Thursday, September 15, 2011

Conference Prep

Are you preparing for an upcoming conference? 'Cause I am. I'll be crashing the Southern Breeze SCBWI 20th Annual Writing & Illustrating for Kids conference in October (and I'd loooove to see you there!). This'll be my first conference EVER, so I'm a bit nervous, and because of said anxiety, I've been lurking on the Internet and collecting conference tips. Here are some that I've wrangled for your prepping pleasure:

1.) Dress Appropriately. This might sound like a DUH moment, but if this item is almost always number one on all the conference prep lists I've read, so someone, somewhere, is not getting the memo. A conference isn't prom. A conference isn't the gym. Business casual. To me, business casual screams slacks, a shirt you'll probably have to iron (boo!), and you'll probably have to wear makeup and comb your hair and stuff.

2.) Dress Comfortably. I know, I know. Which is it, right? How about we keep the slacks and the makeup, but we add layers to our outfit, in case it gets too hot/cold. Also, the conference is not the time for breaking in new shoes or wearing stilettos, unless you're particularly good at wearing stilettos (if so, email me and give me a few tips). You'll be walking to workshops and hopefully mingling, so comfy shoes will be a necessity. Also, leave the perfume/cologne at home. People are allergic. And there's this one kind of perfume that makes me vomit instantaneously, and no one wants to see/smell that.

3.) Bring Stuff. Stuff like a notebook with pockets so you can take materials home and take notes during the workshop. Bring a pen, people. Don't be that person. The conference will probably supply some of these things, but bring them just in case. Also, it wouldn't hurt to bring some business cards, even if you're not yet pubbed. It should include your name, your mug shot, and your contact info. You never know who you'll meet. You just never know. :)

4.) Be courteous. To the volunteers. To other attendees. To the hotel staff. To everyone. Why should I tell you this? Because it's listed on other people's conference lists, so again, someone is still violating this basic rule.

5.) Agents/Editors. Don't pitch to them in the bathroom. They attend conferences to mingle and find new talent, yes. But pitching to them mid-stream is bad. Very bad. If you've scheduled a pitch appointment, then prepare for it. Practice your presentation until it sounds natural. Have material ready in case the agent/editor asks for it on the spot. (Not the whole MS. Just the first few chapters). This is also where a business card comes in handy. It will help them remember you when you send them your material.

These are but a few of the tips I've found. Do you have anything to add? :)

Monday, September 12, 2011


Okay folks, during the midst of my Season of Swag giveaway of a signed copy of ENCLAVE by Ann Aguirre, Ishita from The Reading Fish threatened me with bad things if I didn't do a giveaway for her Underwater Adventures Blog Hop. So, in keeping with the under-the-sea theme, I agreed to give away a signed copy of RIPPLE by Mandy Hubbard.

Keeping up with two giveaways was very stressful for me, so please feel free to send me fried chicken to help me recuperate. :)

Oh yeah, and congrats to the winners:

ENCLAVE goes to Andrea over at The Bookish Babes blog. She and her fellow blogger Melissa run a great show over there, offering insightful reviews, awesome giveaways, and coolness in general.

RIPPLE goes to Tamara over at Tamara's Book Ramblings. Have you seen the background of this blog, people? It's how I want my room to be wall-papered. Seriously.

Congrats again to the winners, and thanks to all who participated. Don't forget to check back soon for more giveaways!

Friday, September 2, 2011


Admittedly, this is not a huge secret (as I previously thought), since it's already on Amazon and Goodreads, but here it is, the cover for OF POSEIDON, my YA debut:

And I can't stop staring at it! Happy Friday! 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Under the Sea Blog Hop Giveaway!

Okay, so I know I'm already doing a giveaway for a signed copy of Ann Aguirre's ENCLAVE (it's not too late to enter! You can read about that here), but when my friend Ishita from The Reading Fish asked me if I was interested in doing a blog hop, I couldn't resist. The theme: Underwater Adventures, of course!

So, in honor of all things under the sea, I'm giving away a signed copy of Mandy Hubbard's mermaid novel, RIPPLE! The rules are simple. You must:

      1.) Become a follower of my blog.
      2.) Follow me on Twitter.
      3.) Tweet at least once about the giveaway on Twitter. (be sure to use my handle       @byannabanks so I'll know you've been a do gooder).

The blog hops runs from Sept 1st thru Sept 5th, so don't forget to check out the other Underwater Adventure hosting blogs (click on the picture above). There'll be tons of prizes and giveaways, not to mention a Read-a-thon. And if you want to stock up on mermaid books for the read-a-thon, check out YA Fantasy Guide for a tidy list of them!

Happy Hopping!