a glass of wine at dinner so I was in the right mind-frame for Emily to help me. Now I know to remain true to that genre with future books. Plots and stories are still spinning in my head.
Fortunately, on arriving home, Ed grounded me a bit with recounts of his activities with our daughters and grandsons while I was gone. Ed pointed out that he remembered to clean the kitchen. Then I did my routine of unpacking and organizing. I’m so prone to bursts of enthusiasm that I make a point to be very practical and tactile when I feel overloaded with story energy. I would have been fine with cleaning the kitchen.
April should be a calmer month as Mercury and Mars will turn direct.