I just flew in from my second conference in as many months (actually, 2 of 3 since I've got another one in May) and boy are my arms tired! (What? That's a classic joke.)

This time, I was in Deerfield, IL at the Chicago-North Spring Fling. Now, I have to be completely honest, I had an amazing time at the conference!

It's kind of funny, when my friends travel for work, they don't have nearly as nice a time as I do. I get a lot of confused questions from them: “Wait, you went dancing? At a conference? And they fed your chocolate covered strawberries? And you talked about books the whole time? But that sounds like fun? Weren't you there to work?”

Of course, that is all in a day's work for me. Actually, they work us editors (and agents) pretty hard at these conferences. I was talking to one of the hopeful writers about the editor appointments and how much they are like speed dating. But, really, they're more like speed dating on crack! I had a thousand (or 21) in a row and by the end, I could barely form a coherent thought!

I have to tell you a secret. Promise you won't tell?

The editors are just as nervous as the writers who pitch! Okay, maybe not quite as nervous but we're certainly not sitting there with our legs up on the desk waiting to crush hopes and dreams with glee! We're afraid we're going to say something wrong, or miss “the next big thing,” or forget that we've met someone four times already. It's very stressful!

Also, we're completely petrified by the Ask an Editor Panel. Trust me, I took a poll. Speaking of...here's a link to Barbara Vey's Publishers Weekly blog about the conference. Once there, if you scroll down, you'll find a video of me and Harlequin editor Victoria Curran discussing our Editor Panel at lunch on Friday.

What is really funny about this video is that before the panel, Victoria told me that I would have to do most of the talking and that she was just going to agree with everything I said. Then, of course, all of the questions we got were about Harlequin! Which I would have been happy to answer but, since I know very little about the inner workings of our friends in the Great North, I would have been supremely unhelpful.

Anyone have any fun conference stories to share? Are there any other editor secrets you'd like me to spill? Better ask now before my cold medicine wears off and I realize I shouldn't tell!!


Blogger Tracey Devlyn said:

Hi Tessa,
I had a great time at Spring Fling, too. It was my first small conference, and I loved how folks would walk up to me or sit down beside me and just chat.

BTW, I really appreciated how you put those of us who pitched to you at ease. Although I was nervous too, I found it easy to talk to you.

Take care, Tracey

10:27 PM  

Blogger Franny said:


All I can say is that you guys are amazing. The continued enthusiasm writers receive from the publishing industry is so encouraging and I believe Avon sits at the top of the list when it comes to your obvious commitment to seeking out new talent.

The fact that editors are willing give up your weekends (and ok - chocolate covered strawberries ARE a rather nice enticement!!) for your love of books and those of us who write them is much appreciated. Esi joined us for the '08 Dreamin' in Dallas conference and I heard you speak at the Shreveport conference in March (and you've now done Chicago and have another jaunt coming up) - goodness, you gals are busy!!

If that's not encouragement to work hard and keep at this dream of publishing - because there are editors out there looking for new talent - I don't know what is!

Franny Karkosak
2009 Dreamin' in Dallas Conference Coordinator

4:41 PM  

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