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The Power of Casual Conversation at Conference

by S. Dionne Moore

In preparation for conference season, let’s remember a very important factor. Round table talk. It’s like a tonic to those of us who are not extroverts by nature. Round table talk at conference meals is the best way to get to know an agent or editor that you hope to target. For one, the weight of carrying the conversation is distributed to all those present. Two, you get a feel for what others are offering the agent or editor, and three, their questions to the guest-of-honor will help you formulate your own and might even answer some you didn’t know you had.

Still having a hard time? If you can’t think of a way to begin conversation, remember that these editors and agents are as human as you. They want small talk too. Is the meal delicious? Have you especially enjoyed a class you’ve attended, or even made a new friend? These are great conversation starters. Your target will probably take a great breath of relief when they discover you are not going to ambush them with your great one-liners or shove another story idea in their faces.

If you’re an absolute wreck of nerves, stay quiet and absorb the information around you. Don’t feel pressured to say something if you don’t have anything to share. Be relaxed and have a great time.

Just make sure you wipe your chin between bites.

S. Dionne Moore resides in Cumberland Valley with her husband of almost 23 years. An avid lover of history, it makes sense that she writes historical romance. Her latest book, Promise Brides, is set in various locations within Pennsylvania, including Johnstown, Greencastle/Mercersburg and Gettysburg, and includes the 2011 Carol Award Silver romance, Promise of Tomorrow.

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