Monday, May 7, 2012

More pictures from the conference - continued

The hospitality suite was well provided with food, and well attended, thanks to the efforts of our Hospitality queen, Heather Palmer, and her team of volunteers, as well as donations from the Desert Rose members.

The raffles offered a slew of baskets and all kinds of prizes.  Here they are displayed in the room reserved for prizes. But this is a small part of the table running all around the room. In the back is the bookstore, handled by the Scottsdale's Barnes & Noble.

At the start of most of the general events gathering all the attendees, the raffle was drawn. These two gentlemen are the husbands of both Conference Coordinators. They went back and forth across the crowded room to distribute the prizes to the lucky winners. Thank you so much Mr. Graham and Mr. McBright, for helping selflessly. They also provided the muscles to do the heavy lifting during the entire event.

Here are a few shots of lucky winners.

The baskets were quickly stripped of their clear wrappings and explored

This prize front and center came in a bird cage

Jordan Summer is ecstatic with her win

Gini Koch certainly bought enough tickets (the red strips spread out on the table in front of her), but she won her coveted prize... and it matches her outfit and her agent's outfit (Cherry Weiner right)

Robert F. Mager (right) is wondering what the heck his wife Eileen just won. Since I was sitting with them (left), I can tell you it's a ceramic hand to hang rings and other jewelry.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Pictures of the event - continued

Registration in the conference center lobby went very smoothly

Morning coffee between workshops on the conference center terrace

Some seriously prepared their agent/editor pitch in an isolated corner

Others waited nervously for their turn to meet said agent or editor

A professional photographer was providing head shots on CDs for $20. Authors always need new head shots for their web sites, blogs, FaceBook page, etc. This was a bargain, and the photos were great.

The food was fantastic. Even the dinner salads looked pretty

As you may not know, the conference was sold out. So, the dining room was always full for all the major events.


Besides the pictures of our main guests posted on the last blog, here are a few general shots of the book signing, handled by B&N and gathering over thirty authors.

Patricia Brooks (standing right)

And the line at the B&N cash register was long...

More pictures of the Hospitality suite and raffles to come tomorrow.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Reminiscing in pictures

From the registration desk to the raffle, to the fantastic workshops and the book signing, everything was so well orchestrated that it was a smooth ride for the attendees. I wouldn't say the organizers didn't meet challenges. I'm sure they did. But we never saw them sweat, and the event seemed flawless.

First, I want to recognize a few of the speakers the camera liked. Unfortunately they weren't all in the pictures, but here are a few hilights. 

Bob Mayer is thinking hard

Agent Cherry Weiner had a great time

Brenda Novak had a long line at the book signing

Allison Brenan (right) chatted with our Newsletter editor, author Rebecca Boshee

We also had a few local celebrities

Psychic Debbie Wellborn gave readings over the course of the three days

RWA life time Achievement Award recipient Vicki Lewis Thompson (left)
Kris Tualla, authorprenor extraordinaire and historical author (standing right)

Vijaya Schartz (far right) has blind readers (amazing what a kindle can do)

Patrizia Murray was all smiles

So was McKenzie McKade

And Katrina Covington Whitmore
Notice the gorgeous poster in the background, it's a Vijaya Schartz medieval series cover

Shelley Coriell (left) was happy to pose with her favorite author, Roz Denny Fox (right)

I'll post more pictures in a few days.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Weather forecast for the conference next weekend

Since we are experiencing three-digit temperatures this weekend in Phoenix, I wanted to reassure our attendees and publish this official forecast for next weekend, graciously sent by Susan Lanier Graham, our conference  co-coordinator:

According to Accuweather, the forecast is as follows:

Thursday: High 79/Low 63 Sunny
Friday: High 90/Low 58 Sunny
Saturday: High 79/ Low 58 Sunny
Sunday: High 81/Low 63 Sunny

That should be ideal springtime weather in Arizona! Don't forget your swimsuits if you want to enjoy the pools. :-)

Susan Lanier-Graham
Freelance Food, Wine & Travel Writer

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

PSYCHIC READINGS by Deborah Wellborn at the conference!

Positive answers and insights that will light up your life!

