Friday at RWA

  • By: Jessica Faust | Date: Jul 13 2007

It’s a jam-packed day today so I wanted to pop in early to give you an update. Since I haven’t had time to even spend 10 minutes with any editors or attend any workshops I don’t have much market news, but I can give you a little of the day in the conference life.

My Friday started bright and early at 12:30 am with the bright lights and loud chimes of the hotel’s fire alarm. Not knowing what that gawd awful ringing could possibly be I awoke by yelling across the room to Kim, “Turn it off! Turn it off!” As the foggy haze of my dreams started to clear away I realized that no matter how much she continued to whack away at the alarm that wasn’t going to make a difference. Leaping out of bed we both kept our heads and started to run around the room like wind-up toys, bumping into beds and each other. Dashing to the closet to grab shoes my immediate thought (yes it’s true) was, “which shoes to wear?” Grabbing a comfortable pair of slide-ons that would safely take me down ten flights of stairs I turned to Kim and suggested that while the new pajamas we had both purchased for the trip were cute maybe we wanted to throw something on over the time. After spending seconds debating over her purple denim jacket or a white linen blazer Kim decided the jacket would be the most appropriate choice for a fire. I think the jacket was the best choice.

As we dashed out of the room Kim commented that she knew I would be seeing her new pajamas, but had no idea she would be showing them off to most of Dallas, and RWA. It wasn’t until we had reached the fire stairs that she thought to ask me whether or not I had grabbed a room key. I had.

For some reason our section of stairs took us into a parking garage. It took us more time to find our way out of the garage than it did to make our excellent fashion choices and when the 15 of us (I can’t believe only fifteen people in our stairwell bothered to exit) finally made it to the front of the hotel the fire engines were leaving and we were allowed to make our way back to bed.

Not exactly the way I had planned to start my day, but so far this is my favorite story of the weekend.


Yesterday was spent meeting with clients. It always amazes me how how my clients can be in completely different stages of their careers and yet I often find myself having the same conversations proving that whether you are published or unpublished or anywhere in between the same concerns can continue to come up over and over.

One of the things that struck me was the importance of writing the book and not worrying about the publishing aspect of it. I think the most successful authors are the ones who aren’t afraid to dig into themselves, to push the boundaries of their genre and think outside of the box. When you start to worry about whether a book is saleable, what an editor or agent will think or how your readers will react will start to edit yourself even before you’re giving the book a chance. My best advice. Let the words flow. Worry about what to do with them later.

I’m sitting next to an editor who is frantically writing an editorial revision letter for a NY Times bestselling author so if you take nothing away from this post (other than to always have your room key at the ready) it’s to know that rarely is your book ever going to be perfect as is. It takes a team of people to make a book a success.

14 responses to “Friday at RWA”

  1. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Jessica that was a wonderful post in so many ways. It made me laugh, and if my job was agenting I’d want you to be my client. You are a fun author…and hopefully one day soon you’ll be my agent.

    It’s good to hear about the conference. As a new writer I haven’t “penciled in” conferences yet…guess that’s something to look forward to in the future.

    I look forward to your blog every day. It’s my morning treat.


  2. Avatar Lesley says:

    I just couldn’t stop giggling. I’m so glad the hotel wasn’t actually on fire! So, do you think the other people had taken as much time and care with their wardrobe? It’s really going to make me rethink what I wear from now on in hotel rooms that’s for sure.

  3. LOL! Debating fashion choices during a possible emergency is something I would do!
    I’m a write first, target later person. I’m glad to know there are others out there like that who have made it.

  4. Avatar Liz Wolfe says:

    Your story is a good reason to buy new PJs for a trip. Better than showing up in the parking garage in a ratty, torn t-shirt. Or even less.
    Thanks for the giggles.

  5. Avatar Mark Terry says:

    Although I’m sure you are fine agents and should I decide to look for a new agent in the near future you’ll be on my short list, I think I’ll decline to follow you into a burning building.

  6. Avatar Travis Erwin says:

    There is nothign worse than midngiht false alarms. I always struggle to get back to sleep.

    YOu said the book doesn’t have to be pefect, but doesn’t it have to be a little better for us unpublished authors to break in?

  7. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Okay, now that was fun to read. I half expected you to say that when you finally got of the building and parking garage, that everyone else down there was dressed in street clothes and you two were the only ones in pajamas. Most importantly, glad all was well… and that you chose the right shoes for the getaway. ;-P


  8. Avatar Kim Lionetti says:


    I still think the red patent leather platforms would’ve been the better choice….

  9. Avatar Mitz says:

    Oh, my goodness.
    Fire alarm went off in the middle of the early morning at the last DC National. My roomie and I dashed out of bed – she grabbed her jewelry and I grabbed my laptop – we all have our priorities.


  10. Hilarious! Hey, Jessica, at least you didn’t need to use the stairmaster at the gym! Sounds like you girls are having fun.

  11. Avatar ~~Olivia says:

    The conference sounds wonderful, fire alarms and all….LOL… Thanks for sharing and keep it coming.

  12. Avatar Kate Douglas says:

    For anyone interested, I’ve got some RWA pictures posted at my website: but may not get anymore up. Batteries died and I can’t find a place to buy more!

  13. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Great pics, Kate! Thanks for sharing!


  14. Avatar Caren Crane says:

    Jessica, I recall when you told me of the fire alarm Friday morning, I was surprised I hadn’t heard it. Apparently, only certain floors or sections of the hotel were affected. On the 16th floor, we heard nothing! It was wonderful meeting you Friday. Even if your day started off rocky, you were in top form by midday!