Saturday I attended my first RWA meeting with a friend. It was fun. I'm not a member, but have been checking out the websites off and on since I started my book last November. I'm glad that Amanda joined first--I'm horrible about social situations, and it definitely helped to know someone in the room. I will likely be joining at some point, and possibly getting involved with their critique group.
There were three parts to the meeting. Well, there were 4, but we didn't join the group in going out to lunch afterwards. First there was an informal gathering in the cafe section of the Barnes & Noble talking about characterization. There were maybe a dozen of us, nursing our coffee and tea. The lady (whose name I don't remember) who led the talk was pretty thororough, though I've heard/read all of her suggestions before.
Following that was an organized chapter busines meeting. I haven't been a part of anything like that since college really. As a guest, I neither had an opinion nor would have shared one, but it was interesting to see what all they are doing. They are really doing a lot of promotion of their members and had several events that folks could get involved with to do book signings and help at various events around town.
After the business meeting they had a guest speaker, Maya Reynolds, to talk about the business of publishing. I recognized the name--not from her book(s?), but from blogging. I hadn't been reading her blog, but had seen her mentioned on some I do read. From her talk, I gather she's following a lot of the same agent blogs that I do, and is represented by one of the blogging agent groups that I regularly (Book Ends). She was fun to listen to. She has a great personality, she was funny, and presented a nicely rounded view of the market--both the back end, business of it, as well as the author-agent-publisher end. There were some interesting side discussions on the future of publishing and the importance of Amazon, copyrights, and e-readers. There are some fun debates in those topics that I would have enjoyed listening to more of.
She was signing books, but I didn't pick up a copy of her book, Bad Girl. It's erotica, which isn't one of my favorite genres, and I've never been much of a "book signing" kind of person (until recent years, I never had enough money to spend on a book worth being signed). To date I own one signed book, which I won from the author's website. Maybe I should change that. I suppose that if I ever come close to publishing, I should at least attend one book signing so that I know how the darned things work! I think mainly I just wasn't interested in adding another book to my shelves--I have at least a dozen in my "to be read" pile, and when I spend money on a book, I feel compelled to read it.
That about sums up my weekend of writing. Oh, I think I have chosen a pen name. I'm not real comfortable ever using my real name or even my maiden one, as you could pretty easily find me in the phone book and other public records. I like the idea of being more anonymous. I may post it at some point, but I want to reserve the domain name first :) And I may have to migrate my blog, too...there's no rush though.