Deborah Wellborn, The SunShine Psychic has been practicing her "positive-practical-potential" approach to astrology and psychic readings, throughout the Southwest for more than 20 years. She is the witty author of astrology columns and heart-warming articles for Singles Profile Magazine,, and Practical Spirituality. Her background in theatre brings a warm, entertaining style to her readings, radio appearances, workshops, speaking engagements and life.

Deborah will be providing readings throughout the conference weekend. Her schedule fills up fast. Please contact her directly off the loop at SunShinePsychic@aol.com_ (mailto: ) or call her at 602-881-0436 - Fint out more about her at

Readings are 15 minute slots. Yes you can sign up for more than one!

Conference special $20 (normally $25) Cash or check accepted. Readings will be in the Hospitality Suite and other areas. Watch for signs.

Weekend reading schedule

Friday - 9am - 12noon, 2pm - 6pm, 9:15pm - 11pm
Saturday - 8am-930am, 530pm-7pm, 9pm-11pm
Sunday - 12noon - 4pm

We all need a little luck in our careers.
See you there.

Vijaya Schartz
Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick
Official Desert Dreams Blogger and speaker
Find Vijaya's books on Amazon at:

Friday, April 13, 2012


Linda Style, contest coordinator, is happy to announce the five finalists in the Desert Dreams 2012 Realizing the Dream Contest. This contest was reserved to those who registered early for the conference and the deadline closed in January.

In alphabetical order, let's give it up for:

Kerrie Droban - THE WATER'S EDGE
Libby Hougland Banks - A FAMILY OF HER OWN
Patricia Friedrich - A MODERN WOMAN
Shanyn Hosier - BRIMSTONE
Leslie Jones - NIGHT HUSH

CONGRATULATIONS one and all! The winner will be announced during the conference.
This contest was judged by the featured agents and editors from the conference, and the winner  will definitely get many opportunities during the conference. In the past, many winners did get a publishing contract as the direct result of entering and placing or winning this contest.

Well done!

Linda Style, Coordinator, Realizing the Dream Contest - Desert Dreams Conference 2012
THE MISTAKE SHE MADE, still available online - 4.5 Stars Top Pick RT " original story with wonderfully compelling characters."

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

How to dress for this conference?

Traditional business attire is not always suited for the late April weather in Arizona. Scottsdale, despite its fashion reputation, is much more relaxed than the East Coast. Understand that you will be walking outsite in a rather hot sun, along swimming pools with sunbathers, then you'll enter a very cool, air-conditioned convention center.

You may want to wear short sleeves with a light sweater or business jacket, with layers you can shed when walking outside from the rooms to the convention center. Above all, you want to be comfortable, especially if you have to pitch your book to an agent or publisher. In previous years, a few agents and editors even took their appointments under an umbrella at an outside table in 90 degree heat. You never know where you are going to be.

Nylons, so prized in New York, are a nuisance in the Arizona heat. Do not wear casual shorts for the events, of course, but you may want to wear sandals rather than boots, a nice summer dress rather than a business suit (with a jacket or sweater on the side). Business casual is the word in Arizona, with the emphasis on casual.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Information about Chaparral Suites Scottsdale

If you are staying at the hotel:

Check in at the hotel's front desk. Check in time is 3 p.m. The hotel can't guarantee an early check-in, but if your room isn't ready, they can hold your bags at the valet desk so you can continue on to the conference. As soon as you check in, continue through the hotel (follow the signs - you'll be making your way from the West Complex to the Conference Center in the East Complex). At the conference center, you will pick up your packet, which contains your name badge, a program, and other information you need for the conference.

If you are NOT staying at the hotel:

Take the Loop 101 to Scottsdale. The Chaparral Road exit is a few miles south of the Shea exit and a few miles north of the Thomas exit. Exit on Chaparral Road and drive west. The hotel is on the Northeast corner of Chaparral and Scottsdale roads, where Chaparral ends. The best place to park, with direct access to the conference center, is by using the entrance off Chaparral Road - look for it on the right after you cross Miller.

