Friday, October 22, 2010

Where Have I Been?

Kate's been remarkably restrained and didn't hassle me about skipping my blogging week. Thank you! Where have I been since I last showed up here? I'm at the podium, moderating the Editor & Agent Panel at the Emerald City Writers' Conference.
Check out Barbara Vey's blog Beyond Her Book at Publisher's Weekly (you have to go back to October 2d through 5th to see both photos in their original context). She visited the our conference and gave our Sunday keynote - an amazing story about how romance novels transformed her from an agoraphobic, depressed shut-in to the globe-trotting reporter she is today.

Most of the 250 conference attendees are aspiring (me), or published (Amanda Forester and Susanna Fraser) or best-selling (Cherry Adair and Brenda Novak) writers. We read a lot, but most of us write more. Since I started writing seriously, I've read less and read differently. More targeted, more analytical. I can't silence my inner editor or my awareness of "the industry" as I read. Barbara captured the difference at one point in her speech. As a reader, she heard someone was from PW and nodded uh-huh, and kept talking. And writers and agents stared open-mouthed ... Publisher's Weekly ... Writers think differently from readers.

Barbara Vey is a reader who devours romance, and who isn't embarrassed or ashamed to say it, say it loud, and say it to anyone who will listen. I needed to hear her. She made me spend a week reading whole-heartedly again like I used to. It felt great! Thank you, Barbara Vey! (Here I am with the rest of the ECWC Committee - in the green sweater, front row. )

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