Monday, June 21, 2010

Pot Thief Tour 2010 - Days 36-39

We spent four days in Las Vegas, Nevada for the annual Public Safety Writers Association Conference. It was great fun because we knew most of the attendees from last year. I was on a panel dealing with promoting books despite the fact that I know little about the topic. That is part of the charm of the conference - beginners and pros share the stage. On my panel, Marilyn Meredith and Sunny Frazier were the pros.

We had a big-time writer as the keynote speaker. Simon Wood told us how to create suspense. I try to avoid suspense, so I didn’t find his talk useful. I did find it interesting, however. He is a bright and engaging guy.

If I were to rate the conference as a novel, I would say it was thin on plot, had a good setting, and great characters.

My favorite presentation was by Professor Lai Orenduff who talked about understanding visual images and how that applies to book covers. I confess to some bias, but the presentation was riveting.

The Pot Thief Who Studied Ptolemy won first prize in Fiction Book category of the PSWA annual writing contest.

I managed not to lose a cent in the casino by using the foolproof method of not playing.


Holli said...

Mike I have to agree with nearly everything you said except the part where you said the conference was thin on plot- you may have missed some of the subtext.

My only complaint about Lai's presentation is that it forces me to admit I'm not even close to being the smartest person in the room. My complaint about Simon's is that I also can't claim to be the youngest or the funniest. Leave me something people, please.

Congrats on the big win for the contest!

Holli Castillo
Gumbo Justice

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

I too say congrats on the big win. We had a lot of super entries this year. Glad I don't enter this one. I'd have hated to lose to you again.

Loved seeing everyone again, now I have to start planning all over again.


BillieJohn said...

Mike and Lai...I thought Lai's presentation was reviting...and it has inspired (proded?) me to really enroll in some art courses, something I have been saying I am going to do for years.

One of the things I wrestle with on title after title is what makes one compelling and another not so much? Bookcovers are the first wave of advertising and branding, something that occupies my thoughts almost daily.

Too bad I can't take the course from Lai...but I think the commute would be a booger!


WS Gager said...

Mike: I loved the conference for all the inspiration to get home and get some marketing done! I now join the ranks of Marilyn to being a runner up to the Pot Thief. Not a bad place to be! I did enjoy Lai's presentation but just wish it had been longer. She is an excellent teacher.
As for Simon, what can I say. I wish I was 10 years younger and a lot lighter but I can adore from afar!