Day 1: The I-Wish-I-Was-at-Bouchercon Party

Didn’t make Bouchercon this year?  Don’t be discouraged, we suspense hacks over at Absolute Write Water Cooler are putting together our twisted imaginations to create our own CON.  Our cohorts in crime are sending over Bouchercon tidbits and a daily photo from the con as well.  It’ll be on our blogs and in the Mystery/Thriller/Suspense Room at the Water Cooler.  Mine starts here and now:

5 am: Don’t miss your workout at the hotel gym.  You never know who might be on the elliptical that’s just three inches from yours.  And don’t skip the weights: there’s usually only one bench that you’ll have to alternate using with a famous author or agent.

Registration:  Yes, they’re sure to give you a goofy name badge.  I have no idea what it looks like, but Debbi Mack posted the ultimate one on her blog:

 Visit Random and Sundry Things

This leads me to our Special CON Moment of the Day.  Seems like every time I go to a conference, I encounter a moment of such incredible kindness that it reminds me what a great community of writers I belong to—maybe we’re mostly anti-social, but we’re also kind.

Two years ago, I walked into my first writing conference armed with some paper copies of my first-draft query and a paper copy of my manuscript,  again a first draft.  I felt certain that agents and publishers would be begging to get that one copy.  Of course, I had no clue.  Anyway, when I reached that registration desk, the volunteer explained that the agent I wanted to pitch, Josh Getzler, had been completely booked since the night before. My smile must have dropped faster than a zombie taken down by Brad Pitt (Okay that’s my World War Z reference for today).  Anyway, that special moment:

The volunteer said, “Lucie, I had breakfast with Mr. Getzler this morning.  You can have my slot.  I already pitched him.”

What a sweetie!  Josh Getzler was actually very kind.  He spent most of our five-minute session essentially developing a pitch for my book.  Then he asked for my partial (which he later rejected).  My first-draft manuscript was NOT ready for an agent.  That missed opportunity made me take the steps I needed to better present myself to industry pros.

8 am: Have some coffee with a celebrity, Kato from “Green Hornet”:


Today’s workshop:

Unless you’re a natural Hemingway, you probably should never show up at a conference with a first draft–oh wait, Hemingway said, “The first draft of anything is shit.”  Prepare your manuscript and yourself for the industry with my workshop:

See Here!  Seven Steps to Bring Your “Finished” Manuscript to the Attention of Publishers.”

Click on the title to go directly there.  It’s actually part of a presentation I’m making to the local writer’s club tonight so I’m posting it on the I-Wish-I-Was-at-Bouchercon Party thread (at Absolute Write) at 6 am.  You have just enough time to have another cuppa.  Then read all the posts in that party thread.  Tomorrow, more fun.

A photo from a Bouchercon attendee:  BFloGal sent over this photo.


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