Food & Drink Info (for the hotel):

Breakfast: Hot cooked-to-order breakfast is served in the Clubhouse daily. You can dine there or take breakfast back to your suite. (Make sure you take your room key with you to breakfast.) Breakfast service starts at 6 a.m. Friday and at 7 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Complimentary Afternoon Cocktails: There is a daily reception in the Clubhouse from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. with complimentary cocktails. This is not affiliated with the conference, but is for all Chaparral Suites guests.

Poolside Drinks & Snacks: You can order drinks and snacks while you enjoy the pool. Telephones are located outside the Gazebo and Hacienda next to the pools. The operator will assist you.

Room Service: Room service is available 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Fourth Floor Grille: The resort's restaurant is located on the 4th Floor of the bridge between the East and West complexes. Lunch is 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and dinner is 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Fourth Floor Sports Bar: The bar is located next to the restaurant. Open 11 a.m. to midnight.

Transportation Information:

Airport Transfers: When you arrive at Phoenix Sky Harbor, collect your bags then use one of the white courtesy phones in baggage claim to call the hotel. The operator will tell you where to meet the shuttle.

To return to the airport, schedule your return ahead of time. The shuttle runs every hour, on the hour, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. by appointment. Keep in mind that it takes about 20 minutes to get to the airport and you should arrive 2 hours before your flight departs because Sky Harbor can get busy.

Dollar Car Rental: There is a Dollar Car Rental located in the northwest corner of the Hotel Lobby. Cars are available for rent and are on the property. Dollar is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Hotel Services:

Gift Shop is on the south side of the main lobby. It is stocked with gifts and snacks. Open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Tennis Courts are on the East side of the complex (next to the conference center). Information is available at the front desk.

Washers and dryers are available at two locations in the resort, one in both the East and West complex.

Fitness Center is in the East Complex, upstairs by the Tennis Court. Guests must be at least 18 years old. Equipment includes treadmills, exercise bikes, universal equipment, stair machine, free weights. The center is open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask on the loop, at the front desk, or at the conference desk.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Win a mentorship with a multi-published, bestselling, award-winning author!

Sign up for the Desert Dreams conference and enter to win a critique of your query letter and the first few pages of your manuscript from Kathryne Kennedy. She will also buy the winner of the drawing a drink (coffee or champagne, your choice :), to talk about your work and answer any questions you might have about the craft or industry. She will do her best to mentor you in any way you need. So if you have a friend who writes paranormal, fantasy, historical or science fiction romance, and would like a multi-published, bestselling, award-winning author to mentor her, please spread the word to your writing groups or your blog to suggest they attend the Desert Dreams conference in Arizona this year.
Kathryne has helped a few other writers with their queries, and one landed the NY agent she wanted, and the other two sold their work to a publisher.

BIO: Kathryne Kennedy is currently published with Sourcebooks Casablanca, one of the fastest growing romance publishers in the industry. Her books have received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist, have won several awards including the Golden Quill, and have been given Top Picks, a KISS award, and nominations for Reviewers Choice awards by Romantic Times. One of her books received an editor's choice pick from Library Journal, and another was chosen as a Booklist Top Ten Romance of 2011. So far, her books have foreign editions in Germany, Thailand, and Turkey, and have made many top ten bestseller lists in America and the UK.

Register for this drawing (and the conference if you haven't yet) at click on Conference at the bottom left.

Friday, March 23, 2012


2012 Desert Dreams Writers' Conference, to be held April 27 - 29 in Scottsdale, Arizona, is pleased to announce that it is able to extend registration this year past the March 31 deadline. Registration will remain open until the conference reaches the facility's capacity. There is still time to register for this incredible opportunity to meet with editors, agents and bestselling authors.

Keynote speakers include NY Times-bestselling authors Allison Brennan and Bob Mayer. Sunday workshop by Martha Alderson, The Plot Whisperer. Friday keynote is young adult author Tom Leveen. Other authors presenting workshops include Brenda Novak, Maggie Shayne, Elizabeth Hoyt and almost 20 more.

Editors and agents represent St. Martin's Press, Harlequin, Five Star, The Herman Agency, 3 Seas Literary, Waxman Literary, Spencerhill Associates, McIntosh & Otis and Cherry Weiner Literary. The founder of the Indie Book Collective will also be on hand to answer questions for those interested in indie publishing.

