I will have more pictures, I swear. I just have to upload them off my camera. I am going to "lift" pictures from the Buzz Girls and Christina Arbini to tell about my conference highlights!
I spent the first four days in SFO with my best friend from college, Krish Amin (now Dalal). We've known each other for over 10 years now and we did what we do best: gossip and shop. Together we hit every single store you can think of: Macys, GAP, Zara, H&M, etc etc etc....all the while catching up on the latest news and gossip from both of our lives.
The conference took off with a bang with the attending Buzz Girls (me, Heather, Marley, Simone and Tera) having an impromptu pow-wow with the gorgeous Wendy Toliver at the Librarians Tea to discuss strategy for our panel. Happily this discussion took all of five minutes before we resumed our usual Buzz Girl topics: gossip, food, shopping, boys.....(are we seeing a pattern here?)
Then it was time for my VERY FIRST Literacy Booksigning. I had tons of friends stop by to say hi, including the lovely Nadine Dajani, Anne Van, Heather Davis, and many many others. It was SUCH an honor to be signing books in a room with authors I adore and respect like the Buzz Girls, Nora, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jane Porter...the list goes on.
The next morning, I arrived at the hotel bright and early and attended some workshops and the Welcome Lunch with some rather quesitonable looking chicken. I instantly trade up for the veggie option (lasagna....yummy!).
Then came the highlight of the whole trip: The Buzz Girls "Building Buzz in YA" panel. All the Buzz Girls spoke about our experiences with marketing our books with Wendy Toliver moderating. I had a BLAST. We always have such a good time together and this was no exception. The hour just flew by as we dished about the industry, sex in YA (pretty intense stuff), age ranges, marketing techniques (blogs, school visits, book launches, etc).
I think the panel was a huge success with over 70 guests and quesitons until the end. We also did giveaways of ALL of our books, with Heather Davis doing a "gift certificate" of her April 2009 release of NEVER CRY WEREWOLF. Fun!
I then attended the workshop of Marley Gibson and the lovely Elaine Spencer of the Knight Agency where they dished about agent/client communications. Great stuff!
That night was the PASIC reception where Heather and I attended and scmoozed with some old friends like Caridad Ferrer and the unflappable Jennifer Jackson.
We met up with the Tiaras of Seattle (Christina, Kelli, Shannon, Serena, Carolynn, and Erin) and then it was time to crash for the night.
Friday was a day of workshops-workshops-more workshops. I learned a ton of stuff about character building, plot strenghtening and at the end of the day, I was ready to stop with the learning. I attended a fantastic dinner @ Zingari with the Chicago North Girls to celebrate Simone Elkeles's RITA Nom. We were laughing so loudly people from OTHER tables were coming over to ask to join our party....awesome!
I then attended the Harlequin Party where I got a chance to see the lovely Nora, Brenda Novak, Tera Lynn Childs, Marley Gibson and many many others. Above is the dessert buffet, Tera doing her thing, and post-party where I am grabbing my bag and heading back to Krish's place for the night.
Saturday was Blake Synder's SAVE THE CAT talk (my favorite of the conference) where I learned just HOW much work I have left to to on my current WIP URBAN MYTHOLOGY.
We had our Buzz Girl Lunch at the fantastic King of Thai (cheap and FAST!) and then rushed back for the Agent Cartel workshop. That evening we did a dinner with the Tiaras of Seattle at Mel's Diner before everyone retreated to their rooms to get pretty for...
The GH/RITA Award ceremony. It was a gorgeous ceremony with the extremely elegant Heather Davis presenting the GH for Best YA book.
So, that is a very short version of my conference highlights. I look forward to hearing everyone else's conference stories and seeing pictures (that I can steal!)
HOW TO SALSA IN A SARI
SHRINK TO FIT
both out now!