Tuesday, May 7, 2013

DFWcon 2013 Review – and how I thought I was being Punk’d

I just got home from DFWcon in Dallas. This is the third one under my belt and I feel like it was the best one to date. There were so many great moments with great people!

Friday- I actually arrived to Dallas on Thursday with two of my friends so we could go out, but Friday was the start of the conference for me. Since I know what it is like to be at a conference where you might not know anyone, I decided to host a Pre-conference Mixer at the Hyatt. It ended up being a great success. I cannot tell you how exciting it was to see some many people show up and get to know each other. I was also able to see friends I had made at previous conference. Around 10, I had to leave, though, since I had other plans at LaBare – anyone who knows me, knows the humorous stories behind this.

Saturday- Saturday started early, since the official start of the conference was at 7:45. I was begging my friends to go to Starbucks, but had to settle on Diet Coke instead. The opening ceremony was beautiful and started the day on the right note. My first class was called “Is it Soup Yet”, and was about how the Chicken Soup for the Soul books can help an author build their publishing credibility. The next class was Jenny Martin’s “finding your writing voice” class. For the second year in a row, this class was standing room only.

  I had to leave the class early because I had a pitch session with the fabulous Louise Fury. Let me tell you – if you’ve never pitched before, it can be a nerve-wracking situation. But… Louise made me feel right at ease. Okay, I’m going to sound a little fangirl-ish right now. I don’t remember everything that happened because it felt very dream-like. I pitched my book and Louise seemed interested and ended up requesting the full manuscript. Then, we got on the topic of the RT Convention and I mentioned something about the Ellora’s Cave ‘Cavemen’ (The Cavemen are the book cover models… some of them are also performers at LaBare). Then, while I was sitting there talking to Louise, she live tweeted about me. It was everything I could do NOT to squeal! We even talked about maybe going out to LaBare, which I thought would have been awesome.

  The rest of the afternoon was a blur after this. I attended Lindsay Cummings & Louise’s panel, which was so interesting. I loved hearing their story! I also got to see my friend, Birdy Jones, KILL it in her self-publishing class (this is a good thing, by the way. There was some confusion after I tweeted this, ha-ha). After that, I went to Roni Loren’s Romance Class. If you write romance and ever have the chance to hear Roni speak, I would recommend it. She is amazing!

  After relaxing at the hotel it was then time for the Cocktail party and second keynote speech. Let me tell you, the cocktail parties are always fun. I think my blingy jewelry made an impact, as well as my signature drink, which is a Coke and Baileys. It tastes just like a Coke float, if you were wondering. My friend and I then called it a night.

Sunday- It was SO hard to drag myself out of bed, but I did it. This is when I had my “am I being Punk’d” moment. I was walking down the street from the hotel to the conference center when a truck slowed down. I glanced over and saw Louise smiling at me from the passenger’s seat. She asked if I needed a ride and I was thinking ‘OMG!’ It was surreal. I accepted, of course.  

  The day was a blur of classes, friends, and photos. I even won a bracelet from one of the vendors, which was awesome. Roni Loren taught a class on ‘author websites’, which I found helpful. The best part of the day was the Gong Show, where writer’s query letters are ready aloud to 5 agents. The agents are allowed to hit a gong when they would stop reading the letter in real life. Louise always makes the Gong Show extremely funny with her comments, which is why so many people stuck around for it.

It was soon time to head back to Oklahoma and back to the real world. I felt so inspired after the conference, which is why writers go to conferences. I cannot wait to see what the rest of the year brings!


Jodi said...

Fantastic wrap-up! I am still processing the entire weekend.

Louise is a rock star superhero. I hope that next year we can show up at DFWCON as members of #TeamFury.

Renita Pizzitola said...

It was a blast! I'm so happy I met you and thanks for organizing the mixer! I'm already looking forward to next year!

Dani Nicole said...

Sounds like you kicked ass (and took some names)!

Sarah said...

Jodi, i really hope we can be #TeamFury!

Renita, I am so glad the mixer was a success. It was a lot of fun for me, too!

Dani, it was a blast!

Brian Roffino said...

First off the conference was great, and I'm so glad you enjoyed it as much as I did.

I myself had a great Fury moment at the conference too. I actually met Louise at the cocktail hour when she was hanging out with Dawn Frederick. My friend George introduced me, and they asked what I wrote. I launched into the pitch, and they seemed mildly curious, but the greatest part came when Louise started grilling me. She said, "So why is this kid special?" and I had an answer for her. She asked another question, and I started to explain the backstory.

Five or six questions later, we had both learned something. She saw how much thought I put into my world and was much more interested. I learned that this woman was a powerhouse who was ready to call people out for plot holes or weak characters. She's sort of like a fun tornado. I had an absolute blast meeting her.

Here's wishing you a ton of success in joining Team Fury!

Sarah said...

Brian, I totally had a similar moment when i was pitching. She asked what the big "secret" was in the book and then asked for a full! Woot! Wishing you luck, as well!