Writer Wednesday – Conferences – Are they worth it?

My general viewpoint on conferences is that they should be viewed as a working vacation.  Part of this is because of what I write and what my expectations are.

The big conferences for Romance writers are RT (Romantic Times) and RWA National (Romance Writers of America).   They serve different purposes.

RT is geared mostly towards readers, although they do have some writing classes.  I’ve attended this conference as an aspiring author, published author and a reader.  I’ve always viewed this particular conference as a working vacation.  It was a chance to visit my author friends, Lyn Armstrong and Debbie Cairo.   It was a chance to see a new city, visit friends and attend parties.  I always attend writing classes there and go to publisher spotlights.  I actually met both my publishers (Liquid Silver Books and Resplendence) at RT.

RWA is geared mostly to the business side of things.   I’ve yet to attend this particular conference, even though I’m a member.  I have attended regional RWA conferences including Midwest Fiction Writers and WisRWA.  I found both beneficial to my writing career.  Classes tend to revolve around business, craft, and publishing in general.

Some other conferences I’ve attended are Lori Foster’s RAGT (Reader and Author Get Together).  This is also a reader geared Con, unlike RT it is much smaller and there are about ten readers for every published author.   Lori keeps the author roster small so readers can interact.   Maddy Barone introduced me to this Con and we’ve traveled the last two years together.

I’ve attended two local Sci-Fi con’s since I write Paranormal Romance.  CoreCon and ValleyCon.   I highly recommend if you write in a genre that falls into the genre of SFFP (Science-Fiction, Fantasy, and Paranormal) that you consider attending a local or regional Con.  It is a great way to meet readers and I find the communities, in general, to be very supportive of creatives.

There are also many Romance Reader Cons popping up.   I ran across this website that might be helpful for those of you writing in the Romance Genre.

http://www.romancerefined.com/list-of-romance-conventions-and-conferences.html

I usually attend RT when I can and if I can rope someone into going with me.   RWA is still on my bucket list.   I’ve attended Lori Foster’s RAGT the last two years.  This year, due to my job loss,  I’ve cut back on my conferences.  I will likely only attend the local sci-fi cons and my annual writing retreat at the end of September.

Overall I love conferences and attend as many as my budget will allow.  If nothing else I get a few classes in, meet a few new authors and network.   That’s a win in my book.

 

Advertisements

I’ve arrived at RT

Registered this morning and attended a great class put on by Sylvia Day.   Here’s an interview with me and A. Catherine Noon as I report live.

 

Feel free to send me your questions via e-mail, twitter or FB, and I’ll gladly report back.

~Tina

Recovering from the Romantic Times Con

So drove the nine hours back from #RT13 yesterday, following Speed Dating with some Awesome readers.

In hindsight I think I would’ve gotten a 3-day pass for this particular con having really pushed it physically as an author this year. 🙂

Here’s a brief re-cap

Wednesday
1. Not at RT. 😦 I’m at my M-F job doing month-end from 7am to 7pm. Ugh!
2. Head home, finish packing eat dinner and go to bed.

Thursday
1. Get up at 1am to drive to KC – hoping to be there by 8 or early morning at the latest. DH & I get delayed by winter storms in IA and end up arriving at 11:00 am.
2. Check into hotel. Get to room and find out the work books are not closed. So I have to work for an hour at said job above. Finish at 2pm. Go get lunch in shops under the Westin.
3. Make it to one panel, Steampunk: It’s not about the goggles, do an impromptu pitch of my current WIP and realize the editor is looking at me like I’m an idiot. Clearly I have to re-evaluate this story. 😦
4. Go to the Book Expo hosted by ARE. Quick run over to Isabella Drake’s table and drop off gift basket for The Sex Goddess Hour friday am, don’t introduce myself so not sure if she even knows who I am other than a crazy lady. 😛
Manage to score some swag from Sylvia Day for a co-worker.
5. Go have drinks with Liquid Silver Books (the highlight of my con) and visit with fellow authors. Robyn Peterman shows up – sweet!
6. Go get ready for the 30th annual ball, Debbie Cairo saves me a seat.
7. Attend the 30th Annual Ball, great speakers but given my long day I start nodding off between speeches. Debbie says we have to leave because I’m snoring. :O

