Bullet Wisdom

I am an Active Duty Officer in the US Army. I am a Husband, father, writer, hunter, gamer, and SOLDIER. This blog is a forum for my many hobbies as well as my random musings.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Twenty Three Hours...

...until registration for the DFW Writers Conference.

So what am I doing? First, I'm reviewing my objectives:

1. Interact with a bona fide publishing industry professional.
2. Interact with other aspiring authors.
3. Cram as many presentations as I can into a single conference.

The first one is guaranteed. I have a name and a slot. I've got my 25-word pitch and 10 talking points to keep the conversation going. I've been trying to familiarize myself with the agent's client list. It's a good mix, I'd venture to say 50/50 male and female. Query Tracker shows this individual has a good number of upcoming titles, almost all of them YA and MG. Dystopian seems to play a prominent theme. They seem to be mostly newer deals, a good things because maybe their looking to add more. I plan to download one of their clients works to my Kindle.

If that fails then maybe we spend the remaining nine minutes talking about liquor and sports.

I love the Internet and I love my writing group folks, but I'm really looking forward to meeting living, breathing writers without the safety-net of Internet anonymity. I've looked for local writing groups, but Google draws a blank. They do exist. I happened upon one doing a reading in the back aisles of a local bookstore. But they're like antelope, just the slightest whiff of outsider and they're gone. Should be fun to see bunches of them move around in packs.

I'll be watching like a lion in high grass.

There's a dizzying amount of seminars scheduled at the Con. I'm pretty sure that I'm a good storyteller; what I don't know is if I'm a good writer. So my focus is going to be on the writing: plot, dialogue, characters, etc. There's several seminars focused on querying and marketing, but I get enough of that from stalk-- err... following agents and other writers on Twitter and Facebook.

Other than that? I've printed my schedules and maps, drawn out my movements through the conventions center, and even programmed in some reflection time to make sure I've captured the important stuff.

I think I have this covered. As soon as work is over, I'll fill up the tank, throw the wife and kids into the car, then head north to Dallas. Tomorrow morning I'll be in the parking lot and walking towards registration.


Seleste deLaney/Julie Particka said...

Woot! So excited for you :)

*sigh* I remember being a con virgin. Hopefully you won't be as shy as I was because I had a hell of time working up the nerve to talk to people.

Good luck and have fun!

Danielle La Paglia said...

Good luck this weekend, Ken!

Falcata Times said...

Hi Ken,
Best of luck with the Con. You certainly sound like you've done your research and perhaps know where the odd body is buried. (Never underestimate the power of that. LOL)

I'd also say to work on a slightly longer than 25 word pitch. They may ask for it.

Other than that if you can get a discreet OBO shot of the person you deal with keep it on file as a lot of the time you'll remember the face and converstation more than you will by name. I'd also say to have a few extra's on hand in case you end up chatting to the odd person either in the airport or the conventions bar. (An example is here from Angry Robot:

All the best,


livyparker said...

A lion in tall grass... you go get those antelopes, Ken!

And best of luck with those agents folks:)

Jarrett Rush said...

I'm with Seleste. I had a tough time working up the nerve to talk to folks at the DFW convention last year. There's a reason I like to write. It's a solitary pursuit.

That's why this year I'm going to do my best to screw up my courage and chat up some folks. Like you, I'm hoping to meet some real, live writers who are serious about pursuing this as more than a hobby. I'd love to have some people I can keep up with through the year for encouragement and support.

Have fun, and maybe you'll be someone I chat with.

Casi said...

First of all, good luck. You'll do fine.

Secondly, "they're like antelope, just the slightest whiff of outsider and they're gone. Should be fun to see bunches of them move around in packs." This line was hilarious, and completely true. Except for that one experience of mine in Korea, but that's to traumatic to talk about.

Again, good luck.

Annie Neugebauer said...

Good luck! I'm going to the con too, and I confess to being an antelope. Although, we try not to run when newbies show up. =) There are 3 critique groups I know of: http://www.brazoswriters.org/index.php http://www.northbranchwriters.webs.com/ and http://dfwwritersworkshop.org/. None of them are in Killen, but they're all in Texas. Good luck at the con!

T. Crosby said...

I'm so green with envy! You are going to have a great learning opportunity there, and it'll be awhile before you get a do-over, so do it all. :)

Make eye contact to single out the weakest link in the herd, then you go on and get yourself some jerky! ;)

Happy Hunting!

Lisa Forget said...

"If that fails then maybe we spend the remaining nine minutes talking about liquor and sports." - That totally cracked me up!!

What a wonderfully exciting opportunity. I wish you the best of luck.

Enjoy every minute!
aka BookFever from the OWG

J.A. Campbell said...

WOOT! super exciting :) Have a great time!


Jessica Peter said...

Yay, so exciting! I love conventions, even hearing about them second-hand. I hope to hear a full report shortly. :)

And I'd totally recommend taking a writing course at a local college in order to meet other writers. I took a Novel Writing course at my local college, and besides being awesome motivation to get my first novel started, I met a great group of people! (I may have learned a few things too ;) ). Two years later, four of us are still going strong after meeting pretty much weekly, and we've been joined off and on by about 10 others!