Thursday, October 4, 2007

Midwest Literary Festival - This Weekend! by DL Larson

Downtown Aurora, IL is the place to be this weekend, Oct 6-7th; 44 East Downer Place.

The streets will be closed to traffic, and book vendors will huddle under their awnings to hawk their latest best seller. The big stores like Barnes and Noble will sell books for less than $5 bucks, they always do that ... and the rest of us will offer enticing incentives to stop at independent booths, look over the exciting books ready for a good home.

But the festival doesn't end there. If you step into the Copley Theater, you have a banquet of forums to attend. As a writer, you might want to check out Midwest Literary Festival online to see the schedule of events. On Saturday, Oct. 6th, things get underway at 10:00 a.m. with the following choices:
- Inside the Writer's Studio with Allison DuBois
(Secrets of the Monarch)
- Relationships Between the Sheets
authors: Jacquelyn Mitchard (Still Summer)
Sean Chercover (Big City, Bad Blood)
- From Bestselling Books to Blockbuster Movie
David Morrell (Rambo)
Andrew Klavan (True Crime, Don't Say a Word)
Daniel Wallace (Big Fish)
- America's Fascination with the Past
Robert Olmstead (Coal Black Horse)
Karen Abbott (Sin in the Second City)
Orville Vernon Burton (The Age of Lincoln)
- Writing the Psychological Thriller
Thomas H. Cook (The Cloud of Unknowing)
Jonathon Santlofer (Anatomy of Fear)

And the rest of the day is just as exciting. Then more on Sunday. I'll be in writer's overload by then. These wonderful authors are here for us to learn from, to talk to, and I bet we'll find out they're just as human as the rest of us. They've probably struggled with plots and deadlines, juggling real life with their writing careers. They have much to tell us and I for one, want to hear what they have to say.

Except ... I want to sell my own books this weekend too. I practically begged my publisher to come to this event. And she did gladly and will be offering her own forums on Friday. Oh, I didn't mention the Writer's Workshop on Friday!!!
I hope you've signed up for that as well. It's jammed packed with sessions on pitching, finding your market, the elements of suspense, the top ten mistakes writers make and how to avoid them!! And much, much more.

I'll be pitching my new book Friday morning to a Chicago agency that will be attending. Nervous explains the rolling of my insides and jelly-like knees. But I'm going to do my best to be positive, relaxed, and professional would be good, too ... but I may be hoping for too much at one time. And I've told myself ... no more than five ummmms. That should be more than enough for any ten minute conversation! I mean really, I've practiced my pitch so many times my cat can recite it back to me - with yawns inserted instead of ummmmms.

So here goes ...
I'm walking from my kitchen, through the living room, onto the foyer and hallway, back to the family room ... kitchen. Wait, I've been practicing my pitch standing up, walking in circles no less. This will never do. This is not professional and doesn't seem very relaxed. And I've been rehearsing like this all week. Maybe I could coax the agent to take a walk. We could chat as we aimed for the water fountain, I wouldn't have to worry about good eye contact if we were strolling down the hallway. I wonder if I've blundered into one of the top ten mistakes writer's make. Or is this number eleven? And only the really derranged struggle with giving pitches in a chair, a stationary, doesn't swivel or rock, kind of chair.

I can't breathe. This may be the big one ... I'm not as young as I used to be and I've worked myself into a tizzy over this pitch to Chicago agents.

But wait ... I've already met them. They were really nice, friendly. I can do this. It's not a speech, it's a talk about my book. All I have to remember is to say, "It's a historical family saga, set in 1840's Kentucky, and about 87,000 pages. It's about a family man who is shattered by an abusive childhood. He tries to harm himself. But this isn't a story about his horrid past. It's the road to his recovery. Promises My Love is a journey of the heart. His wife offers him a life he has always wanted but was afraid to have. Trust wins over betrayal. And my character, Francis, discovers it's never too late to remake oneself. And yes, love can overcome any obstacle."

Okay, I said that outloud, sitting here at my computer. It's a start. I have until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow to fine tune it. Giving up is not an option. Getting sick isn't either.

My cat is yawning.
Too bad, I gotta practice!

Look for me at the Book Fair ~ I'll be at the Helm Publishing Booth.
I'll tell you how the pitch went!

Til next time ~

DL Larson
Promises My Love: Top 10 Finalist in the Brighid's Fire Books Literary Contest, for unpublished novels. Visit their site at:

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