Thursday, July 29, 2010

La Nora, Lee Child, And Foreign Lands

As I mentioned in my last post, Thursday is technically "start day" here at the conference for 90% of those in attendance. For me it's the day I start to hit the wall. Wednesday is so jammed for me with librarian "stuff," that I'm half out of my mind with exhaustion before the "regular" conference even starts. Hence, me being in my room right now blogging (and probably making no sense) and not hanging out at the Harlequin Pajama Party.

Today started with me going to breakfast with AnimeJune, KristieJ and Rosie. Then we hit the
Goody Room, where I scored some pretty, pretty bookmarks, notepads, magnets, and even a couple more books. Then I went up to the room to snag the box I had to ship. Yes, the Librarian Goody Room had been so obscene the day before that I already had a full box of books to ship back home. Then I just kind of chilled out and chatted with folks (Magdelan, Victoria Janssen, the AAR brigade) before the luncheon.

The Keynote Luncheon kicks off the conference and this year's keynote was Nora Roberts. I've heard Nora give talks before, and she's always great fun. Her speech started out with reminiscing. (Her and Ruth Langan met at conference in 1981 and have been roommates at RWA since 1984 (?) - that's so full of awesome that words fail.) The gist of her speech? Writing is hard. Publishing is hard. It's as hard today as it was "back then." But if you want to "swim in the pool" you need to stop wasting your breath, jump in, and learn to swim. Paraphrasing wildly here, but that's the germ of the idea.

Then the workshops started, and a bunch of us headed in to hear Suzanne Brockmann and Lee Child talk on blurring the boundaries between "women's" and "men's" fiction. I'll be honest - I went to this for Lee Child. Around the office I'm known as "Wendy The Romance Novel Girl," and frankly I wanted to be able to say to my colleagues that I shared breathing space with Lee Child (hugely popular at my library!). Sort of a neener, neener, neener type thing. This was a very enjoyable workshop, and ladies I'm sad to report that while Mr. Child is cute, with an even cuter accent - he's also married with children. Bugger.

After that I hit a workshop on foreign rights sales, mostly because 1) we carry foreign editions at my library and 2) I find the whole concept of "rights" selling interesting. Audio book rights, large print rights, foreign rights etc. Despite some technical difficulties, I also found this workshop interesting. The panel consisted of Kristin Nelson (agent), Sherry Thomas (kickass historical romance author), Bettina Steinhage (editor for Harlequin Germany) and Kris Alice Hohls, who publishes LoveLetter Magazine, the premiere German publication dedicated to romance novels. Lots of good information about promoting to foreign readership, how rights are sold, and the different ways publishers package those rights.

There was another set of workshops after that, but nothing that tickled my fancy so I headed up to the room to relax a bit before dinner. A bunch of us went out to dinner with the fine folks from Carina Press, including the lovely Angela James. I also finally was able to catch up with Smart Bitch Sarah who I hadn't run into up until that point.

After a delicious dinner off hotel property, I had every intention of hitting that Pajama Party, but um - yeah, here I am. I called home long enough to check in with My Man (his dentist appointment yielded no nasty (and expensive) surprises), and now I'm blogging. It's an early day tomorrow, with workshops getting started at 8:30AM. I'm hoping I attend several, but as already stated....Hitting. Wall. Hopefully a good night's sleep is in my immediate future.

ETA: Once again, blogging after midnight. Plus, no picture taking today. So forgive the lack of graphics, photos, and any semblance of coherence.


Renee said...

Thanks for the update, Wendy! It sounds like lots of fun. Boy, looks like that tbr mountain is going to get a bit more added to it!

Leslie said...

I'll echo Renee and say thanks for taking the time to blog. You could be sleeping so thanks. :)

Marg said...

I had no intention of reading Lee Child until I saw an appearance on a bookish TV show here a couple of months.

I just thought he was so articulate and funny that I had to read his books one of these days.

LoriK said...

I'm terribly jealous of you for breathing Lee Child's air :)

@Marg: All Child's books are in a single series so you have to keep you series preferences in mind when picking a book.

Hilcia said...

Wendy, great updates. A box of books already and the conference hasn't even started, great haul. Nora sounds great and I'm a fan, but I'm so jealous that you went to that workshop headed by Lee Child! I love his books. :D

Jami Gold said...

Don't worry, Wendy, I got a picture of Lee Child for you: LOL!

Wendy said...

Ooooh, you haz a picture! Nom, nom, nom. Seriously, I could have listened to him stand in front of that room and read his grocery list out loud :)