So, I'd decided I was going to nail every available pitch session open on the schedule, right? Well, by gum--I did! I ended up with ten appointments with both agents and editors from major publishing houses. My Thursday and Friday were now booked to the point that there would only be a very few workshops I'd be able to attend. I was quite all right with that turn of events; I was here to promo and sell--and the promo part was going like gangbusters.
I'd come in to a completely empty promotional space yet again. When I walked up with my husband trailing along behind me with a box of water bottles on his shoulder, I was just in time to see some lady rip one of my glued down cover flats from my display.
"Excuse me," I said, removing said cover flat from her hand. "Obviously, since this is glued down, it needs to stay there."
The woman turned redder than my hair. "I'm sorry. I just really like it."
"Well, if you come to the book expo tomorrow, I'll sign this cover for you," I offered kindly. Then, not-quite-as-kindly, I added, "That way you won't have to steal it."
To her credit, she didn't linger while I glued the cover flat back onto the display and restocked the shelves. In my early naivete, I'd thought that 200 water bottles and 500 document stands along with Eden's 400 magnets for Conference Cupid would keep that space fully stocked. I was totally wrong. I didn't realize exactly how wrong I was until I ran into Jade Lee that afternoon. I'd given her a few document stands at the pre-con workshop and she told me that she was having to fight to keep them--that everybody wanted them.
Between my promotional freebies and the banner (also known as That-which-shall=be-always-bolded), my name was literally all over the place. I was wearing the big tag on my badge that read FINALIST from Bobbi Smith's writing challenge, which led a lot of people (morticians especially) to stare at my chest like I'd grown a third boob. That being said, the FINALIST tag was invaluable to me during my pitch sessions that day. It was an automatic indication that I wrote well enough at least to impress Bobbi Smith, and the agents and editors took notice. I pitched to Ellora's Cave, Harlequin and Miriam Kriss of Irene Goodman. I ptiched Lucienne Diver of The Knight Agency on the go, trotting alongside her while she went to the convenience store. I only had a chance to tell Ethan Ellenberg my pitch after the Agent's Panel workshop--and all five requested manuscripts. The first two or three pitches were rambling and confusing IMO--I hadn't quite nailed down the technique yet. By the end of the day, however, I had one hell of a tagline that paid off in huge dividends: Something Wicked This Way Comes meets contemporary American theatre.
That night, we met up with Brett, Robert, and James (the three writers from the night before) as well as my husband. Escorted by FOUR men, which no other table in the party could lay claim to, we went to the Fairy Ball. I wasn't in costume, althought I did dress nicely and wore one of the Carnival masks my daughter and I had made the week before--claiming that I was going as the fat, flightless fairy.
Yep. I was the dodo of the Faerie Ball.
The event was beautiful and the food was good. The entire event was marred only by the volunteers who were serving as the seating Gestapo, one of whom told me that my approaching back surgery "wasn't her problem" when I meekly asked if I could just go in and sit just inside the door. Other than Frau Goebbels, the evening was lovely and we came away with a lot of fantastic books. I ended up with several books by CT Adams and Cathy Clamp--which made me very happy as Cathy is a regular at Absolute Write.
One last quick trip to the once-again-empty promo lane spot, and I hobbled to the car--literally. My physician's comment that "There's no way you'll make it all week" was starting to look like a potential prophecy.