At the Writers’ Confernece
The Writer’s Conference was a good experience overall.
Over 30 authors and agents were in attendance plus 108 paying people, coming to hear us babble about writing. Interestingly, of the people there, I only knew two people attending and only two of the authors by name in advance. Everyone else was a newfound friend.
After the registration and coffee portion of the morning, we had the keynote address from Da Chen who entertained the packed room with the story of his life and how he got to turn it into a book and found fame in America.
Being local, I was asked to play chauffeur and made hourly runs to the train station to collect folk which certainly made for a nice ice breaker. One happened to be a non-fiction agent so while I had her captive, sounded her out on some thoughts I had and we’ll be talking.
I managed to catch most of the chat about Series Fiction which had six panelists, all mystery novelists. While other original fiction has its share of recurring characters, mystery fiction seems to specialize in mostly series but the conversation was lively.
The authors were treated to a lovely home cooked lunch of either minestrone soup or chili and I got to chat up Marc Tyler Nobleman, whose recently published Boys Of Steel is the first illustrated children’s bio of Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster. The lovely book is illustrated by Ross MacDonald and is a welcome addition to children’s literature. I also got to finally meet and get to know fellow Fairfielder N.A. Nelson.
I caught some of the agents’ panel and then participated in the Young Adults panel with N.A. (Nina) and three other lovely people: Tony Abbott, Leslie Connor, and Stacy DeKeyser. Tony amazes me with his Scholastic output and understated personality. We had some terrific questions posed by Nicole Scherer, Fairfield’s Teen Librarian which led to a lively and quick discussion so the hour flew by.
Fortunately, each panel was digitally recorded and are being turned into podcasts so I can catch what I missed.
Borders was on hand to sell books but only had two weeks notice and somehow managed not to stock a single book of mine which was a shame. I didn’t hold it against them and even ran down the block to their store so I could meet fellow author Don Harrison, who just published Connecticut Baseball, which I look forward to reading. Don’s daughter Alexis serves with me on the RTM and tipped me off to the event.
It was a great day overall and a success for the library.