Bundle of nerves, bundle of nerves.
I’ve gone to some utterly fantastic seminars today, and at 3:10 I had a meeting with Winifred Halsey, which, from about 1pm on, I got progressively more nervous about, up until the point I was standing outside the conference room door, at which time I more or less calmed down. ‘More or less’ means my hands are icy cold and the M&Ms I’m now popping like they’re crack cocaine are hard to pick up because I’m trembling, but right now I’m writing to psyche myself down some.
I stood around for several minutes, actually — 7 or so, and that, when you’re talking about a 10 minute meeting, is really quite a lot. So I’d only been in there maybe four or five minutes when they insisted on bringing the next person in, and Winifred asked me if I could come back in 20 minutes or so, so she could finish talking to me.
What, like I was gonna say no?
She made a suggestion as to what to do about the preface for MD — she actually thinks the story might need one, but she has a good idea on how to make it more personal, more immediate, and — in fact, let me write down my furthering of her idea so I don’t lose it . . . .
Ok, there, it’s written down.
She asked if I’d marketed it to the major NYC publishing houses. I said no and she said I should.
That’s better than a kick in the teeth. :)
All the further we got was her saying that generally the writing was pretty good, and before she got to comment on the first chapter we got interrupted. So when I go back down I’ll get some more of what she has to day.
I went to Joan Johnston’s “The Power of No” seminar, which was absolutely fantastic, and I took a lot of notes, all of which I’ll put online — it’s all about what you do and don’t have to take from publishers and agents.
I also went to one of the agent’s seminars — the Insider’s Guide to Agents — and it’s pretty funny, listening to an author’s POV and an agent’s POV. Needless to say, Sheree Bykofsky’s take (she’s the agent who gave the seminar) is a lot more flattering than Joan’s was.
Right. My hands have warmed up, it’s been 10 or 12 minutes, and I think I’ll go brush my teeth and then see if I can get online and post this real quick before going back to see Winifred again. Zum.
I didn’t get to post this prior to talking with Winifred again; some woman was on the public computer and stayed there for more than two hours, which I thought was rude.
So I went back to see Winifred, and we talked a little bit more about how to make the preface of MD more personal — she said that from her opinion, the only thing that would turn a publisher off would be the tone of the preface, and we talked about it a bit and I’m really very sure I can pull off a much more intimate preface, so I’m extremely pleased about that.
She said to email her and that she’d send me names of particular people at the big publishing houses to contact: she *specifically* mentioned a man at Tor Books, which, well. Tor is the cream of the crop, when it comes to SF publishing. That would be Quite Something. And she said that I should give myself a year, and that if I hadn’t sold it in a year — she said a year because, and she said this too, the big houses are very very slow about responding, and it would *take* a year to get through a couple of them — if I hadn’t sold it in a year, to come back to her with it.
So I’m going to give myself a year from January 1, since I still need to /finish/ the manuscript and I’m not comfortable with sending out queries and whatnot until I’ve got it done.
I am feeling so incredibly inspired. Inspired to write, inspired to send stuff out, inspired to damned well sit down and make myself a schedule that includes two hours of writing a day — I can’t *wait* to be in the new house and put together my reading nook, ’cause I think I’ll use that for my *writing* nook, too. It’s just enough out of the line of sight of everything that I think it’ll be perfect, especially if I’ve got a headset on. God! God, it’s great doing this! I feel like I *can* do it, like I’m just one good hard shove away from publication. *laugh*
This has been a really fun con so far, and I’m looking forward to the awards banquet tonight — although I don’t think I’ll win — and there’s some more stuff tomorrow that I want to go to, too, so I think it’ll continue to be really fun.
Margie Lawson asked for my address and email, as she thought she might want to contact me once I was back in Alaska. Tres cool!
An *astounding* number of people here have been to Alaska, many of them within the last year or two. First people say, “You came all the way from Anchorage?” and then they say, “I was in Alaska last summer,” or words to that effect. It’s been really neat!
Okay, I’m going to go, um. Hobnob, or something. I’ll post again after the awards banquet. :)