Monday, October 15, 2012

I'm thrilled to welcome Hildie McQueen, one of my fellow Crescent Moon Press authors, as a guest poster on my blog today. I'm trading places with her and posting on her blog about selecting names for fantasy characters and places. Hope you stop over at her blog.
But for your reading pleasure here, Hildie will share her advice on attending conferences. I'm very envious of the fun she's had and all the networking she managed. Please welcome Hildie McQueen!
The Conference Junkie
Conference whirlwind girl reporting from Newark, NJ Airport.  Let me tell you, it's been a wild ride that although I am glad to finally get off, would not have missed for the world.  After each conference, I leave excited and refreshed, fully charged after being surrounded by amazing uber talented authors.

My conference advice to future conference attendees (It's worth at least two cents)

#1 Be prepared to step out of your comfort zone, introduce yourself, make it a goal to meet new people. This is a hard one for introverts, but it's the only way, you'll meet fellow authors and make life long friends.  If you are a shy person, pair up with an outgoing writer and ride her coattails. 

Those being said, if you are one of those life-of-the-party types, reach out to those hanging on the fringes.

#2  Be Flexible -- Don't expect everything to go as planned and do not have a strict schedule that you feel you have to stick to.  Like life, conferences have a way of taking on a life of their own.  A 50 minute session at the Georgia Romance Writers M&M conference ended up lasting over two hours when we decided to take our group to the lobby, sit on the floor and continue a super interesting exchange.  Guess what?  We ended up hanging out for the rest of the conference, made some awesome new gal pals!

#3 Be Proactive - - Carry the following with you at all times:  Business Cards, Tissues, Gum, Pens and safety pins.  Business cards (Self explanatory), Tissues, (well you'll need them, trust me on this).  Gum (in case you get sleepy or after meals/coffee), Favorite pen (to take notes, get numbers) and Safety pins (because if I'm at the conference I'm always falling apart and will yell, "anyone got a safety pin?!"  You will be my immediate hero if you do).

#4 Go to lunch or dinner away from the conference with your new group of pals.  It's where friendships are cemented, some 'ah ha' moments happen and y'all can promote outside the conference.

Lastly, one of the things I love to do is collect extra swag and when I get back home I make small bags of swag as prizes for my book club, and for my blog and Facebook giveaways!  It's a great way to pay it forward by helping fellow authors reach new readers!


Hildie McQueen's goal is to bring the unexpected into people's lives, one reader at a time.  Using sense of humor, coupled with her love of the unusual, she writes across romance genres, from paranormal to western historical, contemporary to erotic.  The recurring theme in her writing is the search and discovery between two people to find true love.

Hildie enjoys traveling, shopping, wine tasting and relaxes by scrapbooking when possible. She lives in a small town in Georgia with her super hero husband Kurt and two unruly Chihuahuas Pancho and Pepito.

Keep up with Hildie on her blog, Facebook or Twitter @HildieMcQueen


Author of The Protector Novels.  Latest Release Desperate Surrender

Wendy O'Sullivan’s life drastically changes upon discovering she is not human, and is charged with guarding the Key of Peace. To make matters more complicated, she reunites with the Protector she's dreamed of since the day he rescued her from a demon attack.

Kieran Frasier, hasn’t kissed, much less loved a woman in over three hundred years, his heart firmly encased behind thick walls. The fierce immortal defends innocents from powerful demons, but can he defend himself from diminutive Wendy, who manages to get past all his barricades?


Faced with arranged marriages to others and battling demons that will stop at nothing to capture Wendy, will they be forced to surrender their chance at true love for the greater good?


Sometimes your biggest obstacle is not who you are, but who you love.

 Thanks so much for visiting with us today, Hildie. Please, wonderful readers, take a moment to check out Hildie's work and visit me on her blog. Thanks for stopping by.




  1. So great to have you here, Hildie. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Great advice, Hildie. Breaking out from your usual 'group' and meeting new people at conference is a wonderful thing.

  3. Good points. I've always been careful not to take extra swag, thinking it made me "grabby". But taking it home and sharing with other potential readers is a great idea.

  4. Thanks for reminding me to step out of my comfort zone once and awhile. This advice goes beyond conferences! Great to meet you!

  5. The swag is a lot of fun. The year I was invited to BEA, my husband went crazy and we came home with $900 worth of free books.

  6. Would have loved to have gone! Looks like it was fun.

  7. I'm bookmarking this post because it is the complete truth and the best way to get the most for your buck at any conference. Glad to make your acquaintance, Hildie! :)

  8. Great tips for anyone attending a conference! wonderful to meet you hildie!


  9. Excellent tips! I'm a shy person, so I'll have to remember to find an outgoing friend. :)

  10. Still haven't ventured to a conference yet so I will keep those tips in mind.

  11. Glad everyone found this post helpful! Although not shy, I didn't mingle munch at my first conference, thankfully a friendly writer began to speak to me. I wasn't alone after that!

  12. That's great advice! I haven't been to a conference yet, but I'd love to get there one day! :)

  13. Great posts. I love conferences; never thought about creating a swag bag. It's now on my *to do* list for the next event.

  14. Sounds like you had a great conference, Hildie. You make me want to attend another conference... I haven't been to one in ages.

  15. I would love to go to a conference like this!! great tips!!