Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Conference Sunday

Sunday got off to a good start for me as I sold a book at the b&b. We had just finished breakfast when the host introduced us to 2 new guests. We got chatting about writing and our books, and I told the other guests about my book. They said they were interested and I replied that I had a couple of copies if anyone was interested. A sale ! I signed the book to their daughter. Jon, the author and fellow b&b mate, drove us all to the campus for our first talk. Mine was by Keren David. She talked about how she wrote her first book, which is about a teenage boy who has to go into witness protection. Keren is a journalist and any interesting news catches her eye, and it was one particular one about a family with a boy who were victims of a crime and had to go into witness protection that caught her eye, esp about the boy and how he'd feel about living a lie. We had a break before going onto a second part where we chose a few paper features in a group. My group had two pieces about unemployment (I thought how very appropriate for me) and a young boy who marched on Armistice Day for his great uncle. We came up with lots of ideas, some crazy and mad - those were chosen by Candy Gourlay (hi Candy). It was interesting and gave me an idea for a possible book.
Then it was a talk all about social networking, Candy being one of the talkers. Candy is an experimentalist and has tried nearly all the social media going, then it was Sarah McIntyre who chooses her media carefully. She has a Livejournal blog as well as another blog. Then came Keren David who likes using Twitter and has found she likes social networking, The advice I wrote down was to have words on your blog that people will find you on and is relevant to you.
Then came lunch. After waiting half an hour the day before for my lunch, I made sure I was one of the first. I had new potatoes, a roll with spread, and some salad. Very healthy. I had time then to go and buy some more books, which I did. You can't go to a conference and not buy books is what I say. Most of the ones I bought were written by Linda Chapman, so I can read and see how she puts her magical elements into her stories.
Then it was a workshop about how to make your characters stand out and we did some writing for this. It got me thinking about my characters. What I learnt about characters is that the two most important tools we have for them are dialogue and action, so we can make them do and say things. Because Miriam, who did the workshop, knew we were tired, she ended early and we had time to breathe before the farewell talk.
Then it was home and I left with Sue Hyams and a few others, driven to the station by Bekki Hill (Thanks Bekki). We had to stand most of the way home on the train. By the time I got home I was hungry and tired and did some essential unpacking.

I came home tired but inspired from it and so pleased I went and met lots of others that I only knew my name.

Now to go and pack to meet the agent this afternoon.


Candy Gourlay said...

Good luck with the agent, Julie ... and I'm so happy you enjoyed the conference!

kathryn evans said...

You scored an agent meeting - wow! Hope it went well - let us know :O)

MC Rogerson said...

I enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for sharing your experiences!