Realm Makers 2019 was very different for me since this was the first conference I've been to in a while where I'm not pitching, but I learned so much about being in this stage of my writing journey and I got advice from some fantastic authors and I got to meet some of you lovely bloggers!
The flight to St. Louis went very smoothly. Security didn't stop me once. Whoo-hoo! I had a little trouble finding the shuttle to the hotel, but other than that smooth sailing. After meeting up with my fantastic roommate Cadi and getting our room, we ate a yummy dinner at Fuzzy Taco's and ended up talking a long time because a big storm blew in and we were stuck in the restaurant with each other haha. The overcast created this otherworldly orange sunset. And we ended up staying up super later talking to Realmies. Oops. XD
Day one of Realm Makers! (It's technically still pre-conference, but there's workshops and stuff so it counts.) I started the day with Robert Liparulo's pre-conference workshop about series. It was pretty good. I just wish people didn't ask so many questions so I could just hear him talk. -_-
Then I met Skye and Christine! Woo woot! :D It was so great to see you in person!
Then I attended the opening keynote with Brent Weeks which ended up being really good, but I did get a not-so-good email from work that I had to step out to call my boss about. Honestly, this is an issue I'm still dealing with, but I wasn't going to let that ruin my whole conference. So after the call, I returned to the keynote and I'm glad I did because it was very inspiring.
After that I swept through the vendor hall to get first pickin's and I ended up buying Watcher in the Woods by Robert Liparulo, The Door Within by Wayne Thomas Batson, Firstborn by Tosca Lee, The Scent of Her Soul by B. Allen Davis, Bloodspell by C.J. Redwine, and then I got the Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks as a freebie in my RM goody bag. I've got a lot of books to read haha. And I also got a leather bracelet that says "Courage, dear heart." I really needed those words on that day.
The next day Realm Makers officially began and I started the day at Dr. Ted Baehr's screenwriting class. It was honestly a bit intimidating since he began the class with, "I'm condensing an entire Berkley three-year class into a day and a morning and I'm probably never going to teach this again. In my class if anyone is late they're not allowed in so I don't like it when you all have to get up and go to your appointments."
This was definitely the most intense conference continuing class I've ever taken, but I gleaned a lot of great information about scriptwriting and Hollywood just in the initial two hours.
I ended up opting out of the next class since the teacher had to cancel and I'd already taken the substitute's class a previous year, so I ended up getting Starbucks then going back to my room and prepping for my cosplay later on since my scriptwriting class went extra long.
Then I went out to lunch at Panera with a bunch of old and new FCWC buddies and Mrs. Suzie Davis. It was so great to have us all together. ^ ^
Then it was back to classes and I took Alyssa Roat's 25 Trends in Publishing, which was a very informative class. She's an agent with CYLE Literary which is my agency! So I spoke with her for a minute afterward even though she didn't really know me, but whatevs it was nice meeting an agent from my agency. Then it was back to Ted Baehr's scriptwriting class which did not cease to be intense, but I managed to glean a lot.
After this, I donned my Namine costume for the costume banquet! There were so many fantastic cosplays! My favorites had to be Elizabeth Liberty's Alina Starkov, Jill Williamson's White Witch, Tracey Dyck's Triss, and Christine Smith's Kuzco! Fantastic job, guys! :D :D :D
The food wasn't too great so a group of us went out to Fuzzy Taco's again for a snack. It was really fun to just hang out a talk for a few hours with likeminded people.
My scriptwriting class started bright and early, so I hauled myself out of bed to learn how to pitch your script to companies. I'm not sure if I'll ever do any of this in the near future, but it's good to know about it. And by the end of it, Dr. Baehr liked us. We Realmies converted him. ;) Then I attended the Q & A with Brent Weeks and Terry Brooks. I was too tired to ask any questions, but it was amusing hearing them rip on each other all in good fun. Since my class ended earlier than everyone else's, I went back to my room and took a nap for two hours.
I awakened very refreshed in time for the faculty lunch where I got to sit with C.J. Redwine and Steve Laube. We had some great discussions! After that, I had my appointment with C.J.! She gave me some great advice on how to build up my brand, so hopefully, I can finally drag my Instagram out of the pathetic zone! XD
Then I attended Steve Laube's The Complete Publishing Process which was an awesome class with so much information and he's just great to listen to. Next was C.J.'s How to Deal with Anxiety in the Creative Life class, which was very helpful and informative. I've dealt with a lot of anxiety and these were great ways on how to manage it and still function as a person.
Then we had dinner again at Fuzzy's cause Fuzzy's is the best and I got to have some more wonderful conversations with people before attending the Book Festival where I got books signed by Brent Weeks, Terry Brooks, C.J. Redwine, Wayne Thomas Batson, Robert Liparulo, and Bryan Davis! I also won a raffle to have my hand wrapped like an MMA fighter would to protect their hand by Carla Hoch, which was pretty cool. :D
Cadi and I attended the post-conference workshop taught by Jill Williamson and it was fantastic. I got so many great marketing ideas for Red Hood and I can't wait till I can implement them! This may have been my favorite class of the conference. I also won a book which was pretty cool!
Then Cadi, Ian, and I spent the rest of the day seeing St. Louis! We took a Lyft to the Missouri Botanical Gardens where we ate lunch and then explored this amazing place! There was a jungle garden, a temperate garden, a Japanese Garden, an English garden, a Chinese Garden, an Ottoman garden, and so much more! The jungle garden was my favorite. It was like stepping into another world! We also ended up insulting each other by weird plant names like "Sneezewort" and "Mountain Bladderpod."
I never said we were normal.
After that, we rode to the Gateway Arch! It's so much bigger in person! And we rode all the way up to the top! 630 feet!
Once we got back down, we explored the Arch museum which had so many near artifacts and exhibit. I loved all of the Native American stuff. I've always had a fascination with them. :D Needless to say, we also goofed around with the exhibits.
Then we ended the day with dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory! These cream sodas were so good!
I got to sleep in a bit before we checked out and left for home. Because of the weird design of the airport Cadi and I didn't get to hug goodbye but I'm planning on seeing her again soon, so we'll do double hugs. I already miss my hobbit. The trip home went pretty well, but I was exhausted. XD
Overall, this was a wonderful conference. I made so many great memories and I gleaned a lot of great information for my writing career. I loved getting to know the heart of my roommate Cadi and becoming even better friends. I hope to attend RM next year in Atlantic City!
Have you ever been to Realm Makers or another writers conference? Have you read anything by any of these authors? Have you met any of these authors? Have you been to Missouri?
You may also like:
Realm Makers 2017 Report
Liebster Award: NYC/Philly Edition (Realm Makers 2016 Report)
Realm Makers 2015 Report
FCWC 2015 Report
FCWC 2014 Report