Writing is a process, and this blog talks about my writing process. Over this last weekend, I was in St. Louis at a writer’s conference to pitch my novel and try to either get an agent or a publishing house interested in Meghan’s Choice. I’ll talk a bit about Meghan’s Choice on a different post – and soon – I’ll post the Prologue as it now stands.
I believe the best way to make these connections is at a writer’s conference. I’ve been to others, but this was the best one yet. I had five appointments – two with agents, three with publishing houses. Four out of five went really well.
The best you can expect from a writer’s conference is to make connections and hope they want to see more, or desire further contact with you. More can be anything from “I want to see a book proposal” to “I want to see your manuscript.”
That’s what I got. Two agents and two publishing houses wanted to retain contact or asked for more. I got that request from two publishing houses to see my manuscript. One agent said, “Give me a month. If you haven’t heard from me, email me.” The other agent said, “Ok. Send me a couple of chapters. I’ve seen your one-sheet (oh – I’ll tell you about that in a minute) and your book proposal – what I really want to see is if you can write.” He’ll be getting my sample chapters this week.
It was a very interesting and enlightening experience for me. Interesting because I think I blogged a couple of weeks ago about chopping 14,000 words off my manuscript to enter a contest. One of the publishing houses that wants to see my manuscript has a minimum word count of 100,000 – so I get to put some words back in! I know that Jackson, my Negro porter/ticket agent, will be pleased. He wants to tell his story about the Underground Railroad so badly. He’ll get to start it a bit in Meghan’s Choice, and expand it in Rose’s Redemption.
A one-sheet is where you design a one page (with graphics) to grab attention and tell just enough about your novel to keep their attention – and want to see more. I’ll post mine as a page under the new Meghan’s Choice tab. Give me a day or so to get that done.
The pathway pictured above looks long, but it is protected and I found it lovely to walk on. If you were to look behind this picture, you’d see the St. Louis Gateway to the West Arch. I was close enough to touch it. Our pathway in life is also long, but can be very lovely. At this point, you can see quite a ways down the path.
I was encouraged time and time again throughout my stay there – to keep writing. One of my favorite authors told me to “Soar!” I will, Mary. Thanks. So my encouragement to you is the same – keep writing!
I’m also taking a speech class. The teacher, whom I know, told me I need to stop thinking like a writer when putting together a speech. Well, I’ll try. Part of my problem is that I was also in drama in high school and college. Maybe I’m over-dramatic or melodramatic – when giving a speech. I’ve been called “powerful.” In some ways that can be good – but in others – I suppose I could be a bull in a china shop.
I’ll be giving this a lot of thought in the next few days. What about you? Does getting up in front of people give you the shivers? Public speaking is the number one fear in America. Can you believe it?