A successful writers conference appearance

Early Saturday morning, my friend Eleanor Vincent (author of Swimming with Maya) and I drove to the Los Angeles Valley College in Van Nuys, California to participate in the Digital Author & Indie Publishing Conference. Tony N. Todaro, CEO of West Coast Writers Conferences invited us to appear on a panel discussing Building a Platform and Social Networking later in the morning.

Eleanor and Madeline

Our first task was to be interviewed separately by Nicole Baker, Manager of Author Education at Author Solutions for twenty minutes on camera. And even though we were each given a list of questions and knew the answers cold, we each churned the night before about what we would say during the interview. I came up with a bulleted list of notes a few days before and felt well-prepared; however, my answers rolled around my head all night. Instead of taking my usual early morning walk on Saturday, I closed my office door  at 6:00 am and went over my notes for an hour.

As it turned out, all my churning was unnecessary. Nicole was so easy to work with, I responded to her questions without a hitch. Now I’m excited to get a copy of the video Author Solutions will use in its Author Learning Center. Nicole said she’ll ask me to participate in a webinar or two about memoir in the future. You know me. I’m always glad to talk about my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On, and my writing process anytime I’m asked.


The panel discussion also went well. Several other experts were on it, giving me reason to take some notes on subjects I know little about like how to use Twitter to my advantage, how to use Buffer to get reach statistics, and the benefits of Facebook ads and Goodreads giveaways. The whole point is to develop relationships and sell books.

Speaking of selling books, two people came up to me after the panel and asked to buy my book. Of course I accommodated them. And, Eleanor and I had a place to sell our books when we were not busy with interviews and panel discussions. That didn’t produce any sales; however, I met a writer also selling books, AE Wasserman, who, after hearing that I was working on a historical novel, invited me to join the Los Angeles Chapter of the Historical Novel Society.

AE Wasserman

I am thrilled. I love that I’m feeling so confident about my novel at this point and can call myself a historical novel writer. In fact, now I’ve decided to get this latest (seventh) draft finished in time for the West Coast Writers Conference event from June 17 to 19 that will focus on the craft and business of creative writing. Tony usually has many agents looking for new talent during these conferences. I plan to be prepared to pitch them in June. The agent I briefly spoke to on Saturday seemed to think I am ready.

I’m pleased to say Eleanor plans to join me again, and hopefully I’ll see AE Wasserman as well.


  1. Brava, Madeline! You are expanding your horizons. Enjoy the ride!

    • Madeline Sharples says

      Thanks, Kathy. I took your advice. I’m trusting my voice and moving on from the negative comments.
      And I’m thinking healing thoughts for you. xoxo

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