Sunday, February 14, 2010

Life, The Universe, And Everything

I just went to another writing conference. This one, called LTUE (Life, The Universe, And Everything), was at BYU and was specifically for Science Fiction and Fantasy writers. I never thought I would love something like that, but I did. Here are the top ten things I learned at this conference:

1. Nobody, and I mean nobody, looks as good in person as they do in the picture on their book cover.
2. Star Wars: Fantasy or Science Fiction? The debate will never end.
3. In literary fantasy circles, Jane Austen is referenced more than Stephanie Meyer.
4. Fantasy writers have unique tastes in clothes, including, among other things, women in their 50's wearing giant leather, spike encrusted bracelets and college kids in Jedi cloaks (I am not kidding).
5. All famous authors wear glasses.
6. Writers like to think of ridiculous "what if" questions. For example: "What if whenever you ate you developed a particular super power based on the kind of food?" or "What if somebody used Rapanzel's discarded hair to make a space elevator and traveled to a planet that was inhabited by a colony of Sponge Bob's?" (Yes, both of those examples were actually brought up)
7. The popularity of a book in the mass market is inversely proportionate to the amount of people who will admit they like it (in other words, nobody will admit that they like Twilight).
8. Don't quite your day job.
9. Authors and aspiring authors alike take any opportunity for shameless self-promotion. Including slipping it into casual conversation (for example, one person may ask: "Did you see any of the Olympics yet?" and the other respond, "yes, I caught a minute of it, while I was working on my high fantasy novel about elves that take over Disneyland that I am hoping to finish this month and that I plan to send out to agents along side my other book about monstrous tacos that terrorize the restaurant industry in their attempt to take control of the world... Did I mention I was writing book?"
10. Star Wars: Fantasy or Science Fiction? The debate will never end. (I recognize that I already said this one, but it bears repeating-- at least, it certainly did at the conference).

Saturday, February 6, 2010

My First Rejection

Well, it had to happen at some point. I just got a rejection letter from my first submission. It wasn't from an agent, but rather a publishing company. And although I am disappointed, I am not surprised. Nor am I deterred. I didn't think that my first attempt at publishing would be a success (although, we can always hope it works out that way, right?). Anyway, it took about two months from the time I sent in my manuscript for the rejection letter to come. After checking my mail religiously for a few weeks, it suddenly occurred to me that if they actually liked my book, the would call me. The only thing I would get in the mail was a rejection. Obviously, I was slightly less excited about heading to the mailbox after that.

But, it finally came nonetheless. I was on my way home from a date with my husband when we decided to grab the mail. And there it was. A form letter informing me that my manuscript was "not right" for them. Disappointing, but not crushing. And, as far as form letters go, it was actually very polite. So I guess it could be worse-- I've heard of some pretty scathing rejections.

Chalk this up to one more rite of passage I have to pass through on my quest to become a published author...