Sunday, August 14, 2011

It's A Small World After All

This has been a busy summer for me. It has been more than ten weekends since I've had an "off" weekend. What I mean by off is no family get-togethers or writer functions. Hopefully next weekend I will be able to write all weekend without having to go somewhere. That is besides the grocery store.

Anyway, the other day I was thinking about how many times I've sat next to someone at a table during a conference or workshop and a person on one side or both will turn their backs to me. They want to talk to their friend and no one else. They'll glance at you and quickly decide you're no one important.

Well, all I can say is be careful if you do that. Several years ago, a woman sat next to me at a conference who looked like any regular overweight middle age writer (like me). Nothing special looking (like me). At first, she was a little quiet, but a new friend (made at that conference) and I started talking to her. Turned out she was Kate Duffy. Yes. The late and great, famous Kensington editor who helped romance novels to become what they are today. Click on her name to find out about her if you don't already know.

She was wonderful, friendly and oh, so kind. I had so wanted to work with her. (Though I have to say I love working with my Avon Impulse editor. She's wonderful, kind and smart. Yes. I'm a little bias. She did pick me out of the slush pile.) Later I got a chance for an appointment with her (someone hadn't shown up...crazy person) and Kate asked for a full. She rejected it three weeks after I sent it.

So next time you sit next to someone at a writers' function, be nice, friendly. It may pay off. They may even be someone important or someone you will later be happy to say you know personally or you might just make a new friend.  We all can use as many friends as we can get in life.

Now, who were you surprised to sit by at a gathering? A new friend, a famous person, or just someone very interesting?

13 comments:

Chris Bailey said...

Erin Brockovich's ex-husband Steve and his second wife. Actually, we were in a hot tub in Palm Springs. I'm good at suppressing fears of cooties.

That's typical for me--a several-times-removed celebrity sighting. As far as who else I've been surprised to sit by--well, I find almost everyone I meet is connected to me in some weird way. We both lived in the same town, but not at the same time; our kids went to the same camp; we lived on the same long street growing up, but because of our age difference didn't know each other. It's always something. And there are really nice people everywhere you go.

Gwen Hernandez said...

I sat next to Sara Lindsey at one of the RWA lunches this year. We were both a bit late and stuffed way, way in the back.

I had received a galley of TEMPTING THE MARQUESS from her publisher in a giveaway, so I was happy to be able to say I'd read and enjoyed one of her books!

Lexi said...

I sat next to Cindy Gerard at a signing at RWA this year. She was lovely and gracious to newbie me! And some Southern Magic chick -- oh, what the heck was her name? -- sent me an email giving me a heads up about a certain editor at Kensington. Said nudge led to my current contract. Gosh, can't remember that woman's name . . . Prety sure it starts with a 'C' . . .

Heather said...

I sat next to Kenny Stabler on a plane once (I think he was upset that there wasn't first class, and he had to mingle with common folk like me). He was very nice.

Cari Hislop said...

I don't think I've ever sat next to anyone of renown anywhere (not that I was aware of), but if I ever find myself at a romance writers convention I hope I find myself sitting next to Carla (or any of the other members of your chapter) you're all so funny.

Carla Swafford said...

Chris, you know it's kind of funny that he told you about his famous ex-wife.

LOL!

Carla Swafford said...

When I meet and talk with an author, and then read their book, I can always hear their voice in my head. Did you do that, Gwen?

Carla Swafford said...

I can't imagine who, Lexi. Probably a fan of yours. LOL!

Carla Swafford said...

At least he didn't take it out on you, Heather. :-)

Carla Swafford said...

Oh, Cari, you just let me know when you're at the same conference as me, I'll save you a seat. HUGS!

Louisa Cornell said...

I've been so very lucky at conferences and in my writing journey. And because I have visited several blogs on a daily basis since I started pursuing my writing career I have been recognized by some authors I absolutely idolize simply by my name on a name badge. You don't know what a thrill it is to have someone like Madeline Hunter or Sabrina Jeffries shout out your name at a book signing. "Oh, Louisa! How good to see you!" Way cool! And I had the opportunity in New York to share a couch at Lady Jane's Salon with the incredible Joanna Bourne. We had the best chat about writing and the all important hero's motivations. Priceless!

Carla Swafford said...

Too cool, Louisa!

Lisa Dunick said...

This whole post makes me even more excited for M&M in September :O)