Monday, February 13, 2012

Liz's Lair: Conferences Can be Murder

Well, here it is a week after my trip to Chicago and then to Las Vegas, and I'm already late getting my blog up. Sheesh! And I'm in between books and not even writing!! So, I will make this short and sweet.

Conferences are the bomb! The workshops make them great.

Ah no!
I have been going to conferences for so long, there are only a few workshops that usually interest me. Of course, the ones where I am on the panel do catch my eye!!

Okay, then the food is great. Ah, definitely no. How many more times can you serve chicken without it actually tasting like chicken??

So it must be the camaraderie of meeting other writers and comparing notes.

Now, you're getting warm. I won't keep you in suspense any longer. Conferences are great for one reason.....................THE BAR!!

And you all know I am a one-drink wonder. Okay, I'd better explain.

Last Thursday I flew to Chicago for the Love is Murder conference. That night I went to dinner with my agent, my fellow Book Cents babes Anita Chenney and Jill Salzman and her two adorable daughters and both Jill's and Christine's hubbies. We had a blast and it was so nice getting to put faces to names. When we went back to the hotel bar, Jeff, Christine's hubby, and I covered just about every subject imaginable while he kept saying, "Have another one, Liz."

On Friday, the conference began. Now what made this one different was that there were just as many fans as writers. All the other ones I've attended have been all writers, which is good, but this was a nice change. My standard question of, "What do you write?" was met with smiles and a shake of the head. OMG! These were readers. Boy, did I turn on the charm. It must have worked because the book seller sold out of my books. (Of course, she didn't realize I was such a popular gal and didn't bring all that many!! LOL)

Anyway, that night at the bar, I met a few agents and a couple of writers (Linda Hull from Denver who has a mystery series debuting soon at Midnight Ink and Terri Bischoff, her editor.) and we discovered a drink called IceTini. It is a parfait glass that has ice frozen inside in the shape of the glass. They bring a small shaker of some flavor of martinis, and you pour it into the glass and drink over the ice. Cranberry IceTini.

Can you say yummy??

Saturday started out with a breakfast panel of debut authors. We got to hawk our stuff to a crowded room. For those of you who know me, you must be asking. "Did you need a valium, Liz?" Believe it or not, I didn't. Of course, by now I am getting a little better speaking to a crowd. I always say I can BS with the best of them, and that's what I did. And yes, that old guy sitting at the third table who was naked in my head probably was cold, if you get my drift!!

Saturday night was another great night at the bar with Bloody Marys thrown in with the Ice Tinis. I met two really cool ladies who write the Pampered Pet Mysteries for Bell Bridge Books. They call themselves Sparkle Abby (Sparkle being one's cat and Abby-the other's dog.) We had so much fun, they're planning to drive from Iowa to visit me. (I had to look on a map to see where Iowa is since I am geographically-challenged.)

Also drinking the Tinis with us--my agent and Terri. We laughed all night as the drinks kept miraculously showing up at the table. Finally, they had last call, but they had to turn on the lights to get us to leave. By that time, vacations had been planned, new friendships had been forged, and deals had been made.

Deals? At one point I see my agent and the editor shaking hands and talking advances. Now if only someone could remember what went down that night.

On Sunday, I flew to Vegas to watch the Super Bowl with hubby and friends. Because I hated both teams I rooted for a tie!! Vegas responded by kicking my butt at the machines. (Actually, I only lost a little but hubby is a whole other subject!! In the airplane coming back to Texas, I heard the "We could have had an iPad" whine."

So, does this not prove my point about where the action is at conferences?

In April I am going to Malice Domestic in Maryland with Kari, my CP Joni, and Rochelle (All BC ers)and you know where I'll be hanging out!! This one is a really big conference for cozy fans. I hope to meet and woo a lot of them. If there's one thing I learned in Chicago,it's that I love readers and I need to take a lot of ibuprofen. Okay, that's two, but who's counting?

So, tell me about your conference experiences, especially at the bar. Got any advice for me?


Sasha Summers said...

I can't drink. I'm totally serious. One drink and I turn bright red and fall down a lot - so I've always avoided the bar... for fear of chasing away editors, agents and readers. BUT you've made me think I might have to risk it (while sipping water?) for the networking! Sounds like a BLAST!!!

June Love said...

Liz, I always love your conference experiences. Next conference we attend together, I'm hanging with you. LOL. The bar is perfect for meeting people and for forgetting people you've met. lol

Lindsay said...

Sounds like you had a great time. I'll have to agree with you that the BAR is the place to be.
Sounds like something interesting might have happened between your agent and the editor.

Liz Lipperman said...

Sasha, I would love to hang out with you at conferences. And you find out at the bar that all those people who seem scarily unapproachable are really just like you and me. Their job is just different!!

Liz Lipperman said...

And June, you knwo I love hanging out with you. And LOL on forgetting the people you've met.

Liz Lipperman said...

We did have a great time, Lindsay. And yes, there were some interesting things happening around that bar table. Unfortunately, none of us can remember what they were!!

Angela Hicks said...

That's a great conference story!
I agree that the bar is always the best place to be! Never heard of an Icetini but I'd definitely give it a try!

Anita Clenney said...

Hey Liz, you could have fun anywhere! You're so much fun at conferences. It was great to get to hang out for a few hours before my trip home. I'm not a drinker, but I love sitting and chatting at the bar. It's nice to see people outside their books. I don't think I'm going to make many conferences this year, so I'll have to live through you!

Marilyn Sue Shank said...

Sounds like fun! Next time, make sure they have tons of your books to sell!

Liz Lipperman said...

Hey, Angela, the bar really is a great place to schmooze. It's how you really get to know someone away from the job. I love everyone associated with the publishing industry.

Liz Lipperman said...

Ah, Anita, it was great being your bedmate for a night, too. (Lindsay, don't start getting your overactive imagination revved up.) And you should think about coming to Malice. It's in your neck of the woods.

Liz Lipperman said...

Ha! Marilyn, it is so frustrating sometimes. I have sold out wheresoever I go because they don't bring enough books. I guess I'd better quit whining, though. It's just nice to have books to sign..and to say I sold out!!

Sparkle Abbey said...

Hey Liz- So great to meet you at Love is Murder! We had a great time. Looking forward to seeing you at Malice.

Kari Lee Townsend said...

I am so jealous! Sounds like you had a fabulous time.

I cannot WAIT for Malice! I am going through conference withdrawl bigtime!!!