Post Pikes Peak Writers Conference
The Pikes Peak Writers Conference was last week and there are bunches-o-blogs out this week with conference wrap ups. Well, far be it from me to not get in on this action. But rather than essay it, I’m bulleting it. My highlights, in no particular order:
- Meeting and dining with Jeffery Deaver, international best-selling author of thrillers (including the most recent James Bond novel, CARTE BLANCHE) and learning that he is a really nice, smart and funny guy.
- Donald Maass, the man some have called “the Mick Jagger of agents,” completely lived up to the hype. Fantastic all-day workshop on Thursday, moving and memorable speech on Saturday.
- Marie Lu, author of LEGEND, is also smart, friendly, easy-going. It was great to hear her story, from newbie-never-been-to-a-conference-before attendee in 2004, to highly praised author today. Good stuff.
- Learning how much I’ve learned in the last year (since my first conference in 2010), to learning even more this year, and continuing to get better.
- Hearing that Jeffery Deaver, even after 37 books, edits his manuscript “30-40 times before another human being sees it.” For some writers this might be difficult to hear because applying it to your own manuscript means lots and lots and lots of work before one finished [good] book. But this actually made me happy because I’ve edited some sections 10-15 times and they’re still not right. But I’m just not done yet. (And since I haven’t written 37 books, it may take me more than 40 edits. I get that. I’m on it.)
- The people. So many good people, writers of all skill levels, from newbie to published, excited to be together, work together, and help each other as much as possible. Made lots of new friends.
- The winner of the scholarship to next year’s conference. Unfortunately I cannot remember her name, but when it was announced that she’d won the drawing, she was sincerely stunned and sincerely excited. She went up to the stage, asked for the microphone and told everyone that this was her first conference, one she wasn’t sure she could afford to attend. But she’d been saving money to get her teeth fixed and decided to use it for the conference instead. She figured that, once she was published, then she could afford to fix her teeth. She was adorable. A better winner there never was.
I could go on. I won’t. But, wow, I feel like a writer and I love this community. Thanks, Pikes Peak Writers Conference. And extra special thanks to my writing friends, near and far. You rock.