Friday
1. Get up at 8am sicker than a dog. DH holding back my hair as I worship the porcelain god. Ugh!
2. Finally manage to recover by noon and we make our way to the shops to find food.
3. Attend one class What rights do you have and how much are they worth? – Really good, decided if I ever go the NY route I would look at the agency that hosted this (Janklow & Nesbit). Smart ladies.
4. Feel bad DH is stuck back at the Westin so go visit him and skip other classes – stupid move Note: Always take classes – that’s what you paid for. DH and I have an early dinner because I heard rumors that there won’t be food at the Vampire Ball.
5. Attend Entangled Publishing’s “Candy & Spoons Reader Event” – another great highlight. I’m pleasantly pleased with the publisher’s marketing techniques and authors seem happy. Hmmm.
6. Attend Heather Graham’s Vampire Ball and guess what? – There’s food. Dang! I have a great time dancing the night away.

Saturday
1. Already a slow planned day as most events are for readers not writers.
2. I’m up early so DH and I head over to the Sheraton to get some breakky. I go to The Giant Book Fair to get the books I’ve won signed and to see if I can picky of Maya Bank’s and Cathy Maxwell’s latest historical.
3. Standing in line, I meet Rosalie Stanton, who also writes for LSB. We have a nice chat and talk shop. For anyone who knows me – you know I could sit and chat shop all day. I love it.
4. Get into the bookfair and get books signed by YA authors Jus Accardo, Lisa Burstein & Victoria Scott. For my personal collection I score Beth Ciotta, Cathy Maxwell & Katee Robert. Alas Maya is nowhere to be found. 😦
5. Head back to have lunch with DH & Debbie. Go for a swim and get ready for evening parties.
6. Attend Carina Press Cocktail Party – this is a fun event I recommend for anyone attending. It’s a great promo opportunity for their authors and readers get to find some new reads. 🙂 The give-aways are pretty good too. Stay for HQN dance party -got a dress just for this.

Sunday
1. Originally decided to stay all day but hotel is no longer extending the RT room rate and parking is crazy so DH & I opt to leave.
2. Attend Author Speed Dating – this is a fun event and I would do it again. I paired myself with the lovely Lila Dubios, who is both charming and chatty. A nice match for my reserved self. We meet with readers and they ask us questions. Great!
3. Drive 9 hours back to the Dakotas and drink horrible coffee along the way. 😦

All in all it was a nice RT, but wonder if I should’ve stayed local and attended Corecon instead since I missed out on so much.

Until next time be naughty!
~Tina

AuThursday – Cindy Spencer Pape

Hello Naughty Boys and Girls!   Please welcome fellow Resplendence Author Cindy Spencer Pape.  Speaking of Authors…Cindy – Who is your favorite author and why?

I can’t claim to have any one favorite. Early influences would include Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels, then later Jayne Ann Krentz, Elizabeth Lowell, and Linda Howard. More recently I’ve discovered Lora Leigh, Christine Warren, and Christine Feehan. Plus, outside of romance, I adore humorous SF/fantasy writers like Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, and more recently, Jim Butcher, and the occasional mystery.

Q: How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?

No, Every book unfolds a little differently. Some of it is plotting, some of it is waiting to see how

Q: Are you working on any books/projects that you would like to share with us? (We’ d love to hear all about them!) 

Well, I just sent a book off to my Ellora’s Cave editor, and I have projects under consideration with a few different houses. My current WIP’s include a trilogy with the fabulous Desiree Holt and Regina Carlysle, and my new love, a steampunk romance.

Q: Any recent appearances that you would like to share with us about/any upcoming ones?

I was at Romanticon in October and plan to be at the RT convention in April. Anything in between is still unknown.

Q: Do you have a favorite hero in all your books? For any particular reason? 

You know, I love them all, or I don’t think I could write them. A few favorites include Fitz from Crazy for the Cowboy (Wild Rose Press) David from Djinni and the Geek (Ellora’s Cave) and Will from Wings of the Raven (Total-E-Bound). Why? They’re all imperfect, but come through in the clutch.

Q: How hard is it to keep sex/love scenes fresh and interesting?

Always a challenge!

Q:  Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Website: http://www.cindyspencerpape.com

Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/cindyspencerpape

Newsletter Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cspapenewsgroup/

Blog; http://cindyspencerpape.blogspot.com/

Cian Fey: http://cianfey.blogspot.com

Join me on Saturday when Cindy shares a steamy excerpt from her latest book, “Nailed.”

Love,

Tina