... day 1. I definitely got multiple posts' worth of stories from the first day at the book festival, so I'll start with the easy ones. (Don't worry; I took notes! I won't forget too much!) We went to a Pitchapalooza session with the intent to watch and learn-- Chad doesn't have anything book-length planned at the moment, and I don't have anything worth pitching, except an idea that I want to give some life to before pitching it around.
So we listened as one stellar idea after another came out. I don't remember them all, but one guy is telling his uncle's (really interesting) life story; one was a historical fiction involving a cache of guns somewhere in Texas; one was a boxing noir story set in Austin; a couple more historical fictions, a couple of middle grades, and one racy romance, and a handful of YAs. The eventual winner's story is about a boy who doesn't communicate well with others, so he draws pictures as his connection to other people.
Most of what the panel said to help people improve was stuff I've read on various author blogs already, so I don't have anything new to report. However, it was insanely helpful to hear other people giving pitches. Also, they all looked so calm. I would have been shaking so hard that my hair would have been vibrating. People would have thought I had a mysterious tremor in my scalp.
One notable moment: The moderator, wanting to call on someone to come pitch, pointed at a skinny guy with long hair and a beard and said, "Jesus!" I think I laughed for five minutes. The guy looked embarrassed.
And the sweetest moment of the day: A 13-year-old young woman pitched her book about a girl whose sister is kidnapped. The girl gets a text from her sister in the middle of first period, but the sister is gone by the time she gets home. So, the girl sets out to rescue her sister. The pitch was actually crazy-good (much, much better than my recap) and the panel didn't have much to critique. One of them asked, "Do you have the book written?" And she said, "It was written, but it caught fire. I live in Bastrop." Yeah, you'd better believe that a groan went across the audience. Such a gut-punch moment. In case you missed it, the wildfires across Texas a few weeks ago were mainly concentrated around Bastrop. Lots of houses are gone. And so is one young writer's WIP.
However, she didn't say it like she wanted us to feel sorry for her. And as one member of the panel said, "Sounds like you have another book to write." I don't know if having to completely re-write her MS will help the editing process, but I hope she re-writes it. I hope it gets published. I want to read it.
More to come! In the meantime: Have you ever been to a book festival? Have you ever been to something like Pitchapalooza? Don't you want to come visit me now that you know we have stuff like this?