Tomorrow I head out for the Romance Writers of America national conference, an annual event that rotates locations. Last year we were in New York City. This year, we’re in Anaheim, CA. This means I do not have to fight with luggage limits or TSA. For once I can just pack my bags, throw them in the trunk of my car, and head on down to meet my fellow agents. I’m less than an hour’s drive from the land of the Mouse, and I’ll admit I’m pretty excited about it. I love traveling, but sometimes, you just want to go, do your thing, and leave.
So what do agents do at conferences? Obviously I have no need to sit in on the various workshops on creating kick-ass heroines or mastering the blog tour. How, precisely, do we fill our days?
One word for you: Meetings. Not just meetings, of course, but sometimes it feels like it. When I attend a conference of this size, I’ll meet with all of my clients who are present, to catch up, chat about business, discuss new story ideas, etc. And then I’ll meet with their editors who are attending the conference. I’ll also meet with other editors, both those I know but have yet to work with, and those I have not previously met.
The rest of the time is filled in with various conference events. I’ll take pitches — in this case for two hours on Friday afternoon. In some cases I present a workshop or two, though that’s not the case at this particular conference. Evenings are filled with client and co-worker dinners, plus cocktail parties thrown by the various publishers that allow you the chance to chat with any editors you didn’t pin down for a one-on-one. The RITA and Golden Heart Awards Ceremony wraps up the conference Saturday night, and I’m thrilled to have clients nominated in several categories.
What do agents do at conferences? We talk. Constantly. But then, we’re talking about books, and what better way to spend a conference?
Wishing you all a wonderful week. If you’re at the conference, be sure to wave.