Anyway, with only five days to go and with Romance Writer's of America's conference just wrapped up in Orlando I wanted to talk about preparation. How do you possibly prepare for days of drinking, carousing, laughing, catching up with awesome friends and maybe a little honing the craft thrown in? The first thing I do is work out my outfits =) Crazy place to start, I know. Shouldn't it be about the writing and getting ready for pitches and emptying my head of all the useless stuff so I can fill it with great advice? Probably. But with the chance to get away from wiping bums, bathing the kids, not even being able to pee without being interrupted, I plan to really enjoy myself and for me that starts with looking and feeling good. Last year in Brisbane I did not pack one pair of flat shoes. I even had to wear my knee high stiletto boots on the plane because they wouldn't fit in my suitcase! This year is going to be pretty similar except that my costume for the cocktail party requires flat boots. And if I can fit my boots in my bag, I might wear ballet flats on the plane. So with the choosing of outfits came the colouring of my hair. Yep, you read that right. My hair was this miss-match of colours resulting in a kind of burgundy, brown, red top. Now it's kinda black. Most of my outfits are black and white or just black so my hair would have clashed something fierce! I'm hoping by next week it will have faded to a really nice dark brown. Now, I know so many people start with the dieting but I couldn't diet to save my life so I don't even consider that part of it. That's what those magical slimmer things are for. Let them do all the work so I don't have to walk around with my gut sucked in!
So after sorting out how I look, then I need to decide what to pitch. I am lucky enough to be pitching to the woman who was there when Harlequin'zs MIRA was launched. While I'm pretty sure she doesn't work this line anymore, she is a senior editor able to acquire across all lines. Very, very exciting!! To her will go Scandal's Mistress and with the help of a fabulous friend, I am re-writing the first chapters to give the plot a bit more oomph.
The second (and in the same hour on the same day) is Ali Watts from Penguin. This is the one that has given me a heap of trouble. I really don't want to pitch the same book because most of these editors and publishers have the no multi-submissions policy (if they take them at all when you don't have an agent). But anyway, I don't want to pitch the same thing so that left me with my current WIP which is going so incredibly well and receiving fantastic feedback but isn't quite done. Or there's my chick lit I started at last years conference. Ali represent women's fiction and chick/hen lit but I'm pretty sure she could acquire or pass me on to someone from Berkley if she thought me good enough. And there's the conundrum! What the hell do I do? Both books are strong and right for the lines they do but I'm so torn. My chick lit hasn't had much in the way of feedback except what I got when it was on Authonomy. It was so well received there and made it to number 32 on the chick lit list but I'm not sure that will mean much at the end of the day. Then there's the WIP. I've already been told by a pubbed author that with only a little but of work it will make it to the mass market and to hold out for a BIG publisher. Made my head about the size of the city! but also gave me some much needed boosting in the confidence department. But that still brings me back to what the hell do I do? Now I'm kinda thinking about being ready to pitch all three books. If I see Ali at the cocktail party or in the morning before the pitches, I might find a way to test the waters so to speak and see what she would prefer. With only five minutes I can't ask her when I sit at the table in the room to pitch. So that's the plan. Further than that, I know who I'm staying with, I know who I want to catch up with, and I know I'm there to try to learn and hone my craft to try to get that damned sale!!
Oh, oh, oh, oh, I keep forgetting- although I don't know how- by this time next week I should be holding my short story in print in my hand! Yep, since I did well in the RWAus comp, Little Gems, my story, Million Dollar Dreams, went into the anthology which is released at the conference!! Officially a published author =) Ah, that makes the day so much better!
So tell me what you do to prepare or if you have any advice on which book I should pitch... Just leave me a comment! I'm only about 200 and something hits off having a giveaway. When I get to a thousand I'm going to give away something special! Good luck!