Status: Drafting the fourth book in the PERILOUS series!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Agents and Hillbillies

This past weekend was the Ozark Creative Writer's Conference in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Talk about a town in the hills! It's an amazing little artsy town, with its own shopping strip, eclectic tastes, and expensive high-calorie bistros.

I convinced my friend Hillary, a budding author, to come along to this conference with me. That 3-day girl weekend rocked, but I'll leave out the details of the candy shop and the ghost tour and the corvette convention.

When I arrived at the conference last year and saw the board, I giggled: most had on jeans, big buckles, boots, and cowboy hats. Even the women. I was one of 2 people under the age of 30. I thought, "Well, this will be fun, even if it's mostly about westerns." And while there were plenty of classes on westerns and poetry, there were plenty of things for me to learn too.

Fast forward to this year. While the board remained the same, the crowd had changed. Several other younger authors milled about in attendance. And Gordon Warnock, an awesome agent from Andrea Hurst, was there. (Everyone ignorantly assumed he was from New York, which he quickly cleared up for us.)

Now I have to tell you a little bit about Gordon. This guy is amazing. (And he doesn't rep what I was pitching, which is too bad.) Gordon is the senior agent at Andrea Hurst, and HE'S YOUNGER THAN I AM. I consider that pretty amazing. Most people applaud me for being published at such a "young age" (though I suspect they think I'm younger than I am!). Gordon fast-tracked it to where he is, and he seems ambitious and knowledgeable. (If you want to query him, check out the Andrea Hurst website to see what he reps.)

Not only that, but he is so funny. He sat at our dinner table during the banquet, and I couldn't stop laughing. Of course that might have been because the fire alarm went off, we were worried about the sprinklers going off, and we got to spend fifteen minutes of our banquet outside waiting for the alarms to stop.

I did find it funny that this big name agent was sitting among us hillbillies. I had to ask him what he thought when he was invited to a conference in Arkansas. Gordon replied that he knew the author inviting him, and he trusted that it would be a good conference (and not a hoedown). And apparently he found some promising projects. (I still wonder what he thought of that 1 1/2 hour drive from the airport through the Ozarks, but I didn't ask.)

Bottom line is, the conference was awesome. And talent exists everywhere. And Gordon's a fan of Star Trek and Q, but that won't help you in a query letter because he doesn't represent sci-fi.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention. My WIP SHADOWS KEEP won an honorable mention, and a short story from my WIP WHITE MAGIC won second place. So. I left happy. :)


Jack LaBloom said...

It was a great pleasure to meet you in person at the conference. It is hard to believe that Gordon is younger than you. You could easily pass for a sixteen-year-old teenager. Congratulations on the honorable mention and second place awards.

By the way, I'm loving PERILOUS. You are a brilliant writer and Zelda predicts your career in fiction writing has the potential to be as bright as a super nova.

Kelley said...

Congrats on your awards!

The conference sounds amazing!

Jamie Manning said...

Sounds like it was a very fun--and interesting--time! And congrats on the honorable mention and second place wins...awesome!

Mary Gray said...

Congrats on placing in the story competitions! And I'm glad the conference was fun. You always seem to know how to make the most of your trips. :)

Hey, I have news for you...

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

@Jack It was AWESOME to meet you also! And yeah I can hardly believe that someone so accomplished can be younger than me.

And I'm thrilled you're loving Perilous!!! It's a fun book IMHO. So glad we're in touch!

@Kelly thank you, it was so fun! It's so nice to know there are local things to get to!

@Mary you're coming w/ us next year!!! news?? what news!

Annie McMahon said...

Great job, Tamara! So proud of you. Were you wearing jeans and a cowboy hat? I'd like to see a picture of THAT!

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

@Annie lol no I was not! don't even own such things!

Amber said...

Congrats on the awards. Good think Gordon likes Star Trek and Q. Good man. He'll go far.
Sounds like fun!! I've never really had the chance to explore Eureka Springs much. Someday, right?

Anonymous said...

It was FANTASTIC to meet you at the conference! I'm so glad you sat at our banquet table and I had the chance to get to know you a little. I'm definitely going to have to pick up Perilous and check out your work. =)

Please post or send me the photo of our dinner group. I'd love to have it!

- Lissa

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Lissa! great to meet you too!! And i will send you a copy of that photo! I just bought a new computer today...in the process of transferring everything from one to the other. You'll get it soon!

Hillary said...

So fun! It was a great time! Congrats on your awards and, yay, I'm excited to see lissa's comments! Link :)

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