Thursday, February 16, 2012

San Francisco Writer’s Conference This Weekend

I’m attending the annual San Francisco Writer’s Conference this weekend at the Mark Hopkins Hotel! I haven’t been for two years and am looking forward to meeting fellow writers, editors, and agents face to face.

I start bright and early tomorrow, and it’s a pretty whirlwind affair for three days, so I probably won’t be blogging again until early next week to fill you in on all the details. I’m looking forward to listening to some great authors in my genre and others, as well as getting to sit down with agents and pitch them my story The Long Defeat. Below is a brief intro to my historical civil war novel.

Who knows, maybe I’ll see some of you at the conference!

Brief Synopsis of The Long Defeat

Will and Nate think that the American Civil War will end in a month, but neither realize that they will both have to try and kill each other before it is over. Will defends runaway slaves in a Massachusetts court before he enlists to fight for the North, while Nate leaves his family’s wealthy Louisiana plantation to defend the honor of the South. These two strangers meet under a flag of truce in Virginia only to later fight one another on several battlefields. Both men get more than they bargain for when two brash young women, a Boston blue blood named Emma and a New Orleans courtesan called Marie, volunteer as nurses for the North and South. Serving alongside the men at the front, Emma falls for Will who suffers from a troubled marriage, whereas Marie courts Nate despite his engagement to a Southern heiress. As the four-year struggle unfolds both Will and Nate must ultimately decide how different the enemy across the lines really is from themselves, and whether the women they meet at the front can ever be a part of their lives back home. 



  1. Have an awesome time! We'll expect a full report no later than Tuesday.

  2. Nice synopsis. I'm a sucker for Civil War, so you had me from the first line.

    Make the best of your conference and have fun! :)

  3. Sounds like quite a good story. Hope you find an agent.

  4. Ooo ... I read the beginning of your book. It was very intriguing.

    Have fun at the conference. I hope you'll post about what you learn.

  5. You sold me on the engagement to a southern heiress.
    Have fun at the convention!

  6. I wish you great luck at the Conference. I envy you that experience. With the hype for ABRAHAM LINCOLN, VAMPIRE HUNTER, agents may be more in the mood for Civil War novels. I'll say a prayer for your success, Roland

    I do hate this new two word verification. It is hard to make out both words -- the 2nd especially. I have stopped visiting some blogs who utilize it. Not yours, but new ones that I am considering to follow. My time is too limited, and this 2 word madness eats it up, Roland

  7. Dangit! I knew Emma was gonna get with Will! Argh. Maybe I'm mad becasue I didn't really see Will's marriage as all that troubled (besides the money thing), plus I like how sweet and innocent Emma is. I guess I'll just have to get over it. Good luck at your conference and have fun!

  8. Hey Mark,

    Thanks for the comments and good luck at SFWC....from Mark at the SCWC :)

  9. Have a fabulous time at the conference and good luck! Looking forward to hearing about it when you come back.

  10. I love the opening line...and paragraph. Have a great time Mark!

  11. Have a great time. I love conferences. So exhausting, yet so energizing too. Good luck with the ms. I hope someone there snags it up. :)

  12. I hope you have a great time at the conference! :)

    Awesome introduction to your story!

  13. Story sounds great! Good luck at the conference. Can't wait to hear all about it :)

  14. Wishing you good luck for the conference, Mark. I hope you get an agent. I am enjoying your novel a lot. The synopsis is so intriguing you are sure to get several agents requesting your novel.

    Will say a small prayer for your success. And will also expect a full report from you about the conference.

    Btw, I have finished rewriting the first four chapters. Will email them to you next week after you return.

  15. Enjoy the conference! And best wishes with The Long Defeat! may it be a Long Success. I have yet to attend one.

  16. WOW! I like your synopsis. I love historicals and interesting premise of women on the front vs. women back home.

  17. Have fun at the conference! If you want (and maybe you don't), send me more pages to read.

  18. Alex – Thanks man, will do!

    David – Thanks Dave, I will keep you appraised:)

    Richard – I appreciate the good karma you are sending my way:)

    Donna – Indeed, I’m always learning. Thanks for your past critiques, they’ve been most helpful.

    Emily – I’m glad that that appealed to you as it’s a big part of the plot.

    Roland – Thanks for the tip, I thought my word verification was off, but I just fixed this so it should be all good. Let me know if it comes up again, thanks:)

    J.A. – Thanks! I can’t wait to read more of your story and share more of mine with you. Until then:)

    Mark – Let me know how your conference goes!

    Lynda – I’ll let you know as soon as I can collect all my scattered thoughts again:)

    LittleJeans – Thanks so much!

    L.G. – Definitely exhausting, but well worth it. I’ll give you a full report.

    Eagle – Thanks for your support:)

    Kelley – Will do. Also let me know how it’s going for you as you continue to shop around with agents.

    Rachna – Thanks for the good karma. I look forward to seeing your new chapters.

    Stephen – Many thanks Stephen!

    Margo – Thanks for the kind words:) If you’re interested in reading a sample chapter or two, please let me know:)

    Susan – I would love to send you more chapters as well as read more of yours when you’ve got it read, thanks:)

  19. Wonderful synopsis. I like how much conflict you've created, and I want to know what happens with Will and Nate.

  20. Hey Mark! I sent out all of the information for my Catch Fire! Blog Party today and yours bounced. Can you send me an email so I can reply and try to send it again? alexjcavanaugh @ Thanks!

  21. I hope you had a great time at the conference and the pitching went well!

  22. Tracy - Thanks, let me know if you want to see a sample chapter:)

    Alex - I'll send you an email, sorry about that.

    Susan - I did indeed, thanks:)