Monday, May 10, 2010

How to Make Friends

Happy Monday! Guess what? The weekend may have been filled with doom and gloom as the country battles to form a government under darkening May skies, but now... it's sunny! And while we're no closer to a government here, I can safely say I have moved past the point of caring. So let's move on to today's topic, shall we?

I'm so excited to finally be going to a writer's conference this July -- the wonderful Romantic Novelists' Association is holding their annual gathering this year in London. Since I don't need to pay for travel or lodging, this means I can just about afford to go (thanks, overdraft!). Now here's where I really start stressing: how will I spend three days milling around with people I don't even know?

I need your help. Should I:

a) Bring trays of cupcakes and distribute them at random, hoping people will pounce and speak to me in the process?

b) Get completely sozzled so I don't care if no-one talks to me, I can have my own party?

c) Wear a T-shirt that says: I'll give you £10 if you talk to me?

d) Pretend I'm an agent so I can be popular?

Any other options I've missed out on?

73 comments:

  1. I think you should pretend to be an agent. lol. I'm one of those people that manages to find a 'buddy' who's just as desperate to not look like a lone fool as I am. In the past, though, these makeshift 'friends' can go from harmless to 'oh my god, get me away from this person' in a matter of minutes or hours. So be careful who you pick.

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  2. Ooo - am I the first to leave a comment?! *pounces*

    I think you should practice describing your book in a sentence, swot up on who else will be there, do a call out to see if anyone else is going and whether they want to hook up, and stuff some cupcakes in your back pocket.

    Hm. Maybe dismiss that last option!

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  3. LOLOL. You? Inhibited? Seriously? I dare you to wear the T-shirt :)

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  4. Lol, those are all awesome ideas! I would go for cupcakes because I'm a food-motivated kind of gal. :D All kidding aside, I've found that everyone at conferences are so nice. I love conferences! You will have so much fun!!

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  5. I'd definitely be your friend for a cupcake. Well, only they're chocolate cupcakes. :) The conference sounds fun. Makes me wish I could go too.

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  6. You should dress all in black, wear big glasses with black rims, carry a briefcase, make frequent notes in a day planner and whenever you feel awkward, take a call or text or twitter. That way if no one approaches you (which they probably won't lol) you will look extremely busy and official. And listen to as many conversations as possible (thus writing down all your notes) and then put it all in your next novel.

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  7. Here's my thoughts go with d) pretend to be an agent but make sure you b) know where the booze is in case everything falls through. Wear a T-shirt (see c)) that says "now accepting queries" or someting similar instead and leave a trail of sweets behind you (which is almost a) but without having to bake so much).

    Alternatively, since I happen to think you are cool, why not just be yourself? I'm sure you'll make friends fast :~)

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  8. T shirt or agent. Or cupcakes. Really all those ideas are brilliant. But come on you are the sweetest, you'll have friends just begging to let them give YOU a cupcake :)

    Fun conference!! I wanna go too!

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  9. You never cease to make me grin!

    I am in on the dare of the t-shirt...yep. Definitely need to wear it ;o)

    Just be yourself - I promise they will be paying YOU the pounds just to stand near you & soak up your loveliness by the end of the conference!

    Visit My Kingdom Anytime

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  10. Aw, thanks guy! You have all made me laugh! Karen G - too funny! And I may just wear that T-shirt -- people will certainly remember who I am!

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  11. I would start with D. If that doesn't work, move on to A and finish with B!!!! How's that for a plan.

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  12. I'd go with bring the cupcakes, wear the t-shirt, pretend to be an agent AND get sozzled. And if stil no one talks to you... take back the cupcakes and the cash!

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  13. Instead of cupcakes, you could bring trays of samplers of all your Sweet Sunday delights. You may need a few dashing servers to help you.
    But I don't think you'll need anything extra besides the delightful, talented Talli that you are.

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  14. I'd say just be yourself and they couldn't help but want to talk to you. However, a few sweets never hurt either. :) Mostly, just have fun.

    Mason
    Thoughts in Progress

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  15. Okay, a and c just sound desperate, and b and d are too dangerous. But I'm still giggling - personally I'd go for the t-shirt!

    No seriously, what you need to do is come up with some "pick up" lines.

    for instance take a corny pick up line like

    "I was blinded by your presence so I'll need your name and phone number for insurance reasons" and change to something like this:

    "I was blinded by that amazing excerpt you read from your novel, can I get your website & contact info?"

    Okay, so I suck at pick up lines. Probably why I just sulk around writers' conferences looking nervous and worried

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  16. Oops missed the party.

    Cupcakes will work methinks... Except for the paranoid and the diet obsessives.

