Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I'm Baaaack

Yes, I have returned from the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writer’s Conference and a very relaxing vacation in beautiful Denver. What a great town. I really do love visiting there. I’ve been to Denver probably five or six times and I find something new each and every time.

Before I launch into a discussion about my glorious vacation I want to back up a little to discuss the conference. Really, it was great. The people were so nice and understanding and my appointments weren’t that painful. The most interesting thing about the conference was that I saw some real talent. The pitches I heard were professional and any writing I saw really was good. And let me tell you, that’s not always the case. It’s hard to tell from an agent’s perspective whether or not a conference is worth an author’s time and money, but I do think this one probably is. And I forgot to tell you, one of my favorite features was the luncheon reserved just for editors and agents. It was a great opportunity for us to touch base, catch up, and compare notes. I told a couple of other agents about some amazing critiques I heard and recommended they also request partials from those authors, and we caught up on industry gossip and shared war stories. I only hope no one was sneaking around outside.

During my vacation I didn’t get as much reading in as I would have liked, but I did finish Elizabeth Hoyt’s The Raven Prince and LOVED it. I was even more thrilled when I returned and found The Serpent Prince on my desk. I guess I know what’s next on my list. I also read Jim Butcher’s first Dresden Files book, Storm Front. And thank you to everyone who recommended them. I really liked this too. My only request when asking for something similar is that I think I tend to gravitate toward a darker tone. And lastly I got started on The Vampire Queen’s Servant by Joey Hill. What an amazing cover. I’m only about ten pages in so can’t comment beyond the cover, but I am enjoying what I’m reading so far.

One of the highlights of my trip was a very short and brief visit to the Tattered Cover. My husband was shocked when I told him we hadn’t been there. I wish I had more time to spend, but what a cool place. It has the feel of books that are loved and you immediately want to sink into a chair and explore. One of my favorite things was the way they displayed everything. Books were face-out at every turn and they weren’t just bestsellers. Without pulling anything from a shelf you were given the opportunity to really explore new titles and authors. It was a fun trip.

I returned to about 200+ emails. Not bad, really. I expected a lot more. I think a lot of people were nice enough to leave me alone. Of those 200+ emails, 141 were queries, and to take a page from the ever-creative Nathan Bransford, I’m going to attempt to give you a breakdown of those queries. Of course, since I haven’t read through more than two of them yet, you’re going to have to wait.

So I think that’s the rundown of my time away. Now I’m off to catch up on my reading. In addition to the queries, I have clients looking for feedback and a stack of proposals that arrived in the mail. In the meantime you tell me: How did you spend the last ten days?

Jessica

19 comments:

Laura Kramarsky said...

Welcome back!

I, too, am back from a trip...to Italy. I am a medievalist at heart and love seeing all the old churches and buildings. I thought it was fascinating to see children playing with fat sidewalk chalk, marking up courtyards in front of massive cathedrals, totally unawed by the towering spires. The world would be a better place if there were more of that, I think.

We even took a side trip to Ljubjana, Slovenia because my husband got a wild hair and decided to drive over. Wow. What I found absolutely fascinating is that the city, having been demolished by the Russians, is full of hypermodern buildings smack up against renovated old ones.

Now it's time to get back to the real world and work!

Loquacious Me said...

When I become an eccentric millionaire, I'm going to move to Denver and secretly live in the Tattered Cover. It's long been my favorite reason for visiting Denver.

Bernita said...

I spent the last 10 days beaming.
An anthology was released with a short story of mine in it.

Kris Fletcher said...

Welcome back! I'm very jealous of your visit to the Tattered Cover. My husband & sons were in Denver for the release of the last Harry Potter this July, and I told them that I was sure there would be a release event at the TC and that they should go - but the silly fools decided to spend the day hiking, so they were too tired. honestly. Some people have no priorities.

My last 10 days were spent getting my daughter through her sudden fear of first grade, and figuring out why I hated my WIP (and fixing it!)

Zany Mom said...

I spent the last 10 days writing 9000 words of my novel. First drafts are always fun!

Laura Kramarsky said...

Congratulations, Bernita! What a great way to spend ten days!

Kim Lionetti said...

I spent the last 10 days holding down the fort with Jacky while you went galavanting off to parts unknown!

jodi said...

Sounds like a great working vacation, lol...

the best thing about Jim Butcher is that you can see his talent, although it's still a little "rough" in Storm Front, but each and every book in the Dresden Files is bigger and better than the one before it. While I've read darker books, I haven't read anyone in his genre better at world-building. Unless you want something more erotic, but then--that's not what Butcher does.

There is this new author, ilona andrews, --Magic Bites--that is absolutely amazing. She has resonance. Also no sex, but wow. She takes the whole werewolf/vampire/urban paranormal in a whole new direction. I have the feeling she'll be the next Butcher.

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Chumplet said...

I've been spending my ten days waiting anxiously for my contract in the mail from a small publisher in Calgary for my hockey romance, and I've been in contact with a web designer, building my brand new website which will hopefully be up and running in time for the print release of my first novel.

Whew. Long sentence.

claud said...

Just blew in from Paris, myself (kidding, Laura!) -- nah, I'm still in little olde Polson, doubling the pages on my sample chapters (and it's going pretty well - yay) for my proposal.

Also, I'm working in a cool little book called, "Getting Unstuck Without Coming Unglued" (A Woman's Guide to Unblocking Creativity) and so far it's very helpful, The author (Susan O'Doherty, PhD) establishes a lot of trust for me in that introduction.

In any case, whether I think I'm stuck or not, it's a great help!

Kate Douglas said...

Welcome back! While YOU were off gallivanting, I was writing. Working on a new project with some fascinating research, though, but that's the cool thing about this job. I can travel all over the world, visit creatures that exist only in the darkest corners of my mind, and never have to get out of my jammies.

Karen Duvall said...

I liked Tattered much better when it was still in Cherry Creek. But both stores in Denver are pretty cool. It's "THE" place to have a book signing when your book debuts. Almost everyone who does one sells at least 100 books during the event and is listed in the Denver Post as a local best seller (because Tattered reports to the New York Times).

The last ten days... Well, I returned not that long ago from the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers conference as well. It's an awesome conference and I haven't missed one in fourteen years, and I don't even live in Colorado anymore. It's not a romance writers conference, but a commercial fiction writers conference, which means all genres are covered. Makes for a very diverse, rich and multi-faceted conference experience. And what's really great is that it's still small enough (about 350 attendees) to offer a close, intimate setting among industry professionals and your writing peers. Really fantastic!

I've been writing, working, submitting. The usual.

2readornot said...

I love the Tattered Cover! One of my good friends and I meet there every month or so to chat and soak up the ambiance :)

Glad you enjoyed Denver -- hope you got to see some of the glorious aspens too!

bran fan said...

Congrats, Bernita! Fantastic news!

Anonymous said...

Next time you're in Denver, check out the Butterfly Pavilion and Ocean Journey. It's been a while since we lived there, but they were great places to visit also.

Love The Tattered Cover. Notice how time seems to slow down when you pass through the doorway. Ahhh....

Congratulations, Bernita! Beam away!

How did I spend the last 10 days? Working, writing, dreaming, writing, reading, writing, working....

Zee

Angie Fox said...

Welcome back! I've spent the last 10 days writing up a storm, having a lot of fun with the new book. Oh and planning a trip to Las Vegas. What we authors are willing do in the name of research...

Bernita said...

Thank you, Laura, Bran, Zee.Kind of you.
I know it's just a short story, but...

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