Yesterday was a long day. Had breakfast with the lovely Barbara Vey, who is blogging now for Publishers Weekly. She and I met on the Levy Cruise (Authors at Sea), and she has the kindest spirit. She had to run off for an interview with Jim Butcher (lucky!!!), and I chilled until my panel. Speaking of which, Mary Janice Davidson, Angela Knight, and Charlaine Harris are hot, hot, hot—funny, smart, and boy, they can talk. If you ever have the opportunity to see them in person, jump for it. I was delighted to be with them for our hour, though I will admit to a bout of pure shyness which sort of kept my trap shut for most of it. I sat next to Monique Patterson, editor for St. Martins, who was lovely as usual. Our moderator and fellow panelist, Cheyenne McCray, was fantastic, too. I wish I had pictures, so if any of you happened to snap some, please send them to me!
Basic theme of the panel: Follow your heart as a writer, and don’t be afraid to do things outside of trends or general expectations. As Monique said, “It’s easier to take something out than put something in.” So go for it. Write your story, even if other people tell you it’s too edgy or sexy or dark. All of us up there didn’t get to where we are by being scaredy cats. And if you aren’t passionate about what you’re doing, it’ll show—in your characters, in your world-building, in every word. So be who you are—write what you love—and don’t worry about the rest.
Afterwards, the rest of the day was easy breezy. I met Rachel Vincent, whose debut Urban Fantasy, Stray, is coming out in June. She has a great website, with a real gem: an after-the-sale timeline, which chronicles her whole experience—from getting an agent, selling her novel, right down to dealing with revisions and cover-art. Her book looks wonderful, too. Guess what I just pre-ordered? Ha!
I also ran into the beautiful Vicki Pettersson, who is nice as can be. I hope we get a chance to talk more. We’re on a panel together tomorrow, and I can’t wait to hear what she says about writing. In a way, I feel like I should be the one in the audience—my first novel-length urban fantasy doesn’t come out until next year—but hey, I ain’t complaining!
Picture of the day comes courtesy of Gennita Low (on my left) and Jill Smith (on my right). Gennita and I made it our mission to get some work done, and spent an hour of hard writing in the atrium of the hotel. Which I’m going to do some more of after I finish with this blog entry.