    Getting soused might have some drawbacks, for instance hurting your public image and missing out on meeting some lovely people.

    The T -shirt will quickly get you broke.

    And being an agent... Is a lot of work... More trouble than it would be worth.
    -----
    Maybe give away t-shirts with cupcake prints... drink booze with your new friends.

    Joking set aside, I agree with what's been said.
    If your IRL persona has a hard time, just channel your online persona: you'll have no trouble at all.

    You seem like a delightful person.
    -
    Hope you have fun at the conference.

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  17. I just attended my first writers' convention and your plan is better than mine. I just sort of sat there like a lump and hoped that someone would come by an talk to me. I did finally get adopted by a great group from Michigan, but I think cupcakes would definitely have helped! On a serious note: I absolutely recommend some kind of business cards. You probably know this, but me, I had to feel like a dolt as I tore off bits of paper so I could share my e-mail address, blog site, etc.

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  18. I'm so excited for you! I'm never been to a conference before.

    I think you should just be yourself. :)

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  19. You have such a fun personality, I say be yourself. I assure you, that alone will make you the hit of whatever you find yourself immersed in.(Hugs)Indigo

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  20. Now Dearest, being the cosmopolitan ex-patriot that you are, you know you only have to be yourself for everyone will be clamoring for your attention. I so wish I could go with you. Maybe next year.

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  21. I vote for the cupcakes!

    But I agree with Piedmont Writer - just be yourself. That obviously works here with your blog.

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  22. I think you should bring a male bodyguard and dress in black with sunglasses, they will think you are Agyness Deyn writing a celeb novel.
    Otherwise, if the plan doesnt work, go with the sozzled one, at least you will have had fun.

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  23. Thanks everyone! Maybe I should go as a drunk agent with cupcakes. Hm, sounds like an idea for a novel...

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  24. I'll be going to the conference in July. It's always good fun and you'll always manage to find someone to talk to.

    If you see a dippy blonde, looking as if she's lost, it'll probably be me and I'll almost definately be going to the wrong place at the wrong time.

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  25. GET SOZZLED!! But only a wee bit, just enough to loosen the tongue and inhibitions. :)

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  26. LOL - all of the above for sure :)
    Seriously, just be yourself, smile, and have fun. Conferences are great.

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  27. Have fun! I say pretend to be an agent. Although, cupcakes always attract a crowd.

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  28. Just do all of those. It'll be fine.

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  29. Hmm, I'd say wear the T-shirt but change it to one pound or else you'll go broke. Fast.
    Have fun!

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  30. Drinky drinky makes you friends. And if not, you'll be too dazed to care.

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  31. I say you spike the cupcakes, so everybody who eats one will get sloshed! Then you wear a T-shirt that says "I'll pay an agent $10 to talk to me" (sorry don't know how to call up the euro dollar symbol.)

    You'll be the hit of the conference!! :)

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  32. Just be yourself and don't worry about it. You're fabulous. <3

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  33. Definitely A! I know someone who did that very thing :-)

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  34. Wow. I've never been to one of these so I have no idea what to tell you ... but I bet all of the above would work.

    Seriously though, be yourself. Those who get you will be those who rock and regarding those who don't, who cares?

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  35. I like the "pretend to be an agent", but I guess that could backfire if you talk to a real agent, and they start asking questions like, "Oh, really? What agencey to you work for? What have you sold?" hehe.

    I say, create an outgoing, charming character in your head. Prepare some dialogue for her, and then...become her on the days of the conference. Seriously. Even if you are pretending confidence, it will fool people and they'll be drawn to you because everyone wants to be around the successful confident person.

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  36. All your ideas are good ones. ;)

    If they don't pan out, just be yourself and you'll make a friend in the first 15 minutes. Just rescue someone else who has that "what the h*ll am I doing look" and you'll be fine. You'll make a friend and feel like a hero at the same time!

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  37. Not that I have anything else to add to the great suggestions offered here, but if I were going I would go as someone else. Pick a personality and be her (or him). That is always more fun than being real.

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  38. Strike up a conversation with everyone you meet - because you just never know - and carry business cards or SOMETHING to give out!!!!

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  39. Awesome ideas, Talli. Wished I had thought of them when I went to my last conference. You, however, do not need gimmicks. You're Talli Roland! I predict a hugely successful three days for you, author-lady. :)

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  40. I'd definitely have that brief synopsis ready for discussing your book, and ask lots of questions of those you meet. There's so much to learn from one another.

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  41. Awwwww. Just be your lovely self. Or, wear a t-shirt that says, "Kiss me! I'm published!"

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  42. I think you should pretend to be a cupcake and wear a t-shirt that says "get me sozzled for £10."

