Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Susan Sands: Take 'Em to the Liquor Store!

This is for anyone who's ever been to a writer's or reader's conference. I haven't shared the following story with many, though a few were present and involved in the shenanigans I'm about to lay out before you.

Authors often attend conferences here, there, and yonder. For an unpublished author, one tends to go a bit farther yonder to track down editors and agents with whom to share the golden manuscript. The goal at these conferences is to get as much face time as possible with the industry professionals so they will remember your name--in a good way. Usually, these moments occur during cocktail mixers or, if you're really lucky, a bang-up pitch session.

I'm originally from Louisiana. It's a fine state with lots of interesting characters and Napoleonic code on which its law is based. I was at the NOLA Stars conference in Shreveport, Louisiana a few years ago. This is all public knowledge and there was no unlawful or really bad behavior, so I'll share a few details. No names though to protect the almost innocent.

My BFF since second grade (she writes too) and I happened to mention during dinner, to a couple of agents and editors, that Louisiana is unique because it has drive-thru liquor stores. Like, a drive-thru lane similar to fast food windows to purchase frozen drinks. Not just for package items like beer and wine, but actual styrofoam cups filled with frozen daiquiris, pina coladas, Swamp Water, mango, white Russian, and so many many more flavors that range from small to gallon jug sizes. The way to prevent arrest for open container is to place a piece of Scotch tape across the straw hole and not put the straw inside the cup.

The New Yorkers were stunned. They didn't believe us. So, like any good writers, we showed instead of just telling, which is always more effective. We loaded them up in my girl's Suburban and headed two blocks over to the nearest purveyor of fine headache-inducing sweet and sour alcoholic beverages. Let's just say, we were a hit. No, they didn't offer to publish our books, but we won't be forgotten. It's likely the story has been repeated among the decision-makers in the industry.  We took photos. How I would love to post them! But I will refrain to avoid unintended consequences. What's funny is that I hardly drink due to terrible migraines brought on by alcohol. So, I'm the best DD.

That's my writer's conference share for today. Everybody who's been to a few conferences has a funny story or two. I'd love to hear yours!

Have a great November!  



dstoutholcomb said...

I've seen those drive-thrus when we visited kin in Baton Rouge. They're teetotalers, so we couldn't imbibe.


susan sands said...

Being from Louisiana I never thought about how strange it must seem to others.