(Yeah, germs, after this I should be back to normal. Posting wise at least.) I confess the days are a bit of a blur. I know I talked to many lovely people in the lobby. (I wrote notes on all my cards, which will hopefully make sense to me as soon as I unpack those.) I ran into another Cherry friend. (Yay for cherries!) I ran into some new friends enough times that it may have seemed like I was stalking them. (I am a benevolent stalker, I swear.) I ran into one person who I have now run into at enough reader/writer cons that he realized he maybe should recognize me. (I listed one mutual event. I may be a stalker, but I am attempting to be a subtle stalker.)
There were parties. We played spoons at the Entangled party and my table was full of ringers. I may have ripped a spoon out of someone's hand. (She still made it to the final two, and I didn't so, really, I don't feel bad.)
I hung out with lots of cool people in the lobby, the restaurant, the parties, and the lines. Friday I made an escape for lunch because I waited too long, I was already cranky and decided that if I had to wait in line I could go somewhere new. (I found a McDonalds. It was different, and I got my food right away.)
I may have had a giant coughing fit in the presence of a famous author who was very kind about it. (I assured her this was hay fever recovery, in fact all week, folks were treated to my sexy froggy voice.)
One party had a murder mystery skit, that I expect may have been funnier in practice. (One of our youth group teens wrote the murder mystery they put on this year, and I am totally biased, but I think it was much better.) There was dancing. There were chocolate martinis.
Oh, and workshops. And a book fair. (Insanity. There were people lined up when I went down to get my morning tea at 8:30. The book fair opened at 11. A few of us strolled down later and I stopped and chatted with a few authors.) The teen book party was cool too, even if the cool bags were for the teens. (Adults got littler bags. I'll survive. Probably.)
There were great workshops about writing and YA and I even accidentally wandered into one about marketing, where I stayed because it was really good. (It was not go get three million followers and you'll be set for life.) There were some great ones about crossing over from adult to YA, and YA paranormal. One person in the audience mentioned that these days Stephen King's Carrie or Christine would be sold as a YA. There was also mention that YA was kind of wide open, whether due to it's growing popularity, or some open-ness on the part of the readers, but try selling a verse novel about drug use to adult readers. (For example.)
And there was Author Idol. My chapter (and likely many chapters) do a version of this, where folks submit a page or two and editors and agents read and comment. I find it fascinating. (It also continues to prove that sometimes it's a matter of taste.)
So, the readings were done. Comments were made. Votes from the audience were cast. And then there was a special announcement. For this event they had pre-determined a list of finalists they would read, and announced it the day before. Some folks, like me, hadn't submitted at all, were just there out of curiosity. Or maybe, weren't finalists, but just wanted to hear. Well, Jenna Barton had submitted a piece that was not selected for the workshop. But, an editor from Ravenous Romance had read it and offered her a one book contract. She was surprised. She rushed out of the room a little teary so she could call her husband.
And then, they announced the winner, who also got herself an agent offer out of this, Jasmine Walker, who had submitted a great piece about a guy trying to assist in the delivery of an incubus baby. (Another entrant said, well, if I had to lose, it better be to the incubus baby.) So, that turned out to be great fun. As was the whole conference. I arrived home a burbling tired aching person, but that's as it should be.