Monday, 15 November 2010

Conference - Friday/Saturday

Well, I am back from the conference, where I had a brill but tiring time. I got to Winchester in the pouring rain and was greeted at the b&b by the host with one of his cats. I settled in and got chatting to the host, who was really nice and friendly. I had a double room with its own wash basin, which I really liked because I could wash in my own room with privacy. Unfortunately I found out it was only for that night. Later on I went to the critique night and that was really helpful. The others in the group gave me feedback on Chapter 1 of Georgina, and a lot of it they said I hadn't even thought about, and I will work on during the next draft. After that we all went to the pizza place in the drenching rain, and I did get soaked. I couldn't find my umbrella, it had fallen down in my backpack and right at the bottom, so was dripping wet when I sat down. I had to dry my hair with tissues and a napkin. By the time I left, it had stopped thank goodness, because I walked back to the b&B with one of my fellow b&b mates. I didn't sleep very well that night, I never do in a strange place.

The first talker was Marcus Sedgwick and he was really good and funny. Talking about how he got writer's block because he wasn't happy with what he was writing at the time, so went away to an island, where he got an idea for his next book. He talked about how he wrote that. A very good talker.
The first workshop/talk I chose of the day was 'How to sell your book'. The gist of it was make use of your publicisit, your local community and booksellers and experiment with social media. Make more use of your social networks such as Facebook. Reviewing is a good idea to get yourself known. Follow your interests and make use of those when you are published. Make yourself known to people and try to sell your book wherever you go. (Saying that the author who said that, when it came to a possible buy of his book didn't have a copy to sell! and I did).
Next was the industry panel with various people who deal with books. They told us what they were interested in now, what they thought of the new digital era (census was that picture books are better for the much younger children, and there is a place for the older children readers).
Then it was lunch. I had beef stir fry with rice, which was dry and went cold quickly.
Then I went to a talk by author Linda Chapman (Hi Linda) about writing books with magical elements (my thing completely). This talk was really helpful to me and the one thing that stood out for me after it was that I have to know what happens and why. I think I will end up typing up the notes from this session as it is relevant to what I am writing right now. The reason that advice stands out is that is what the editor said to me about Georgina at the one-to-one meeting I had after the magical talk. It really got me thinking about what I am writing about and what happens in my book, so much so, that I ended up jotting down notes during the night when I woke up at 4am Sunday morning. I will work on Georgina a lot now after these two talks.
Then it was the last talk of the day about the state of the nation. Basically you need to be a good performer to connect to your readers and have good events. Get people to think that your book is good and then you will too.
Then it was a break where I rested at the b&b before going on to the party. I met lots of authors, inc Linda Chapman again, and Lee Weatherley. The food was better this time. It was a buffet and I had spring rolls, chicken on sticks, and a bit of salad. Later I had a piece of the wonderful looking cake, which I will put a photo of on here shortly (need to transfer photos). It was another late night and I went back to the single room this time, where I slept better.

Will write about Sunday tomorrow morning, before I go to see the agent.

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