Wednesday, October 29, 2008

J.R. Ward and Jessica Andersen Rock

I already knew their books rocked, and knew that Jessica rocked in person, but finding out that JR Ward is amazing in person renewed my faith in this business. Renewed my faith that the smart and talented people sometimes do get ahead. Renewed my faith enough (I hope) to get me motivated to push through the revisions I'm determined to finish this week.

The NJRW conference was great. If you've never gone to a regional RWA conference and are thinking about it--choose this one. It's big enough that there are lots of people (around 300?) and at least 5 choices of workshop in each time slot. It attracts tons of editors and agents (because of the proximity to NYC) so if you want to do pitch appointments, there are more opportunities than at Nationals. (And opportunities to meet editors in the bar, right Sinead?) Sinead and I lucked into having Alissa Davis from Dorchester sit down next to us the first afternoon when we were skipping a session to have a glass of wine. Loved her. Great taste in books and TV. She'd fit right in at DWT.

I went to the editor panel and have never seen so many editors on a panel together. (Note to the organizers: is it really necessary to have 3 editors from one small e-pub on a panel?) Part of me thinks they could have broken it into two panels.

Overall messages from the editors? They're still buying/looking for new authors in spite of the economic outlook. (At least they say they are.) Paranormal trend is still going strong and the darker the better. Most were now actively looking for historicals and contemporaries, too. Haven't heard that for a while on a panel and hopefully means that those sub-genres will be building up again, soon. A lot of the editors were also interested in steam punk. If you don't know what that is... google is your friend. ;-)

7 comments:

Kimber Chin said...

They are looking for contemporaries?

So contrary to popular opinion,
contemporary romance is NOT dead?

I'll admit to having to google steampunk. I've read it (because they sometimes get mixed up with historicals) but have never heard anyone refer to it by that name.

(And that's why I read DWT
- so I appear less ignorant)

Great points about the conference being so close to NYC.
I'll keep that in mind
if I ever go mainstream
(grinning)

Sinead M said...

It was a great conference, and really well run. And it's true, contemps and historicals are being asked for, even with some enthusiasm.
I missed the editor panel, but the agents did say that the contemp has to be pretty spectacular, but there is opportunity there.
And JR Ward is amazing.. and in my mind, is now my friend.

Abby said...

It was great. Nice to hang out with you guys there.

Once I knew what the agents and editors looked like, I saw them all over the place. They were everywhere, and they were all really nice.

Note to the organizers: Need better moderation for the panels, to avoid wasting half the session with questions like "What is your response time?"

I am the only person in the universe who is not a fan of JR Ward's books, but I am definitely a fan of her in person. She is awesome, especially when she talked about how she's an "absolute Freudian mess." lol. Very cool lady.

Leanna Renee Hieber said...

*waving madly to her new friends* Hi ladies! *toasts the Strongbow* - who put the Strongbow up there, my favorite drink ever - could it possibly be my long lost twin and fellow historical nut/BSG freak Sinead? (If not, its okay, you're still my long lost twin anyway). You ladies were the massive highlight to a delightful weekend!

Sinead M said...

Leanna, we are long lost twins... I LOVE strongbow. Especially draft from my favourite pub

How is it we were seperated at birth..

Molly O'Keefe said...

JR Ward, long lost twins, wine with editors? I always miss the fun. Anxious to hear about pitches and dirt and Madame Ward.

I had lots of fun while you were gone...lots. Lucy and I talked writing and Mick looked over my rewrites until he peed on the floor. So.. take that.

Maureen McGowan said...

Leanna, it was awesome to meet you, too.

Sinead converted all of us to rabid BSG fans.

Molly... some day the 3 of us will be at a conference again. At a time when none of us is pregnant. Some day. I'm sure of it.

Glad Mick enjoyed your rewrites enough to pee on the floor. Ah, potty training... I read the first three chapters of your rewrites this am at a coffee shop and managed not to similarly embarrass myself.

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