Registration includes Bob Mayer's 4-hour "Write It Forward" workshop on Friday afternoon, additional Friday workshops, dinner on Friday and Saturday, luncheon on Saturday, editor/agent panel on Saturday morning, workshops all day Saturday, one-on-one editor/agent meeting (as long as space is available), Sunday morning 2-hour workshop with Martha Alderson on Plotting, booksigning on Saturday afternoon. (Those planning to sign books at the booksigning must register and submit forms no later than 3/31/2012.)

Register today at  Questions? Email

Susan Lanier
2012 Desert Dreams Conference Coordinator

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What to Bring to your Editor/Agent Appointment

This is an often asked question, especially if this is your first writers conference. Here are the facts.

You only have 10 minutes. That's not time to go through everything and recite your entire first chapter. You're going to want to have your pitch down to just a couple of minutes so that you have time to discuss it with her after you pitch. Most people bring some notes with them on note cards.

You're not going to want to bring an entire query letter and you definitely don't want to bring chapters to hand over to the editor/agent during your meeting. She's not going to want it. IF she is interested, she will tell you what she wants to see - usually via email - after you get back home. This is a perfect opportunity for you to have a conversation with this industry professional. Use your time wisely.

On Friday afternoon, Erin Quinn is giving a great workshop on Pitching. She'll be using examples from the audience and discussing how to improve your pitches. It's a really great chance to get feedback and practice your pitch before you go in front of the editor or agent.

Susan Lanier
2012 Desert Dreams Conference Coordinator

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Check out this article titled MARCH 2012 THE MONTH TRADITIONAL PUBLISHNG DIED? by Bob Mayer, one of our conference speakers. Bob Mayer will give a workshop: WRITE IT FORWARD - Friday April 27, 2012 at 1:30 pm. Find his article on eBooks at:

This article caught my eye, especially since I will be speaking about the new emerging models of publishing at the Desert Dreams Writers Conference on Friday afternoon at 3 pm. One of the questions raised in the comments following this article is: What about the author who is not a fantastic self-promoter, who is not techno-savvy, and doesn't want to hire editors and book cover artists to self pubish digitally?

This question will be answered in my workshop "The funny thing about eBooks - Navigating the eBook Jungle" on Friday April 27, 2012 at 3 pm. We will explore the new emerging opportunities, other than traditional publishing, offered to writers who only want to write and still pursue a successful career in eBook, without becoming a full time publisher. We'll also talk about the future of paperbacks. As we know although eBooks are taking over, paper will not disappear completely from our shelves.

Ten years ago, the established publishing industry considered eBooks a joke, a mere blip on the horizon. Now, eBooks are everywhere, and they sell more copies on the web than print books. What do you really need to know as a writer to take advantage of this mushrooming market, without losing your sanity? Are eBooks the way to publish your next novel? Or are you thinking of re-releasing your back list? The proliferation of eBook publishers, eBook reading devices, eBook formats, eBook self-publishing services, has become maddening.... not to mention the different submission guidelines for eBook manuscripts... the intricacies of electronic editing, or the new ethics of this particular business. Is piracy a real threat? What are the most efficient ways to promote eBooks through networks, websites and blogs? And will you still have time to write while doing it? Learn the tricks from an experienced author published in print, eBooks, and audiobooks, who believed in eBooks from the start and has been riding that wave ever since.

Also a the conference, if you are thinking of self-publishing in eBooks, don't miss:


We will take a look at the four publishing options an author has, the pros and cons of each, and where to go from there. Topics include traditional print; traditional e-pub; independent print; independent e-pub; how to decide which book goes where; backlists are golden, so get creative; what falls on the author, no matter the route taken.

Hope to see many of you at this exciting conference.
Hurry to register HERE, you only have until March 31, and the hotel rooms at the special price are going fast.

Vijaya Schartz
Desert Dreams blogger and speaker
Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick

Friday, March 16, 2012

Want your book in the top 100 paid on kindle?

Want to put your book into the top 100 paid list on Kindle? Carolyn McCray has done it and she is taking appointments at Desert Dreams. This is a last minute update, but well worth a mention in this blog. I want to know how to do that.

