The Pacific Northwest Writers Association holds an annual writers conference down in SeaTac, Washington. Last year’s conference was great, so here’s my account of this year’s.
The first day of the conference I had the pleasant surprise of seeing Richelle Mead again. My previous post shows the last time I saw her was almost three years ago. I would attend her readings when she first started out, when maybe a dozen people would attend. Now if it’s announced that she’s doing a free book signing, she’ll be mobbed by hundreds.
Richelle Mead is on the right
A key to talking to an author like this is to say something intelligent, instead of, “I really liked what you just read.” I noticed she used to teach comparative religion at the University of Washington, so I would ask her about Greek mythology. So even though she’s met so many people during her meteoric rise, and it was so long since I last saw her, she still recognized me. I told her I was touched by that.
The main speaker that evening was James Rollins. He talked about his struggle to have his first novel, Subterranean, published. I had a copy with me for an autograph. I had fond memories of how several years ago, he volunteered to critique manuscripts that were sent to a convention. Instead of just a verbal critique, he printed out his comments, noting I had “a keen ear for dialog.”
When I went up for an autograph, he said, “I’ve seen you before, haven’t I?” I was quite shocked he remembered me from that one encounter. He’s obviously trying hard to encourage new writers.