First off, if you didn’t read the previous post titled “Part 1”, I would highly recommend you do. I may be old fashioned on this, but stories typically make more sense to me if they’re told in chronological order. So I recommend you read the first part of this weekend, well, first.
The first day’s sessions (the small rooms we would enter while one of the “faculty” gave a lecture on a topic in writing) were pretty basic. They covered what we would expect at the conference, how to pitch a story to an agent, and general info about the field. All very useful information.
In the evening, we drove down the strip to see how much Vegas had changed since I had last been as a child. And it was cool to see all the new hotels. From arrogance personified in “The Wynn”, to the ever-creative “THE Hotel”, it was fun to see the new structures. Not to mention the new people.
Let me explain, at Sam’s Town the smallish population of individual there (generally) shared the following qualities: hunched backs, white fluff balls of hair, odd odors, and the occasional oxygen tank (and no, that last quality was not an exaggeration). On the strip, however, there were actual people. People capable of sprinting, eating dinner after 5:00pm, and re-starting a computer without having to call tech support.
But old people are fine; I hope to be an old person one day. However, until then, I think I prefer to run with the bulls.
The next day of the conference, the real start of the conference (Friday), the more specialized lectures began. How to write a query letter, marketing through social media, writing an irresistible non-fiction proposal. And I actually learned a lot at all of these and enjoyed a number of them. Particularly those done by Maxwell Alexander Drake, an author who—if you enjoy fantasy—I highly recommend you look into. (www.maxwellalexanderdrake.com)
This day, however, was also the day of pitches, where we would meet with an agent or publisher and “pitch” our book idea. I was set to go early in the morning, and because these sessions rarely result in the agent/publisher wanting to see your book, I wasn’t very nervous about them. Plus, I’m not that bad at schmoozing, so I figured this would be good practice.
Well, the first agent, although she offered some critiques about my book, said she was definitely interested and wanted me to send her some chapters. Whoa. Cool. Of course I’ll send you some. It seemed that luck did favor the bold. A little later, I met with the owner of a small publishing house for my second pitch. She requested that I send her my entire manuscript. I had never seen someone so ecstatic over an idea of mine. And that includes my mom.
So as I chew on my heartbeat, endorphins and happiness dropping like coins from a slot machine after hitting three sevens, I go to my third pitch session for the day.
Another agent seemed blown away by my pitch and wanted me to send her some chapters, too. In fact, she couldn’t believe I was only 21. My life had hit the pinnacle of its existence!
But that which goes up must not only come down, but rather collide into the ground at 200mph and shatter into a thousand pieces.