Agents, and editors, and publisher, oh my!
How was your weekend?
Great, well, lemme tell you a little about mine.
This past weekend I attended the PPWC 2012 conference, which was celebrating its 20th year. I’ve been to 17 of them. hadn’t been to the last two, but it was fun attending this year, and seeing friends I haven’t seen in two years. Putting faces to those I’ve only harrasses and taunted in blog posts, comments, and e-mails (like Betsy [wishing you all the best on your knee surgery today!], Mario, Bree, and Gusto Dave!).
But I nearly missed it.
You see, I thought it was the next week, and by “next week,” I mean April 27th – 29th. Literally, I had my jacket on and was leaving the house, when something (I won’t go into what, but plenty of you out there know what that “what” is…) prompted me to check the PPWC website.
April 20 – 22.
What did I have on my calendar (I even took a picture and showed others this, just in case no one believed me)? What did I take off from my day job?
April 27th, etc.
Can you say “unprepared?”
Head not in the game?
Embarrassed (I had volunteer duties that, uh, got modified, because of this…)?
Needless to say, I said “sorry” a lot this past weekend.
I’ve never (fully, and of my own actions) blown anything out of the water so beautifully and completely as I had this weekend.
Anywho, I wasn’t alone! Apparently, others had too. At least three of us. Some friends (who periodically checked my sanity throughout the weekend–thank you!–and made sure I was on the right day and time for things, like pitches; many thanks to Laura and Janet and Margaret and Karen for keeping me sane–and for the PPWC staff for your concern and understanding in the matter, especially Chris Myers, who was my volunteer boss) brought a couple of us together to hang our collective heads in amused embarrassment and laugh at ourselves. As one of the people mentioned, just think if we had made flight and hotel reservations….
But, all things considered, it was great getting “back in the game,” as it were. Sometimes life gets so bizzy (case in point), we get so immersed in just living. But as writers, where we are always in our little caves, we do sometimes really need to get out into the “sunlight.” Get out amongst our peeps. Our peers. Conferences are great places for that.
And you get to meet and pitch to editors, agents, and publishers. Get to know them on a personal basis. Yeah, they really are just like you and me. Get headaches, laugh, converse. Walk (not float inches above) the earth.
Surprise–they even put on their pants one leg at a time.
For the full list of the faculty, click HERE, but we had the likes of Robert Crais and Jeffrey Deaver, Susan Wiggs, and Donald Maass as Keynote Speakers. I am a fan of Bob’s writing (the Elvis Cole and Joe Pike mystery series)–in fact I grew up watching some of the show he’d screenplayed. Bob is truly such a cool guy, extremely personable and accessible. There is an energy about him that has him stand out head-and-shoulders above the rest. I remember meeting and talking with him in the very beginning, way back in 1993 (pardon me if I’m off a year, but I’ve been somewhat time warped this month, as many can attest to…), and every time since, I make it a point to talk with him. Like he said in his Keynote delivery, it’s like he’d grown up with the PPWC. Other samplings include Steve Saffel, of Titan books (another I always make a point of talking with), Lou Anders, of Pyr (that’s “Pie-er”) Books, Mario Acevedo, Kevin J. Anderson, Carol Berg, Mark Coker (Founder and CEO of Smashwords), and Joe R. Lansdale–another really cool, down-to-earth guy.
And Jimmie Butler, the founder of all things Pikes Peak Writer. He founded the conference 20 years ago and was the driving force for many of its years, before stepping down (the job can be quite taxing, not to mention impact one’s writing life). I’d even attended his critique group for a period of time. It was great seeing and spending time catching up with Jimmie. He’s a great guy, and I hope many attendees had a chance to at least introduce themselves and thank him for all he’d wrought with this conference!
Of course there were others, but I eventually have to post this and return to the real world, so checking my watch, I do see it’s time to go.
And I think it’s Tuesday, no?
- 2012 Pikes Peak Writer’s Conference (authortomadair.wordpress.com)
- Presentations at the 2012 Pikes Peak Writers Conference (authortomadair.wordpress.com)
- An Interview With Robert Crais About His New Book, Taken (blogcritics.org)