On Friday morning at the RWA Conference, I went to a workshop given by Deb Dixon, the author of a book that belongs on every novelist’s shelf, Goal, Motivation &Conflict. (First published in 1996, GMC is still available from its original publisher, Gryphon Books for Writers. Go order it.) This workshop, however, was on “Finding Your Voice.” Deb compared an author’s voice to an ice cream cone, with the base made up of what one tells (your themes, plots, story arcs, world view, etc.) and the flavor how one tells it (tone, sound, word choices and so on).
With my head swimming with writing advice, I decided to seek a bit of publishing advice, and went to the Spotlight on Kensington session. Kensington is an independent American-owned publisher, prominent in romance and a range of other genres. The Kensington editors were enthusiastic and eager to describe the advantages of traditional publishing, both paper and electronic.
After lunching with another group of ladies I’d never met (this time including an agent who represents several of my friends), I went to another Spotlight session, this one on Sourcebooks, a publisher which started in 1987 with financial and business books and which has successfully spread into fiction over the last few years. Their team at the conference, including the founder of Sourcebooks, Dominique Raccah, was enthusiastic and encouraging.
And then it was time for the RITA and Golden Heart Finalists reception, held on the Pulse Loft overlooking the Atrium level of the hotel. Nearly all the Lucky 13s and a good many of the RITA finalists were there, as well as the RWA Board members, who presented us with our certificates. We were served champagne and petit fours and had our pictures taken. I’m not sure what happened to the individual photos, but here’s a group pic of the Lucky 13s.
I managed to hit one more workshop after the reception, “Don’t Just Put Gears on It: Writing and Selling Steampunk.” I don’t know if I’ll ever try to write in the Steampunk subgenre, but I find the combination of science fiction and alternate history fascinating.
Friday evening was my chance to visit with some of the Starcatchers, the GH finalists from 2011. A group of us walked down the street to Benihana (the first time I’d been out of the hotel since Tuesday evening–I’m afraid I can’t say I saw much of Atlanta!) for a most entertaining dinner. I don’t think we were the first group of romance writers our chef Bernard had served, and he took our teasing in good spirits (and the spirits consumed probably accounted for the teasing). Back at the hotel, we found a few more Starcatchers, and a few more spirits, in the bar.