Monday, October 10, 2011

A Visit From The Smart Chicks Tour

      Hey folks! Hope your week is chugging along peacefully. Little tid bit of news for y'all. The blog has officially topped 3000! *confetti, cheers, balloons and cake all around!* I would've never imagined a number like that last November when I wrote that first rambling post. LOL! And the cherry on top is the added bonus of new friends from Cyprus, Lithuania and Ireland. Thanks for visiting guys and please come back again real soon ;)
    In addition to all that excitement, it’s been a very interesting couple of weeks around here. I turned a year older, wrote a few more words, but best of all, I attended the first stop on the Smart Chicks Tour at Hutchison School in Memphis, TN on September 27th.
    What a fun evening! The ladies were hilarious and interacted constantly with the crowd, telling stories about their books and jokes galore. Thanks to my new friends at River City Romance Writers, Justine magazine and The Booksellers at Laurelwood, I got the email announcing these writers would be in Memphis. More importantly, the sun and moon aligned, the hubs happened to be off work and bada-bing-bada-boom, instant babysitter and I scored the chance to have an evening I’ll never forget.
    My friend Carolyn Haines wrote a blog last month about how writers need to get out there, experience other writers, hang with folks who are doing the writing, but most of all, to learn everything you can about the industry. That as professionals it's our job to really study our industry inside and out as soon as that first decision to seek publication is solid in your mind. 
    For my part, I've done my very best to follow Carolyn's advice even though at times it makes me feel squidgy inside. Don't even get me started on how horrible I can screw up a solid moment with a honest-to-God agent because of a bad case of nerves. I pray the DGW2011 Incident stays locked away in the minds of those few who had to witness it for-e-ver Smalls. (sorry if that Sandlot reference went over your head) Don't ask me about my shame either cause I won't tell you. *shivers*For those of us who struggle with crowds, feeling shy and such, getting out there and "networking" isn't the easiest thing to do. But the reality is if you want to publish, getting to know your readers and writing community is a must. Notice I didn’t say “if you want to write”. Anyone can sit in their little spot and write to their hearts content. But the decision to seek publication, that’s a whole other animal indeed. With all that in mind, this was my first experience with a tour stop. Never mind how they were all writer’s I really had to work not to “Fan Girl” all over.  Overriding my urge to squeal, I took away several nuggets of info from those couple of hours.
The Smart Chicks present were:
 Kami Garcia, (on left) co-author with Margaret Stohl (on right) the Beautiful Creatures novels. Kami is a absolutely lovely lady who I think adores Black Sabbath according to most of her answers. I also have a suspicion Black Sabbath is her version of potato.
Chain Reaction (Perfect Chemistry Novels)Simone Ekeles, author of the Perfect Chemistry novels. Simone is a really quick wit and her answers had everyone rolling despite the fact that she answered with "the Fuentes brothers" more than once. The horde of teen girls in attendance didn't mind one bit.  woohoo for super hot bad boys! LOL! 
Darkest Mercy  Melissa Marr, author of the Wicked Lovely books. Melissa held court and the microphone out in the audience fielding questions for the Hutchinson ladies and guests like me. She kept the funny rolling and was a treat to finally meet in person. 
The Summoning Kelley Armstrong, author of the Otherworld series and the young adult trilogy Darkest Powers and other titles. She served as moderator for the evening. It was a real pleasure to have the chance to meet her.
Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes  Jennifer Lynn Barnes author of the Raised by Wolves novels. Jennifer took all the newbie ribbing the ladies dished out with nothing but good humor. Her monkey impressions were hilarious too. Don't ask me how old she is either because they used one of those Men in Black thingies to wipe that from our memories at the end of the night. *Wink*
and last but most certainly not least, Rachel Caine. author of more than thirty novels which also includes the Morganville Vampire books. This was my test, not freaking out when I met Rachel. I'm proud to say I held it together but only just barely. She even gave me my very own membership card to Morganville LOL.    
Now you want to squeal with me don’t you? The ladies graciously signed everyone’s books, talked themselves nearly  hoarse and even posed for a photo with me at the end. Oh yeah, I’m stalkery that way. So take Carolyn's advice and get busy learning all you can. If you get the chance to attend an event like this as a fan or as a future professional writer DO IT! It was great fun and I learned so much from just watching how the ladies worked the crowd.
And march on Smart Chicks! I really hope you guys have loads of fun on tour :) To see if the ladies are coming to your city, check out the tour link here.
Till then,


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