Last year at the ACFW conference, I was SO nervous (duh.) It was my first one... and even though I'd skimmed through the website, I felt ultra unprepared. I was out of my mind busy at work, and it was just a stressful time for me.
When we got to the hotel (we drove, took us a day and a half) our hotel room wasn't ready--another story itself-- but I kept going back to the reception area to check and see if a room was available yet. On one such trip, I was standing in line, slightly frustrated. A lady was behind me, and we got to chatting while we waited.
Lady: Are you here for the ACFW conference?
Goober Krista: Yes, and you?
Lady: I am.
Goober Krista: Wonderful! Is it your first time?
Lady: Yes, and you?
Goober Krista: It is, but I'm really excited.
Lady: Me too. So, what do you write?
Goober Krista: Contemporary Romance. What do YOU write?
Lady: Oh, uh, I don't. Actually, I'm an agent.
Goober Krista: Oh, my goodness. I'm sorry.
Agent Lady: It's okay.
But it wasn't okay. *I* was mortified. How could I not recognize an AGENT? In my defense, it was my first time seeing one. But... had I done the correct homework, I wouldn't have been in such an embarrassing situation.
How do you do your homework, you might ask?
You go to www.acfw.com, click on annual conference, then agents/editors. Then you click your PRINT button (Um... make sure your printer has INK...)
At this point, you read. And study. You ingrain the faces/names into your head. Okay, I'm going a wee bit overboard. Even if you can't connect faces/names, you can at least recognize faces. This is a great exercise to do on the plane ride... or if you have some of those glasses you can put on while you sleep that feeds your brain images... just download your pictures and learn subliminally.
Have fun with that last suggestion (and you might want to avoid telling anyone you did that... you might sound kinda creepy)
Discussion: For those of you attending... if you met an agent/editor that will be attending ACFW in a bookstore... TODAY.... would you recognize them?
For everyone... how goes the writing? I think it'd be fun to hear an update on everyone's status... are you writing, taking a break, editing, starting a new project? Inquiring minds want to know!