I spent the weekend attending the 2015 Writers Digest Conference in New York City, and it was an extraordinary experience. This was the second year in a row in which I went to it, and I plan on returning again next year. The conference, which ran Friday through Sunday, was full of sessions that covered issues of craft, details of writing query letters, inside information on the publishing world, the scoop on self-publishing, how to promote a book, and agent pitch slams, among many others important panels.
I filled a legal tablet with notes from the conference. Yes, while many people were taking pics of the slide shows, I was scribbling away in the old-fashioned manner–using pen and paper! I have committed to being a hybrid writer–attempting to publish traditionally and through self-publishing. Because of what I learned at this conference, I realize that I have much to learn about the business of publishing as well as the art and craft of writing; I am throwing myself into learning as much as I can about the business aspect as possible.
I was impressed and delighted by the gracious and welcoming nature of several of the writers who gave talks and presentations. I was able to speak with Jonathan Maberry, Kristen Harnisch, and G.P. Ching after panel sessions, and they were all willing to share advice with a newcomer. I want to thank and recommend them as authors and as good people.
I came away from the conference filled with information and determination to continue to learn and grow as a writer and as a business owner (at least in the future!). One belief I hold that is essential to being a writer was reinforced there–persistence, discipline, and dedication are essential to finding success as a writer. I will post pics from the conference in the not too distant future. I still took them the old-fashioned way and have to get the film developed. I am slowly making my way into the 21st Century!
To any writers reading this, plan to attend writers conferences if you can. I have found them to be very valuable places to learn about the craft and the business.
Roosevelt Franklin, the protagonist of my horror novel Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I is a self-admitted anglophile. While a proud American with a very American name who loves his country, he is drawn to the manners and customs of England and the British Isles.
He embraces courtesy and dignity, but he despises snobbery and bigotry. He was raised in a very wealthy family, and he rejects their view that people in the classes below them are intended to serve as underlings. He loves British customs, but he abhors the rigid class system of that culture. He is more comfortable with his friends from varying backgrounds than he is enduring an evening of cocktails with his family, most of whom he has distanced himself from.
Roosevelt loves old-fashioned, hand tailored British wool suits. He feels the most at ease when he wears them. “They may look old-fashioned, but that is completely appropriate, because I am very old-fashioned,” he would say about the appearance of his attire.
He insists on showing courtesy, not as an act of thoughtless and forced behavior, but as a conscious attempt to provide a touch of civility in a decidedly uncivil world. He still handwrites thank you notes for any gifts or kindnesses he has received. “Using pen and paper shows more consideration than simply typing a note on the computer screen.” He definitely is not a fan of the contemporary so-called connected age.
Roosevelt’s favorite authors are also British and have stood the test of time: Shakespeare and Chaucer. “To read Shakespeare is to glean what it means to be human,” was one of his favorite sayings about the Bard.
And one of his favorite meals was a traditional British style breakfast, complete, with tea or coffee, toast and jam, eggs, and rashers of bacon and sausage. In the evening, an after dinner relaxation was drinking several fingers of excellent single malt Scotch Whisky and having a fine cigar.
For travel, no place in the world rivaled London for Roosevelt. It was simply the City to him. In his very American soul also resided an old-fashioned British gentleman.