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Friday, October 24, 2008

High in British Columbia

Nope, I haven't disappeared from the face of the earth. For the past few days I've been traveling north to visit friends and attend two events in Canada. This week it's the Surrey International Writers Conference.

What a lovely welcoming, professional conference. Extremely well organized with some 800 attendees. The faculty always leaves me a bit intimidated: this year Diana Gabaldon, Anne Perry, Robert Sawyer, Phillip Margolin, and so forth.

The hotel is terrific. My view from the 12th floor is the BC mountains, the rivers and bridges of Vancouver/Surrey area (the Fraser River Valley, I guess.) And the gorgeous autumn colors that are about gone back home. Cool and misty in the mornings.

So far I've done a three hour master class, called "Unforgettable Characters" and an hour and a half of "blue pencil workshops" which are one-on-one meetings between author and aspiring author. Fifteen minutes to talk marketing, read and critique a few pages, or talk concept. I met with six very interesting people so far, and, despite the ever present "oh, gosh, I hope I can think of something useful to say" willies, I've managed to come up with some comments. This conference also makes breakfast and lunch times for networking among the authors, editors, and agents who have come here to be on the faculty. As such I've met a couple of editors from Tor books, a Canadian teacher/lecturer on web presence and marketing, and a couple of editors from Warner and Little Brown. Also a very cool actor/writer from UK who was going to do a workshop on "battle". Unfortunately I was scheduled during that time. Bummer. This afternoon I"m on a panel about "inspiration." Tomorrow and Sunday I do more workshops. All fun, but a bit exhausting.

More from World Fantasy next week! (And no I haven't forgotten about Portier and the rest. I actually got some good work done on the plane (always a good sign) and have had a productive discussion with my good friend Brenda about a hiccupy place in the opening chapter. All to the good!


Anonymous said...

This sounds all so interesting!
I've never attended anything like this, but every time you speak about these meetings, I wish I could at least see what's going on there :-)

Anonymous said...

I've put "attending Surrey" on my Things That Must Be Done list.

Actually, I've put "move to BC" on my list too!