Bright Lights, Big Stories

Posted Jul 6 2011, 3:48 am in , , , , , ,

Last week, I had the great pleasure of attending RWA’s National Conference, held in New York City. This may surprise you  – especially if you’ve ever heard me speak – but even though I was born and raised in the New York borough of Queens, I’ve only been to Manhattan a dozen times or so. I’m an oxymoron – the native New York tourist. I hitched a ride with Jeannie Moon, whose super-sweet husband kindly drove us to the city where we shared a room with the lovely Jolyse Barnett. The three of us formed only a fraction of the Long Island Romance Writers chapter presence. We bonded over wine and chocolate and a whole lotta laughing.

I have a confession to make… I was a bit nervous about this trip.


That’s not entirely true.

I was flipping way the hell out. In fact, I didn’t sleep the night before we left.

At all.

My anxiety levels broke records.

This was Nationals! This was an event for – you know – real writers and I doubted my membership to that club. The only thing keeping me sane was an appointment scheduled with a Sourcebooks editor I’d meet a few weeks earlier at an LIRW luncheon. She’d requested the full manuscript and then emailed me to tell me she LOVED it (the CAPS were hers) but had some concerns about the ending. She wanted to meet in person to discuss revisions.



I was being treated like a real writer. And you know what? That was only the first time. An editor requested BOTH of my manuscripts, a best-selling author heard the premise for SEND and said I was her competition (!).

Still, there was always that “Wow. Look at me in the Big City” reaction going on inside me. Everyone was treating me like a peer, a professional.

Except me.

But when I got home, I had an email waiting for me from a friend whose opinions I greatly admire. He’d just read SEND and sent me his impressions as well as suggested revisions. I’m incredibly grateful not only because he took time out of what I know is a busy schedule to do this for me, but because his feedback echoed the things I already knew were weak – and the parts I knew were strong. His affirmation gave me the courage to trust myself.

It was like those Mastercard commercials:

  • Hotel French toast: $30.
  • NYC Hotel Room: $500
  • Believing you’re a real writer? Priceless

‘Thank you’ just doesn’t cover that gift.




4 responses to “Bright Lights, Big Stories”

  1. Jeannie Moon says:

    You knocked it out of the park, Patty dear. It was a great conference and I have no doubt success is imminent…for all of us. <3

  2. Hey Patty! Glad you guys had a great time and congrats!!!! Both manuscripts? Full requests? That’s amazing honey. Happy for you :))))

  3. Debora Dale says:

    Patty what a success story!! I’m so proud of you, and honored to be in LIRW with you. I can’t wait to hear news about contracts – plural!

  4. Patty Blount says:

    thanks for your comments! I had such a great time at the conference.