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A fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi. (In front of you, a precipice. Behind you, wolves.)

Thursday, March 21, 2013


ANWA Conference 2013 was splashing! I knew when I laid out the blunt for it that I'd get my money's worth. 

For one thing, one of my favorite authors and inspirational speakers was giving the keynote speech. James A. Owen did not in any way disappoint! He has a powerful way of jacking a person up off the ground and nudging them into greatness. Thanks, James.

I get to hang out with unbelievably interesting people who inspire me, impress me, and make me glad to be working in this field. This year we had a 'Protagonist' ball (meet 'n greet) complete with costumes. I had a blast building my Spacefleet ensign's uniform. By the time I was done, I don't even think people thought it was a costume, it looked so authentic. Loads of conversation and great chocolate.

Unfortunately I couldn't sign up in time to participate in the BOB contest (Beginning of Book=first 500 words), a fact that annoyed the heck out of me, especially since I think I could have swept the sci fi section. Ah for next year, though. Watch out!

I always come away from these (always meaning three times thus far) having learned spectacular amounts of information about writing, publishing, blogging, marketing, life, and all around honing my craft. Here are a few things I learned this year:

*Things not to include in your pitch
*If a publisher can't google your name and find you, you don't exist to them.
*Your setting should be another character in your book.
*If you start with answers=propaganda.
If you start with questions=fiction.
*Give your character palatable flaws and fears, but don't make them whine!
*Be careful with the names you give your characters. They can indicate race, ethnicity, etc.
*Start with the middle of the action and give back story.
*Give chars. emotional baggage so they have something to overcome.
*Every one of the seven billion people on this planet has something to say at some time.
*Never sell yourself short.
*Build your tribe (the people who believe in you).
*Research EVERYTHING. Don't fake anything or your readers will flay you.
*Fill up your library with useful knowledge. Get things from places you go (sights, sounds, scents, brochures, stories, maps, etc)
*If you can't go there, talk to someone who can, or who lives there.
*If the culture doesn't know about it, the char. can't know about it.
*Tell yourself positive affirmations so that your self conscious will make it come true.
*Find the right (and truthful) way to tell your story.
*How to do a 14-day book launch
*Write CAN'T PUT ME DOWN first chapters.

There's no way I can put it all down here. I suggest going if you're a writer. This conference happens in February in Mesa, AZ. Besides, then I can meet you...;o)


  1. It was so fun to finally get to meet you in person. Not sure I'll be able to afford to go again though. *sigh*

  2. You learned some of the same things I learned! I'm glad we could hang out again. Same time next year - if not sooner!