So if you are interested, and you didn't register yet, hurry up. This is the best return for your money. The fee is only $235, and you get the same privileges and advantages as at a much larger conference. You only have a few days to register, and the block of hotel rooms at our special price is melting very fast.

Go to and click on Conference at the bottom left for information and registration.

Hope to see you there.

Vijaya Schartz
Desert Dreams blogger - speaker
Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Registrations deadlines extended - Book your hotel now!

Time is running out to book your hotel reservations at the special conference rate! As the time has come, the hotel has agreed to extend the deadline a few days. As for registration for the conference, you only have until the end of the month! March 31! so hurry.

To register for the conference, go to:

For hotel reservation, please, go to
to book your rooms online - just follow the link and you'll go to the Chaparral Suites website to book your rooms. You can indicate the days you want to stay (most common days are to check in on 4/27 and check out on 4/29) and it will automatically give you the price. Our rate is $149 for two people in the suite. There is an additional charge for adding up to 2 additional people. If you prefer to call the hotel to book your room with a person, you can call 800-528-1456, but you must refer to the group name "2012 Desert Dreams Writer's Conference" to receive the group rate.

Why would you want to stay at the hotel even if you are local? You won't want to miss a minute of the action! We will start at noon on Friday and go until late on Friday evening. Even though the dinner ends about 9:30, the hospitality suite is open until 11 p.m. and you will find a chance to discuss your books and the industry in the suite, around the pool, or in the bar with other writers, editors, agents. Again on Saturday, we get started early and go through the dinner on Saturday evening. Again, the hospitality suite is open until 11 p.m. Sunday, we start early and go until 11:45.

Also, the hotel stay includes a full breakfast each morning. You can also enjoy the pools (there are two beautiful ones) and the rooms are all suites with a separate bedroom and living room area. It's the perfect opportunity to make this an industry weekend and dedicate the time to your career. Make your reservations now before it's too late!


Susan Lanier
2012 Desert Dreams Conference Coordinator

Monday, March 5, 2012

Time to register if you haven't yet - You don't want to miss this conference!

This is the bargain of the season, the most welcoming, the most edifying, the most prized conference in the country this spring. The price is friendly, the Chapparal hotel affordable for us, and you can share rooms. You get the same advantages as in the larger conferences, and much more. The agents and editors are relaxed, eager, ready to listen to you pitch your book. In Phoenix in the spring, everyone smiles, even the sun is friendly, the pool delicious. Definitely bring your bathing suit.

The best speakers in the country are sharing their knowledge. Don't miss Allison Brennan, Bob Mayer, Martha Alderson. Whether you are already a star in the industry or you are still learning the ropes, an abundance of workshops will help you make your book irresistible to publishers. Here is one of the many workshops offered:

The most interesting characters are the hardest to write. Beth Andrews will explore ways to create complex, layered characters who will jump off the page and into your reader’s heart. Don’t miss this workshop at the Desert Dreams Writers Conference.

Registration closes March 31, 2012
Click on Conference bottom left.

Hope to see many of you there.

Vijaya Schartz
Blasters, Guns, Swords, Cats, Romance with a Kick

Monday, January 30, 2012

Update: Professional photographer at the conference

The latest news coming over the transom is that we are going to have a professional photographer at the Desert Dreams Conference, taking author portraits for websites, book jackets, and other promotional material. She will sell 3 images for $20 and give all the rights to the author.

Her business is Diane Graham photography. She is from Tucson. Here is her website link:

What an opportunity to get photographed in professional attire, with your make up on and all decked out. The price is unbeatable, and the advantages of updating your professional face, priceless.

If you like, she will also take buddy pictures of you and your friends during the conference.

She will have a professional set up on the premises, and you'll be able to sign up in the registration lobby anytime during the conference for your personal photo shoot. She will take pictures Friday afternoon and Saturday all day.

I know I need new portraits. I definitely plan to take advantage of this opportunity.
This conference is getting more and more exciting.

Hope to see many of you there.

Vijaya Schartz, Desert Dreams Conference Blog
Blasters, Guns, Swords, Romance with a Kick

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Answers to often asked questions about the Desert Dreams Conference

Do you need to register for each workshop upon arrival?

