Sunday, October 26, 2014

Writing Conference

I just returned home completely exhausted from attending a writing conference where I worked as an indentured servant in exchange for room and board. I opted for this because I've been to the Florida Writers Conference at least ten years in a row and believed I had been to enough workshops to last a lifetime. Another reason, is I love meeting all the people I don't get to see during the year when we are all stuck in our caves writing. Yet another, my husband would be receiving acclamation for having his short stories in every single annual anthology created by the FWA. He is the only one to be included in this competitive book.

By Sunday morning I questioned my sanity at accepting the position of clerk at the registration desk. The work was similar to being a pilot: mostly boring until it was intense for a few minutes, then went back to boring. I decided to sit in on a workshop about trailers. Until now I have never made a trailer for any of my books, but as I listened to this articulate and informative young man (A. J. Wedding) explain the possibilities and practicalities of creating a trailer, I began to see my books represented that way. I heard the music for "Elena, the Girl with the Piano."  I imagined her sitting on the back of the transport truck looking at the snow covered hillside with the tree with the three bodies hanging in silhouette. In the background a child plays Papa Haydn on a piano. Or maybe she's in the German officer's house at the Christmas party with the Red Cross lady and is playing Silent Night. Then my mind flashed over to another book, The Prince of Keegan Bay. In this one I see a bunch of ninja's skulking around the trailer park with Doll Reynolds following them with her binoculars. I think this doesn't have music, but a voice-over instead.

When the speaker gave us the numbers of views on even the poorly created trailers, I realized I am missing something important in my marketing efforts. This week, besides getting started on a new story that kept me awake nights at the hotel, Speak to the Knife, a paranormal murder mystery, I shall get together with a friend and begin the process of creating a trailer.

At the Saturday night awards banquet I was awarded a lovely plaque to ten years of service on the Board of Directors of The Florida Writers Association. One doesn't do that kind of work for recognition, but when it happens, it sure feels like a nice warm fuzzy.

So, in the end, thinking I didn't need to go to any more workshops, I learned how important a conference can be to not only network, but also to learn and keep up-to-date with writing and marketing skills.

See you in a month with maybe a trailer to show off.

Veronica Helen Hart is the author of two published historical novels, three cozies, and one young adult adventure. Her website is


Julie Eberhart Painter said...

The trailer advice sounds especially intriguing. Can't wait to see what you come up with.

Liz Fountain said...

I've gone back and forth on the trailer idea - will be very interested to see what you create and how well it works.


Veronica Helen Hart said...

I'm still recuperating from the conference! I'm planning to check in with one of my grandsons to see if he'll work with me on making the film.