April 4th, 2011

Dreamin' in Dallas

Want to give a shout out to all the wonderful people of Dreamin’ in Dallas, who always put on a great conference with an impressive guest list.  Below are some pics from the con.  Sadly, I didn’t grab one of Allison Brennan during her hilarious lunch time keynote address, though I certainly should have.  Richelle Mead inspired us at breakfast with lessons learned from reality tv <g>.  Either speech would practically have been worth the price of admission right there, but on top of that, there were workshops on screenwriting, editing, body language, romantic suspense, middle-grade fiction and much more in addition to our very own agent panel (me, Beth Miller of Writers’ House and Suzie Townsend of Fineprint Literary) and the editor’s panel (Kerry Donovan of NAL, Allison Lyons of Harlequin/Silhouette and Amanda Bergeron of Avon). 

1- Candace Havens, me and her book birthday cake.
2- Dinner with my authors at Mi Cocina - left to right: Vicky Dreiling, Rosemary Clement-Moore, P.N. Elrod, Cat Conrad, Rachel Caine, Vickie Taylor, Karen Whiddon
3- Jaye Wells, Jana DeLeon and Richelle Mead at the pre-signing reception
4- Julia London and Geralyn Dawson/Emily March at the pre-signing reception
5- Candace Havens and Dean Lorey at the same reception.

During each and every one of my pitch appointments, I found myself explaining why it is I like hardcopy submissions when I request chapters, so I thought I’d do a quick mention of it here.  The long and short of it is that when I receive an electronic submission, I forward it to my Kindle, which reformats and repaginates the material.  This is generally fine for reading manuscripts by authors I already represent, with whose style I’m very familiar.  However, for evaluating the work of new writers, I prefer to have the material presented in the way the author intends it.  I don’t want to wonder whether Kindle messed up the paragraphing or dropped a word, as sometimes happens, or whether it was in the file sent to me.  I suppose I could flip back and forth between them, but it would take double the time that I already don’t have, and it would definitely interfere with a smooth, uninterrupted read.  Also, because Kindle repaginates, I don’t get the same sense of pacing as I do when reading manuscript pages with an awareness of how quickly they’re turning and how dense they are.  So, while I know that printing and mailing can be a pain in the tuchus, I don’t ask just to make you jump through the hoops.  Hoops really aren’t that intriguing to me…unless, perhaps, they’re on fire.