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An Epic California Road Trip

August 15, 2012
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I spent the last week of July in Southern California with my friend Brian. We’re both writers and we write a book blog together, so we headed to a gigantic writer’s conference — and Disneyland.

So. Much. Fun.

I got to meet my agent and people from my publishing house. Brian got to pitch his awesome new project to a bunch of agents and editors. He was such a natural! A huge highlight: an agent stopped him one line into his pitch to tell him she’d heard about his book from an editor at a publisher’s party the night before!

And then there was the whole Disneyland thing, which is always fun.

We even got to meet some of our favorite authors. Here were are with Simone Elkeles:

Image

The first little pink ribbon under my conference badge says: Sold! That was big fun. (Sure, Neil Gaiman thinks I’m punk rock, but having nearly everyone I spoke to gush a little over my sale? That was seriously intense .)

If anyone has been to a conference like this (thousands of people, giant hotel conference center, lots and lots of walking, trying hard not to miss a thing) you know that they’re stressful, both emotionally and physically. The picture above was on day one. The real conference hadn’t even started yet. We were attending a mini-pre-conference for authors of young adult fiction. I was fresh here. I felt good. You can see it in my face.

Here’s another picture:

That’s Disneyland on the last day. Space Mountain. I got in the tiny little seat. My knees were crammed into the back of the seat in front of me, and the little bar only came down about one inch. Just one inch. The “cast member” who was supposed to check, didn’t even look at me. I was petrified. That is not a faked look of terror. I was also exhausted. My feet hurt so badly that I ended up grinding my teeth all night in my sleep, and by the time we got home I had a nice infection in my jaw that required an ER trip and antibiotics.

Right now, I look like the Godfather, but I’m not showing you that picture!

Okay: Top Ten Highlights From Shaunta and Brian’s Epic California Road Trip:

  1. Being invited to your publisher’s conference party is insanely cool. Especially when you share a publisher with Nora Roberts.
  2. Having lunch with your agent for the first time is priceless. I’ll never forget that Cobb salad.
  3. The new Cars ride at California Adventure: worth the wait.
  4. So. Many. Free. Books. (Even better: Meeting so many cool authors!)
  5. Awesome visit to a local indie book store for not-free books.
  6. Everything is more fun with a friend.
  7. Meeting people in person who are involved with my book made the fact that my book will be published in July 2013 very, awesomely real.
  8. There is something really energizing about working toward something for a really long time, and then getting it. I’ve been to four Romance Writers of America conferences. I get to sign my book at the 2013 conference in Atlanta! (Wild horses couldn’t keep me out of Georgia . . . )
  9. I really paid attention this year. There were 2,000 writers at the conference. We really do come in all shapes and sizes.
  10. I cannot WAIT to find out what happens next.

 

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. vesta44 permalink
    August 15, 2012 9:35 am

    That is totally awesome and I am so glad you had a great time and so much fun. Here’s hoping that your trip to Georgia, the conference, and your book signing are just as much fun for you.

  2. August 15, 2012 9:48 am

    That is so cool! Congratulations, Shaunta. You are on your way! I can’t wait to read the final product.

    Peace,
    Shannon

  3. Erin S. permalink
    August 15, 2012 10:03 am

    Is it weird that my husband is dragging me to Disneyland in a week or so, and rather than looking forward to it I’m dreading it for fear of being too fat for all the stuff he wants to go on? It feels like it should feel weird. le sigh.

  4. fatology101 permalink
    August 15, 2012 4:44 pm

    Erin, we are going in October. Let me know how it went for you, really, I want to know what to expect. Thanks so much, Marla

  5. August 15, 2012 10:28 pm

    Yay!

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