Desert Dreams Conference, 2014

Desert Dreams Conference, 2014

desert dreams logoSo yeah, I went to the Desert Dreams Conference put on by the Desert Rose chapter of RWA.  This year, it was in Tempe, Arizona, and I had a blast.

If you’re a writer, I highly recommend it – it’s limited to about 200 people, and there are some top agents and editors who come to get out of the snow back east. Plus the presenters are always wonderful!

If you’re a reader, there is an awesome book signing – this year there were about 50 authors signing their books, and the energy is always wonderful. But otherwise, the conference is really geared to writers, not readers. (Sorry.)

Cathy McDavid had an excellent workshop on Creating a Story Skeleton – I managed to plot out book 2 in my StarTide Talent Agency series during that workshop.  Loved it – clear, concise, and OMFG so freaking helpful to a panther pantser like me. (Damn you, autocorrect!)

Jennifer Ashley had an amazingly wonderful workshop on Successful Single Title Series; she’ll be partnering with a category author to make it Single Title/Category Series at RWA in San Antonio this summer, and I’ll probably go again.

Christie Craig gave a fantastic luncheon speech. I first saw her speak in 2012 at RWA in Anaheim, and she’s just amazing. She lit a fire in my belly that hasn’t gone out and I’m so damned glad of it. I also promised her I’d see her in San Antonio, and I’d have the two books in my series done by then. Gulp. SO looking forward to it!

After lunch, Shelley Coriell did a wonderful presentation on how to create a business plan as a writer. I’ll be following it as much as I can from here on out, because it makes damned good sense.

Oh, and Allison Brennan’s The Villain’s Journey was A MAZE BALLS as you might expect. It mainly reiterated stuff I already knew, but she’s so fun to listen to. My main take away that I’d learned some time back was this: The Villain is the Hero of his own story. So you damned well better make him/her three dimensional, and not a cookie cutter.

In other news, I had three fabulous pitches (the guitar book, book one in the StarTide Talent Agency series) with two publishing houses and one agent, and I managed to get those submissions sent out before I left the hotel on Sunday. Finally, I feel like I know what I’m doing. Seeing the spark of interest in their eyes totally made my day. Week. Okay, heck, the month of April. When I know anything of any interest, I’ll be sure to let you know.

I didn’t win any baskets that were raffled off, but the conference made more than a thousand dollars to donate to literacy in Maricopa County (I think that’s where they donated it.)

Oh, yeah…and there’s this, too.

Finalist Realizing Dream Contest

Yeah, I’m proud. And shocked. And thrilled. Because this is the book that I pitched, and got such GREAT feedback on. So, that’s my weekend. Any questions?