We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.
Wednesday, I talked about some of the people I met at the DFW Writers’ Conference. Today I want to tell you a little more about some of the sessions and their presenters and a couple of the special events.
My first session was a presentation on networking at conferences by Brenna Smith.
Since I’ve confessed in earlier blogs that I’m one of those people who come to conferences and find an obscure corner to sit in while all the other attendees mingle with one another, this was a particularly important session for me.
One of the things Brenna told us was that everyone else there is just as scared as we are. I find that difficult to believe—I mean, look at them—they’re all talking and having fun. They all know one another except me.
No? Well, maybe not, but . . . do you think they are really as reticent as I am to walk up to strangers and start conversations? Are you? I guess I’ll just have to take Brenna’s word for that.
I don’t want to say too much about what this delightful young lady told us, because she has consented to write a blog on the subject for me to post. Watch for it in a couple of weeks.
Another delightful lady I met was Cheryl Ammeter.
In addition to her website, you can find her on IMDB, since she used to write for Barney & Friends and other television shows.
Cheryl has self-published her own book, and she talked about that experience and some of the pluses, as well as the extra work involved. She and others like Kait Nolan and Jillian Dodd were very encouraging about the prospects of success in self-publishing. Jill was not a presenter, but she has two highly successful YA novels on the market.
James Rollins took the other end of that stick. He firmly believes in the traditional publishing industry and has been extremely successful in his endeavors there.
Hard to argue with success. In his keynote address, he told us he only received forty-nine rejections before getting an agent to represent his first novel—including one from an agent who took the trouble to handwrite a note telling him it was unpublishable. I think there may be a message about perseverance somewhere in there. He also managed to put a lot of humor into his presentations—both in the keynote and in his sessions.
If you’ve ever attended a writers’ conference, you probably know what a gong show is. We had one on Saturday afternoon in which the moderator read query letters until three of the agent-panelists hit their gongs to stop him, after which they would explain their objections. Sunday afternoon, it was first pages instead of queries. It was both fun and informative to listen for the gongs and then hear what the agents said.
One impression I had as I left is one I’ve had for some time from all the writer friends I’ve made both in person and in cyber space. We writers are all interested in finding readers willing to spend money to buy our works. That could make us fierce competitors, but it doesn’t work that way. At this conference, just as on social media and in blogs, we all stand ready—even anxious—to help one another. That speaks very well of all of you out there.
What has another writer done to help you in your journey to authorship?
Have you attended a writers’ conference? What was your favorite part.
What do you do when thrown into a room full of other conferees? Come on, ‘fess up. I know you’re not ALL perfectly at ease.
Every Wednesday and Friday one of our Life List Club members posts a blog on the LLC Website. Today, Sherry Isaac, will post on that site.
After you comment on my post, be sure to come back here and click on the LLC Website so you can read hers also.
David N. Walker is a Christian father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years as a health insurance agent. Most of that career was spent in Texas, but for a few years he traveled many other states. He started writing about 20 years ago, and has six unpublished novels to use as primers on how NOT to write fiction. He is currently putting the finishing touches on his non-fiction Web Wisdom: Godly Thoughts and Inspiration from the Inbox and starting his new fiction work—a series of novellas set during the period from 1860 to 1880.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me at @davidnwalkertx