Sunday, August 21, 2011

AADPhilly - A Writer's Perspective - Full of Win!

Me with Lara Adrian and Larissa Ione
I've seperated my feedback on my recent trip to the Authors After Dark Conference in Philly. I attended the event as a Blogger and a Writer. To see my Blogger comments, check out Dren's B-Spot.

As a writer, my experience at AADPHILLY was truly astounding! I had my first ever Pitch Sessions with two editors - Stacy Hague Hill from TOR and Heather Osborn from Samhain publishing. Let me set up the scene....

My CRW, Blogger and Twitter buddy Penny was my road dog and roomie for this trip. We drove to Philly. Yeah -- I know. Nine hours of highway, what were we thinking? But we did. We left Charlotte at 12:45 AM -- burning rubber.  We reached the hotel at approximately 9:20 AM and after discovering we had to wait until at least 1PM to check into our rooms, we jumped into the morning activities for AADPHILLY.  

We mingled and squeed, meeting all of our twitter buddies face to face and then at around 10:30 AM went to register. It was there I discovered that my first Editor appointment with Stacy Hill was at 11:10 AM.  <insert dramatic music here>.  WHAT? 11:10AM? OMG. Panic sets in. No time to prepare or get myself pumped up. In approximately 20 minutes - I would Pitch. For the FIRST.TIME.EVER!

Penny was my ace! She calmed me down. She said "You do not look a hot mess! In your flip flops, workout capris and T-shirt." <insert dying here>.  Without our room I couldn't change my clothes and make myself "presentable" - my notes were packed up with my laptop. Oh yeah I was ready. I was also pumped up on a 5-Hour Energy drink. Talking a billion miles a minute and working on 2.5 hours of sleep after driving for 9 hours.  Sure the 5-HED worked for me on the road - but now I was a hyped up mess!
Me on hour 6 of 5-HED

So at 11:10 AM I went to my appointment and met the fabulous Stacy Hill. Can I just say - she's the nicest editor I'd ever met. I immediately apologized for my attire, explaining what happened and guess what? She totally commiserated with me! Stacy arrived at the hotel that morning as well and wasn't able to check in either! And she's eight months pregnant! Bad form Doubletree Hilton! Give the pregnant lady a room!

Once we shared a laugh over Doubletree's fail -- it was smooth sailing. I relaxed... did my pitch and I didn't turn into ash, melt of explode! And Stacy asked for the first 3 chapters and synopsis and gave me her card. AMAZING!!!

Float! Float on....
I'm totally floating on cloud nine until my 1:50 PM appointment with Heather Osborne.  By this time -- I was nearly punchy from lack of sleep and completely on the downside of my 5-HED. We got into our room, but I only had time to throw on a pair of jeans. I met with Heather, and immediately said "I'm sorry for my appearance and hope I don't slur my words. I drove in this morning from Charlotte and haven't had lunch yet. Heather laughed and said "That's ok, I just had lunch and I'm ready for a nap! I drove in from Ohio!" AWESOMESAUCE!!  I don't slur my words and jump right into my pitch. Heather is great! Gives me her card and says to send her the full manuscript when it's ready.

Not too shabby for a first time Pitch huh? I mean what could make this event any better? Well let me tell you...

About an hour later, I'm strolling through the hotel and I hear someone call my name "Dren!" I turn around and low and behold it's Lara Adrian!! (insert internal hysterical squee here). I met Lara and her husband at RWA this past June and I actually won a kindle during her husband's event.  For about 20 seconds I'm screaming in my head "OMG SHE REMEMBERS ME!!!!!" But on the outside I'm smiling and hug her! (Yep even in my hyped up/lack of sleep mode - I can still be cool!).

We exchange updates on how things are going and I tell Lara about my great pitch sessions -- even tell her about my WIP. Lara gives me some great feedback and things to really think about for my writing career. I'm totally floored! I mean LARA ADRIAN GAVE ME ADVICE ABOUT MY WRITING CAREER?!?!? My brain can't even compute! 

And folks - that was simply the first SIX hours of AADPHILLY!

The rest of the trip was spent meeting authors --old and new to me.  But nothing that weekend could to top the events above -- oh except this!  During the author book signing, I went around asking my favorite authors to sign a special journal I brought with me.  I started with Lara Adrian (of course). Here's what she wrote:

Yeap... that'll do it!


Bells said...

This post is so awesome! I loved reading your experience as a writer and wish you much success.

I think it is so wonderful that Lara Adrian and the other writers were so supportive at AAD. Even during the panels they all sat and really listened to what others were saying. Some of them even took notes and picked up a few new things they could try out for themselves.

So happy that AAD was such a success for you!

Nancy McGregor said...

Wow what a great time you had. I'm glad you got some good feedback and I look forward to reading your work when it's done :)

Dren said...

Bells - Thanks gurlie! I'm still squeeing over Lara Adrian.

Nancy - Thanks for stopping by! This trip has definitely helped me refocus on my writing. I can't wait to share it with the world! (insert dead faint here) LOL

Tracy said...

Awesome. Sounds successful and like a memorable weekend. Course some of us have absolute faith you will succeed!

Penny said...

ROOMIE!! So glad we got to experience this trip together! It was awesome, wasn't it?? Can't wait til you're one of the authors on the panel!! :-)

Twimom227 said...

OMG... That is SO AWESOME! I had talked with Penny about her experience, but not you about yours. I'm so glad it went well and I LOVE Lara's note to you! I'll be able to say "I knew her when..." Congrats and good luck! xoxo