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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The value of connections

This has been a busy week for our FTP peeps. Ginger and I were in New York visiting Jen, Nicole's got a show and a move, Barb's relocating, and Linda's on vacation. Whew! No wonder I heard crickets when I came over here!

And about connections...it's been a pretty good week. Ginger and I attended the LIRW luncheon last Friday. Since Jen is a member of LIRW, she helped with the seating arrangements. I asked if we could sit with Janet Reid, an agent with Fine Print. I had seen Janet at the Surrey Conference last year, and was told she had a sense of humor. I'm all about the funny. So we talk, we schmooze, we pitch, we collect cards, and we imbibe some fab champagne punch. Then we sit at our table. Jen introduces Ginger and I as guests, and explains where we're from. Janet then asks more specific questions about where I live. After a bit of back and forth, turns out Janet lived in the same town I did. And almost on the same street. We went to the same college, know the same people...the list goes on. It was an instant connection. Ginger, Jen and I were amazed. It was one of those golden moments when everyone is smart, everything is funny, and every quip leads to another one just as hilarious.

We laughed ourselves silly, but the luncheon came to an end. Then, as we were saying our goodbyes, Janet asks if we want to come to a book signing in the city that night. Just a little one, but there'll be a toasting afterward, since this author is going to debut at #1 on the NYT Bestseller list next week. Do we? Uhhh, yeah!

I'll let Jen or Ginger talk about the signing and party. The gist here, and this was mentioned by Janet many times, is that the writing world is a small community, and connections can make you. Even if Janet doesn't remember us, we'll have something to talk to her about when we see her again, or when we send her a query. I made a new connection with Janet, and refreshed older connections with Jen and Ginger. Like I said, it's been a good week.

4 comments:

Nicole said...

Wow, Julie! The luncheon sounds fabulous! I'm green with envy. :-)
What you said about connections is so true. That's why it's so important for writers to step back from their computers everyone once in a while and get in a room with other writers!

Anne Gilbert said...

Hi, Julie!

I just thought I'd drop you a line to say I've added this blog to my blogroll on The Writer's Daily Grind.

Anyone interested can find it at:

http://www.writersdailygrind.blogspot.com

And I'm always looking for good writers' sites.

Anne G

Gerb said...

I just want you to know how incredibly jealous I am that you got to go to Lee Child's signing!!! You know what a freakish Lee Child fan I am. But, of course. I can so see you and Janet cutting it up together.

That said, YES, in this business, connections are GOLD! Even when it takes stepping out of your comfort zone to make them, contacts are important to cultivate.

My own personal examples: I got my first 'break' from a friend from a writers' forum and I met my current agent through a friend of a friend I had made through another online group. It is tres important.

Julie O'Connell said...

Anne - thanks for adding us to your blogroll! I'll go visit yours, too!

Linda - Lee was terrific. I've never read any of his books, so I couldn't go into 'rabid stalker' mode and truly embarrass myself. :-) Thank heavens for small favors. While I was there, I bought his first book. I finished it last night. Now I'm fan.