Connecting

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David and I (and 600 of our closest friends!) spent last weekend at Ravencon, in Virginia. It was my first time at this delightful gathering and I had a blast. I saw old friends, met new ones and made lots of good professional connections. A number of the writers and editors who were there with us will be guest bloggers this summer, right here on Magical Words, so keep your eyes peeled!

During one of my panels, I mentioned that when I was a book-crazy kid, I had trouble believing that authors were honest-to-goodness people who ate dinner and lived in houses. Somehow they had to be godlike entities who created the books I loved with a wave of their mighty hands. The audience laughed (as I hoped they would), but I have to admit that feeling has never really gone away. It’s transferred to editors and publishers instead. The people who buy what we write, who make it a job instead of a hobby.

On Friday night, we’d trooped upstairs to attend the Capclave Party. Most of the time the parties are open to all congoers, and that’s the place in which all the authors, editors, agents and publishers are relaxed and having a good time. As long as you make yourself memorable with your sparkling conversation (and not with your low alcohol tolerance or pushy behavior), you’ve made a good connection. Anyway, I had just walked in to the party, when David called me over to meet Val Griswold-Ford, a writer and editor who is working on an anthology about pirates and magic. Val is a delightful woman with a smile that lights up a room, and she invited me to submit a story to her anthology.

I don’t remember the conversation much past that point. I was caught between elation (She likes me! She likes me!), terror (Oh God, I don’t have the slightest idea what to write about and I know I’ll never have another idea again!), and awe (She’s heard of me? Wow.) It wasn’t until morning that I calmed down and recognized that this is one of those good professional connections we want to make when we attend cons and conferences. Faith, David and I are appearing at ConCarolinas the last week in May, and I’m so excited about the connections we’ll make there!

So in addition to the last few pages of the Bloody Book II and the New Shiny that keeps tapping on my shoulder, I have at least one short story to create over the summer. (I have another I want to submit to another editor, one that’s finally tight enough to be worthy.) Now I know that editors are artists just like me, coming at the creativity from a different angle. They couldn’t do what they do without writers to fill the pages, so they need us like we need them. Maybe editors aren’t such godlike beings after all.

But don’t tell them I said so. *grin*

Folks, we’ll be hosting a very special guest tomorrow – Lucienne Diver, agent with the Knight Agency and author of the just-released Vamped! You don’t want to miss it!

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7 comments to Connecting

  • I too thought, and in a way still think, of authors as god-like entities who shape words and sentences together to give them meaning beyond their trivial forms. Realizing now how much work goes into writing, I can’t say this concept has diminished, only morphed. Instead of stories coming from inherent magical ability, I see that much time and effort goes into polishing the rough gem into a sparkling one.

    Perhaps if I ever attain published status, my perception too will move on to others. It may stay with other authors of high esteem, or perhaps those who inspired us to find the stories within ourselves.

  • Misty,
    I met a buyer for B&N at the con I was at, had supper with her and two agents and 7 or so writers. Now that is the person I who I think lives at the top of the food chain. Chain book store buyers.
    And… Have you ever seen me not able to think of a single thing to say? Ever?
    I had nothing.
    Not a blessed, single, solitary thing.
    For over an hour.
    Well, she was a romance buyer, for one thing. And I don’t read much romance. Nothin’. I had nothin’.

    And then she turned to me and said, “I am so sorry. I don’t know who you are. I’ve been racking my brain trying to remember you.”

    In a tiny, small, almost apologetic voice I said, “I don’t write romance.”

    And *she* was relieved. She was a doll! She took my cover for Skinwalker to give to the B&N fantasy buyer. How about that! I am still amazed at how nice she was! That is my *over the moon* person to meet! A buyer! A *nice* buyer!
    Faith

  • Hehe – as both a writer and an editor, I promise you we drink our tea/coffee/caffienated beverage of choice the same way everyone else does. That being said, I completely understand where you’re coming from. I’m kind of that way with agents – thinking they’re these godlike beings that guard the gate of publishing.

    Funny how there always seems to be another level above where we currently stand that we look up to, huh?

    *goes off to polish her god-button a bit more”

  • *giggles at Faith* Awww!

    Well done, Misty!

  • I’m going to be writing a pirate story, too! My very first. And also a dragon story. Also my first. Cons are great for doing business…..

    Nice post, Misty. And well done, Faith!

  • NewGuyDave, you just keep right on thinking of me as a deity. I require regular sacrifices of chocolate and dark rum. 😉

    Catie, thanks! I’m very excited!

    David, if you need any help with the pirates, call me. I’ve got enough pirate resources to choke a horse. 😀 You’re so right about cons and business, and it’s neat how business is done at cons while you’re having fun. I love this industry.

    Faith, I am floored over your dinner with the buyer. That is SO fabulous!!! Buyers are people with power, no question. I have a friendly relationship with the Follett rep who handles our school library account, and even before the nomination came out, he’d been pushing other schools to buy copies of my book, because he loved that one of “his” people released a novel. *grin* I can’t wait to see what comes of your meeting with her – sales numbers through the roof! And don’t pay any attention to that tugging at your coattails…it’s just me. 😀

  • Thanks Misty! But — when did horses start eating pirate books? Sorry. Mental picture. Mare in heat eating pirate book. Sees pic of hunky male pirate…love at first nibble.
    Not very funny, but it’s a weird brain day.