Surrey Writer’s Con (Epilogue)

Joe’s Post #68

A few final thoughts as I wait for Trick or treaters.

1) Best time to snag extra interviews with agents and editors – Friday. Saturday is as busy as a NY subway in rush hour and there were no spots available. Unless you’re better at stalking people than I was, book your favorite early then leap on any openings on Friday. Get it done fast so you can have fun on the other days (unless you like pitching.)

2) Research your agent and/or editor. Read their blogs, if they have them, (and most do), and look at not only what they say they’re looking for but what they’ve actually worked on or represented.

3) Something an editor said to me, “if you get a mean agent/editor, you don’t want them.”  Hey, you’ll be working with them for a very long time so why would you want to work with a blue-meanie?

4) Coffee is not always your friend. I know it looks like a friend, smells all nice and warm, but I tell you, after 6 cups in 2 hours, you run the risk of looking like you’re jacked up like a meth addict having scored a bucket-full of ‘blue sky’ from Walter White.

5)  Listen. Really listen. Come with an open mind. Come with the thoughts that some people may be farther down the road than you and others, well, not (but even they might have a nifty idea or two.) Come prepared to listen to the little conversations that happen in the cupcake lineup, in the workshop after the presentation (or before), at the lunch tables hosted by the presenters. You’ll be amazed what you pick up.

A few other tidbits, or perhaps some of the stranger things I heard.

“So, I’m like going to build my audience by social media so that by the time my book comes out, everyone will be excited to see it and rush out to buy it.”

“So you haven’t written the book, yet?”

“No, man, no, why would I?”

(Why indeed? I know I would buy a novel someone hadn’t actually written but blogged about a lot. Right? Right?)


“Do you think it’s important to have experienced what you’re writing about?”

Me: “Yes and no.”

“I’m writing a book about being on the inside of a mental institute. I’ve been in them. A lot. I just got out.”

Me: “Then I would say, yes, that would help you sell that book about as much as anything. Oh look, someone I know. Over there. Bye.”

Anyway, tomorrow I begin the “LAST” rewrite of my YA novel, taking into account some of the things I’ve learned. Next week, the queries begin. Again.

And look at a new project.

Dubbed The Secret Project of Secret Awesomeness




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