I’m at my desk at GNW right now, on my lunch break. I’m finishing up the last of the tasty Dirty Rice I made earlier this week and contemplating writer conferences. The last one I went to was the Romantic Times Convention in April 2007 (That’s me in the pic at said convention after coming from the Vampire Ball – thus the shiny clothing…and…er, cowgirl hat! Not sure what I was thinking with that.). I got to sit on two panels (Divas Dish and Creating the African-American male hero –I have the latter title wrong, but that’s essentially what it was about). It was a wonderful experience, but whenever I look back on that conference I always remember 2 minutes when I let opportunity slip through my fingers.
It was in the afternoon and I’d just been to a panel about the publishing industry. Some of the top editors in the business were on this panel. The editor I would most love to work with was a panelist. Her name is Monique Patterson!!! To say I was happy to be there would be a great understatement. These were the most knowledgeable people in the business…and they were there sharing that knowledge with us authors and other industry professional.
It was a great panel. I took copious notes. I also planned out a way to get Ms. Monique Patterson alone so I could give her my ten second book pitch. I’d practiced it for weeks. Unfortunately, almost every author there had the same plan. Get an editor alone and talk yourself up. So, I decided it was not the time to try to get to Ms. Patterson. I would have been one face among many.
I left the conference room, saying a little prayer to God that He would give me an opportunity to talk to her. I had total faith that somehow, some way it would happen.
Whilst on my way to the elevators to go back to my room, I got distracted. I can’t remember by what, but it held me from getting to the elevators by a few minutes. When I finished doing whatever I was doing (I really wish I could remember), I pushed the button for the elevator, let the elevator doors open when they got to my floor and stepped in. Who do you think was in that elevator. ALONE! That’s right. Monique Patterson. MONIQUE PATTERSON!! This was it. This was my chance! This was what I’d been praying for!
I turned to her, smiled….and said… absolutely nothing. Nothing. NOTHING! The brilliant pitch I’d prepared was gone. Hell, I couldn’t even remember that I’d written a book to pitch. I completely froze. When the elevator got to my floor, I stepped out and walked to my room. Half way down the hall I began to come out of my stupor and thus began applying severe mental abuse to myself. lol I’d choked! I’d had my chance and blew it!
This is a true story!
Many years have passed since that day and I’ve come to terms with my chickenish actions. I’ll have another opportunity. The next time it comes my way I will not choke. I’m going to sell myself like a marketing guru!!!
- How to Network a Conference (ereleases.com)
- James Patterson: Genius or Cheat? (brighthub.com)
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