Wednesday, May 07, 2014
The Author's Unofficial Guide for RT Preparation (Or Not)
So here's a few new ways to prepare for a conference, an experiment I'm conducting this year for research purposes only. For the greater good, of course.
* You know those two editor/agent appointments you're signed up for, with publishers you'd like to write for one day? You know you have fifteen minutes to sell yourself, sell your talents, sell the hell out of anything you've got that sellable. DON'T THINK ABOUT IT. You know. Just get in there and wing it with that vague series idea you've had bouncing around in the back of your mind for a year now. The one that might or might not even be in a genre the editor buys. You'll astound the editors with your ability to think on your feet.
* Show up for your sessions on time, dressed to kill, clutching your most recent book in your hands, and DON'T WORRY ABOUT THAT TOPIC YOU DON'T REMEMBER. Just wing it, especially if you're sitting on a panel with fabulously popular authors (which you're not, probably because you don't prepare). You'll astound people with your ability to say "er" and "um" and "I think Ilona Andrews should take that question." Should Mr. and Mrs. Andrews see this, I'll deny writing it. Lexi George wrote it and signed my name to it.
* When you are attending one of those multi-author things where you stand around and wait for someone to pretend an interest in your books, DO NOT DISCOURAGE MISTAKEN IDENTITY. Last year, I had three long conversations with a woman who kept talking about the hot love scenes in my books. Sometime near the end of the first conversation, I realized she thought I was another author with a similar name. At the book signing, she bought a couple of my books, thinking they were new titles by that other author. Who doesn't write paranormal. Who probably has a MUCH lower usage of four-letter words in her damn books. But it was too awkward to back out by that point. Just go with it. And if you ever ask me about this, I'll deny it.
* There are a lot of parties and costumed events during the RT convention, and people will be dressed to the nines. ACCEPT THAT YOU WILL NOT BE ONE OF THEM. Wash your day-job clothes and go with it. Throw in a few things with glitter or sequins and if they match, it was planned. If they don't, you're eccentric and boho. We're authors. We're expected to be crazy. I mean, this is the town that spawned Truman Capote and Lillian Hellman and Tennessee Williams and Anne Rice. They're going to raise brows at my purple sequins and houndstooth suit coat?
And there you have it. My guide to conference preparation, a la 2014. Er. Um. I'll let you know how it goes, or you can just ask Ilona Andrews.
BIO: Novelist currently living in Auburn, Alabama. Author of the Sentinels of New Orleans series (urban fantasy, Tor Books) as Suzanne Johnson. Writing as Susannah Sandlin, author of the Penton Legacy (paranormal romance) and Collectors (romantic suspense) series from Montlake Romance. See my author website for more info!