I sent off my first 50 pages of Angel Odyssey to Ginger Clark and Amy Boggs. Now I'll wait and see what they have to say about it. Tonight I'm going on to edit the rest of chapter 3 to send the lot off to Brian Hades.
I suspect I'm going to have to do some serious cutting to get AO down to 100k words. There are two contingency plans in my head: one word count if this sells as traditional epic fantasy and one for if the publisher decides to go YA with it. They might, Jacob is teenaged, after all and coming of age is a major theme. I suspect I know what I need to cut but I need to do so in a way that doesn't cripple the second and third books in the series.
But back onto the conference. One thing that stood out to me was the keynote speech Deb Caletti (http://debcaletti.com/) gave Saturday night. She got a standing ovation, a spontaneous standing ovation* and it was just the antidote we needed after the disastrous Jane Porter address the previous night. She and I come from very different backgrounds and we tell very different types of story**. But what struck me as she spoke was how similar we were. We both have a love of books and a love of writing that almost made me thing she was a female version of me. That's a weird and wonderful thing.
That is the best reason to go to these conferences. Not to meet famous authors, most of them have their own peers and you can only enter their circles by attaining similar levels of success. Sucks but that's the way it is. But you will meet other writers there and only other writers understand us. Only they know the ecstasy of being in 'the zone', where the words flow. Some bitter old men call that 'typing, not writing'. As if that were a bad thing. Well, some writers need to believe writing is painful. It's hard, oh yes, but it doesn't need to hurt.
I met writer there. Unpublished writers, mostly but we can encourage and inspire each other. That is one of the best reasons to attend. We can meet people and grow friendships that hopefully will last.
Kay Kenyon, oddly enough, was talking about this same thing over on her blog () though with an eye towards WorldCon next weekend. Oy. How I wish I could go. But, there's only so much money. I can afford two expensive Cons a year. WorldCon didn't make the cut this year.
But if you can, go. Go, meet people and enjoy the recognition. Oh and buy Deb Caletti's books. Anyone who loves books as much as she does deserves some love in return.
*And not just for her legs. Which are a lot of wow, just sayin'.
**(I just read her book 'Stay' and liked it a lot but I couldn't help thinking how different it would have turned out if the main character or her father had owned a shotgun. Or baseball bat. Or frelling golf club)