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  43. I would immediately want to be friends with anyone who was passing out cupcakes, so I vote for that one.

    I used to be so shy at conferences, but now I know the best bet is to head for the people who are standing or sitting alone because they're probably shy as well. I've met some wonderful writers that way (but no agents or editors).

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  44. I'm not sure what it means to get "sozzled," but it sounds like fun!

    Cupcakes would definitely win my friendship. :)

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  45. Awwww Talli Roland!!!

    Just pretend you are wossername off Girl's Aloud.

    LOL!!

    I'm kidding!!!! LOL!!

    You'll be fine!! How could you not be?? You're gorgeous, you're published, you have two names....Come on!!! You'll be fine!

    And do take some pics!!

    Take care
    x

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  46. Lol, I love this! I've never been to a writing conference, but I know I would be stressing out about the same thing. But from what I've read on other blogs, writers are always so friendly so I don't think you have anything to worry about.

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  47. Wear the cupcakes, not the T-shirt. Even if people don't actually come and talk TO you (and they may well not ...) they will definitely be talking ABOUT you. Which is the next best thing.

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  48. I would get sozzled, THEN pass out cupcakes. It would make you way more entertaining. :-)

    But I'm jealous! Still haven't made it to a conference...

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  49. Talli that's awesome!!! I've never gone to a conference but would one day love to have one underneath my belt! I think you should do a little of all your options listed above, oh and remember you're better than a dragon so you've already won most of them over! Maybe I should make you a fabulous pin saying so! I'll work on that!

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  50. I'm so excited for you! You'll have a ball. Just be yourself and enjoy every moment :)

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  51. I don't know. They're all so good. I'd talk to you if you offered me a cupcake. Of course, I'd talk to you anyway but, you know, I'm trying to put myself in other people's shoes here. ;o)

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  52. I think you should wear the t-shirt while distributing cupcakes which have liquor centers... all the while talking about your incredible job as an agent! Bwah-hahahaha

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  53. All of the above.
    You're sorted

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  54. E. Just be you and have fun! But don't forget to bring along a few business cards if you happen to have any!

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  55. Cupcakes always work for me, but I won't be there. :) I hope you hava great time, and maybe wear the tee shirt.

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  56. I'm another who's voting for the cupcake route - in my mind, anyone passing out cupcakes has to be the absolute coolest person in the room ;)

    Have a blast - who wouldn't love and want to meet you?

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  57. Pretending you're an agent would be funny but might backfire if they find out the truth, lol. I think if you be your awesome self everyone will want to be your friend! Of course, having a few cupcakes on hand wouldn't hurt either! :)

    Have fun!!!

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  58. I say wear the shirt....and print tons of fake money with your picture on it and maybe your website or book name. There. Problem solved.

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  59. Good news. I'm going to a writer's conference beginning on Friday. I will try all of your options and let you know how it goes. Then you'll know the best way(s) to break the ice.

    My only tweak will be to change the money to a $ symbol.

    I'm bringing business cards. You should get business cards and bookmarks made. Good luck!

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  60. HAVE fun :) Drink, and EAT cupcakes, wear the shirt, and be the agent. Then write all about a crazy imposter with a few addictions ;).

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  61. Dropping a handkerchief doesn't work anymore?

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  62. When in doubt, always go with cupcakes. Or be yourself - that seems to work well, too!

    Have fun!

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  63. I'm liking this one the best: "Get completely sozzled so I don't care if no-one talks to me, I can have my own party?" mostly b/c you suedthe word sozzled! LOL!

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  64. I would have wine, cupcakes and a Tshirt that says ' I am an agent on holiday, do not disturb'. That will get the crowds gathering. LOL

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  65. I would smile a lot (not in a creepy way though lol) and try and make eye contact. I'm quite shy and I've been told that can make me seem unapproachable. A bit of dutch courage perhaps but not too much.

    Have a great time!

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  66. I didn't read all the comments, so this might be a repeat. But I think you could find out ahead of time who will be there. Learn something about them - what have they written, do you enjoy anything in particular about their approach, what good things are others saying about them? If you strike up a conversation, showing interest in them, they'll hopefully reciprocate and you'll make a new friend/blog follower/networking pal.
    I'm so happy for you! Have fun! Tell us all about it. :)

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  67. Ah! Thank you all so much for the wonderful comments! I think the general consensus is to be myself - and bring cupcakes! :)

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  68. Bring lemon tarts - if you can resist them long enough to pass them out.:-)

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  69. I think you should practice describing your book in a sentence
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  70. Well, if the cupcakes don't work, try muffins. Or scones! Yes, scones equals world peace in my mind, so if you walk around with scones, everyone will instantly be your long-time friend.

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Coffee and wine for all!