The Road Trip: The Truth - The Whole Truth So Help Me Nora.
ALee, Jenna and I had been critiquing for quite some time and we all decided it was time for a road trip to pitch our books. While in critique you really have to put yourself, or at least your creative self, in a vulnerable position and through that process there grows a certain trust and then a lasting friendship. We dubbed ourselves the Diamonds Critique Group and became best of friends; still are. We all registered for a major conference and for the last few critique sessions before the conference we helped each other distill our books into a one page synopsis, and worked on our ten minute pitches. With the blessings and well wishes of our families, we headed down the road towards the fame and fortune rightfully enjoyed by published authors! Ha!
We arrived at the conference hotel in plenty of time to check into our own rooms and met downstairs where there were tables set up with trinkets and goodies from the many published authors attending the conference. As time passed we hooked up with more members of our group and planned the evening. We all knew what classes to take and would meet back in the lobby when things were done for the evening. I remember, “Pitching To An Agent Or Publisher 101” was a class I took.
We all met back in the lobby after the classes were finished and joined in on the scheduled social hour. We were all having a fantastic time; energized by the day’s events when we heard “Ellora’s Cave,” a relatively new publisher, had set up a hospitality room and all were welcome. So off we went. When we reached the suite where the Ellora’s Cave had set up the hospitality room we found it crowded with new authors wanting to pitch and some actually in the process of pitching to the various editors. Wine, chocolate and goodies were readily available and everyone was having fun, except me. I was a fish out of water and knew it, especially after hearing some of the pitches that were going on. I told ALee and Jenna to step up and pitch their books while I grabbed a soda and some snacks. I retreated to a safe wall away from the main flow.
I was very content just quietly witnessing the whole spectacle in front of me when a lady approached me. I recognized her from the opening ceremony as one of the officers of the romance group hosting the conference. I nodded a polite hello and she returned hers. We stood side by side for a while enjoying the excitement of the room when she asked me, “Are you an appendage?”
I froze. Being a little hearing impaired I wasn’t exactly sure what she had said and if I had heard her correctly, what had she meant by that? Is it a romance writers slag term for a male support character in a book? Was my fly unzipped? God, I really didn’t know and couldn’t check on the latter. I braved a response. “What?” I asked.
“Are you an appendage?” she returned. “Is your wife here pitching her book?”
I got it. She thought I was an over protective husband, fearful to let his wife out of his sight for a moment and just hanging around. “No,” I said. “My wife is at home hoping I sell my book.”
“Oh… good,” she said. I finally slipped away into the hallway and we avoided each other for the remainder of the conference.