No. The main events take place in a very large room where everyone will fit. As for the many other workshops, you can pick and choose as you go. Some will be better attended than others according to topic and speaker, but you do not need to make a decision in advance.

The program you receive will have a brief description of each workshop to give you a chance to help plot out your weekend. However, you might get into a workshop and decide it's not what you had in mind or it covers material that doesn't quite fit your needs, so you are free to get up and move to a different workshop. We just ask that everyone be courteous as you move between rooms.

Do we get handouts?

When you get your goody-stuffed bag at registration, you will also have a CD that includes all of the handouts that everyone receives when they attend each workshop. That way, even if you don't go to a workshop, you'll still have the handouts to take home with you.

CDs? How about recordings?

We will be selling CDs of all the workshops. We have a wonderful company, VW Tapes, that records sessions for us. The quality of these recordings is fabulous, by the way. They really do have great information on them and the company offers a discount if you should decide to buy the entire conference recording set.

Here's a link to the past 3 conferences and the sessions from those (all of which are still available as either CDs or downloadable MP3s):

Please note that NOT every session is recorded. Some speakers prefer not to record their sessions. Those will be CLEARLY listed in the program, so that you can make your decisions based on that information.

Hope to see you there.

Vijaya schartz
Blasters, Guns, Swords, Cats, Romance with a Kick

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Only a few days left to enter the REALIZING THE DREAM contest

I wanted to remind all of you who already registered that you still have a few more days to get in your entry for the Realizing the Dream contest. This contest is ONLY open to registered conference attendees. You are guaranteed to get your entry before one of the editors/agents at the conference. They are the only judges, so they read every entry. It's a great opportunity that you won't find anywhere else. We still have slots open (we take up to 50 entries), so register now if you haven't, and get your entry in now.

The Realizing the Dream contest requires a 10-page submission, plus a 3-page synopsis and is open to both published and unpublished authors, as long as they are registered for the Desert Dreams Conference.

For all of the details, check out the website:

If you have any questions, contact Linda Style, our contest coordinator, at

Good luck!

Susan Lanier
2012 Desert Dreams Conference Coordinator

Friday, January 13, 2012

Our blog has been nominated for a SWEET BLOG AWARD!

Author Vijaya Schartz, one of our speakers again this year, nominated our blog for this Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award. Thank you, Vijaya. She writes Blasters, Guns, Swords, and Romance with a Kick. Visit her website at:, and her blog, where she nominated us, at:

As part of this nomination process, we have to nominate in turn ten worthy blogs, and tell our readers seven things they might not know about us.

Here are the nominated blogs:

Martha Alderson "The Plot Whisperer"
Bob Mayer's blog:
Erin Quinn "Quinn's Essentials"
Tawny Weber's Sassy Romance:
Erin Kellison's blog:
Maggie Shayne's blog:
Marin Thomas:
Writers in the Storm:
Denise Domning's blog :
Donna Hatch's blog:

And here are the seven things you should know about us:

1 - The early bird deadline to register is over, but the price of this conference is still very competitive, and you would be well advised to register ASAP to make sure you don't miss this incredibly affordable and very worthy conference.

2 - The organizers of this conference are right now looking for promo items from authors for the raffle and the goodie bags. Even if you are not attending, if you have trinquets related to your spring releases, promotional pens, emery boards, refrigerator magnets, or any other gizmo your are burning to distribute, send them right away to:
Desert Dreams Conference
36148 W. Vera Cruz Dr.
Maricopa, AZ 85138

3 - The schedule of events is now posted  HERE Check it out.

4 - You only have a few days to enter the contest reserved to attendees. These ten pages will be read and judged by an agent or editor in your genre, so don't miss this opportunity to get your work in front of the professionals. Must be registered to enter.

5 - The list of agents and editors is changing slightly. More opportunities for you. Check it out HERE

6 - The weather is wonderful in April in Scottsdale. Bring your bathing suits. The pools are divine.

7 - The best part is to be able to meet agents and editors in a friendly atmosphere, at the bar, by the pool, at your table during meals... They are relaxed, happy to listen to your pitch, and you should really be there. Many an author has found an editor or an agent, and got published because of this conference.

Good luck.