Monday, April 30, 2012

Desert Dreams Wrap Up

Apache Leap Mountain, Superior Arizona

Thought I'd post my thoughts on the Desert Dreams conference I attended this past week in Arizona. Technically the conference was only from Friday through Sunday, but I took a few extra days to see friends and gather research for future books.

The conference was very well run. The people were more than friendly, and the weather was absolutely gorgeous. The hotel, the Chapparal Suites, boasts rooms with a bedroom and suite portion, and I like that. My only complaint with the hotel was a lack of hot water when I showered after that first day. I wasn't pleasant after a lukewarm shower, but I was awake for the day.

Back to the conference... I attended some nice classes. Erin Quinn did a standup job on perfecting pitches. She helped quite a few folks tighten up their blurbs to pitch to editors and agents. I also liked the agent/editor panel, because I learned what the agents/editors wanted. My pitch to Blaze went well. I found Brenda Chin to be pleasant, personable, and very smart about books and her industry. My pitch to St. Martins didn't go as well, but I don't write inside the box. I also don't write within the bounds of one genre, and that's sometimes hard to sell to higher ups who don't want to take a chance on something new. Their loss. :)

My only issue with the conference, besides the food that I didn't much care for, was that I'd sent goodies that didn't make it into the large goodie bag we were all given. Not sure why that happened, but I did find an avenue to send those business cards and chocolate kisses, so all ends well. And since that's the only fault I could find with it, that's saying it's a great conference. I plan to attend again in 2014, when the next one's held.

During the book signing, I sat next to Elizabeth Hoyt--a funny, nice, down to earth NY Times bestselling author of historical romance. She had quite a few readers stop by. I've heard her give a class before, but I never had the chance to speak with her. I also bought and had her sign a copy of Wicked Intentions for me. I'll dive into that one when I finish a few projects on my plate. All in all, I was surprised to have enjoyed the book signing. Book signings can be ugly if you're next to someone not that friendly or sitting by yourself. And I sold a few books, so not bad at all.

I had a ton of fun with friends, and I'd like to thank them for such a wonderful time. Cat, Teri, Isabella, Jordan (great talking with you), and especially thanks to Cat and Todd for letting me crash at their place. A nod to Trouble as well, because I know that dog secretly likes me, despite her growls and killer stares.

And now I'm back on track and writing my fingers to the bone once again. Also, don't forget, today's the last day for Ayla Ruse's The Fires of Beltane contest. Ayla is picking a winner from those who comment on her blog post here. She'll be picking a winner later today, and she's East Coast, so if you haven't commented yet, you still have time.

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