Today I am at a conference, the Romance Writers of America national conference. (It’s where a whole bunch of people who write kissing stories get together and become an awesome tequila-drinking, alpha-male ogling aggregate. You should totally look into it.) This year's event is precisely my second romance-writing conference ever.
And it has a story.
Three years ago, I went to my first romance-writing conference. This was me, right before the Fantasy Futuristic and Paranormal (FF&P) steampunk shindig:
At that conferences, I pitched my book to an agent and an editor. Both were super kind and worked really hard to make me feel comfortable, which, thinking about it now, must have been on the verge of superhuman since they had been sitting in uncomfortable-looking chairs for literally hours and presumably without potty or coffee breaks. Poor them! And yet: kind.
Despite the fact that my book was clearly neither romance nor science fiction but a weird hybrid creamy-part-of-the-Oreo-cookie between, they requested pages. Because, as mentioned, kindness.
That was in August. I went home from the conference and straightaway sent pages to everyone who wanted to read them (all two people, woohoo!).
Some time later (two months)…
The editor had been busy and passed my pages on to another editor at the publishing house, and she read the pages and requested the rest of the book. Cool! Except not really booze-worthy coolness...yet.
Some months later (three)…
I got an email. The best kind of email. The “I might want to offer money for this book if you completely changed it, are you interested?” kind of email. Which I pondered because WOW – and then mentioned to an agent who had been reading my book for a while. She took the offer to heart and read my book superhuman fast, like in a matter of hours, and everything happened in a brilliant glittery chaotic blur at that point and I’m not sure if it was hours or days or nanoseconds later, but suddenly I had an agent.
She had some revisions for me to make, and we decided to take the book in a different direction (more romance! More smooching! More hot sex!) and submitted it to Sourcebooks, among others.
That was almost a year after the conference. Six(ish, because I’m not sure really what’s going on at a given moment) months after that, Sourcebooks offered for my book. And the year after, it came out. Book one, my first, with the gorgeousest cover in the history of badass covers, and I love it so very, very much.
But, you know, it took a while.
Three years, all told.
None of this happens over night, but the magic does happen. You just have to believe.
Going to conferences helps.
Connecting with people helps.
Writing the next damn book helps.
And last Friday, three days before I was set to attend my second ever conference? An advanced copy of my second book, Perfect Gravity, arrived on my doorstep. This is it:
You see??! Magic. Pure and simple. (Actually their names are Tahiti and Lily.)
So anyhow, if you’re here at RWA17 Orlando, I hope you'll find me and tell me your story. Because in this magical, kissing-story, alpha-ogling, tequila-swilling aggregate, we all rise together.