After the Dance

Moleskin Notebook, Rollerball and Starbucks – Article © R.L. Herron

The excitement certainly didn’t last very long. I met some old friends, renewed acquaintances and met some fascinating new people, but now that the 2012 Rochester Writing Conference is over, it’s back to the business of writing.

The theme of the 2012 Conference was The Writer’s Voice, and this year’s event was a bit different for me … it was the first time I had been asked to be a presenter. I imagine most of you who follow this blog will readily understand what topic was suggested for me. What else could it be?


I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only writer there who had self-published books. In fact, I know I wasn’t.

There was a gentleman in my presentation session who mentioned using the same POD publisher/printer, CreateSpace (he had some difficulty with them, if I recall the conversation properly). But I’m fairly certain I was the only one who had done all the preparation himself.

I guess the rationale that put my name on the presenter short-list came down to that and two other things: (1) I had just received a Gold Medal from Readers Favorite for my debut novel, Reichold Street; and (2) I was willing to do it.

Sadly, I’m not sure which of the two carried the greater weight.

I did have the distinct pleasure of sitting-in on some marvelous presentations. Steven Harper Piziks (who writes under the pen names of Steven Harper and Penny Drake) was terrific explaining how to approach agents and publishers with query letters.

Lori A. May (a friend whom I have had the honor of hearing many times before) presented a lecture on framing narrative in the personal essay that was a masterful explanation of how using a personal connection makes an old story new.

The keynote speaker, Stanley D. Williams, Ph.D., also delivered a remarkable, spellbinding presentation on The Moral Premise – 21 Secrets of Story Success.

Another acquaintance, Sylvia Hubbard, founder of the Michigan Literary Network, made us all take furious notes as she explained the in-and-outs, do-and-don’t of blogging for the writer. I’m working hard on putting some of her explanations into practice.

Then it was my turn. I lamented the fact I hadn’t had time to previously meet my co-presenter, Sarah Hovis.

We had exchanged email about what we might talk about, but didn’t meet until the morning of the conference. We didn’t have time to prepare the fancy Powerpoint and video-clip presentations of the others. Just good old-fashioned tree-killing paper handouts.

Sarah did an excellent job explaining the necessity for good editing, and the requirements of ISBN numbers and proper copyright.

I … well, I talked about wracking your brain perfecting HTML code, ePub and mobi files; also about creating my own text layouts, cover art and press releases.

It wasn’t until the applause at the end of the session that I realized we had presented something appreciated by most of the people in the room. It was a good feeling.

Even so, I want several more days to prepare before I do it again.

Now I’m busily scribbling notes and drinking coffee when I’m not typing into my laptop. I have another novel started, and I’m beginning to get nervous about the Readers Favorite Gold Medal I’m supposed to accept during the 2012 International Book Fair in Miami next month.

All things considered, I’d rather just be writing. I’ve got so many stories to tell!

If you have a moment, check out the book trailer for my Readers Favorite Gold Medal Award-winning novel, “Reichold Street.”

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4 Responses to “After the Dance”

  1. T. W. Dittmer Says:

    Sorry I missed it, Ron. Had stuff going on that had to be taken care of.


    • Ron Herron Says:

      Sorry you missed it, too, Tim. It was a good one this year.

      I didn’t even mention the sessions I didn’t have time attend:

      Lisa Howard’s “Getting Offline to Build Your Writing Career”; Christine Rheim’s workshop “The Braided Poem”; Dawne Prochilo’s “Publishing Your Romance Novel”; the “Local Editros Panel”; Lori May’s second presentation “Freelance Submissions and Queries”; Or John D. Lamb with his “How to Host or Perfrom at an Open Mic”

      One of the best all-around conferences yet.


  2. Kaia Slater Says:


    This is wonderful. You are an amazing writer. What a gift. Keep up the great work.

    I hope all is well with you and your family!

    Kaia Slater



    • Ron Herron Says:

      Thanks, Kaia. All is well.

      I get to see my two oldest boys (and my two grandkids) when I go down to Miami to accept my medal during the International Book Fair. Life is good. Hope you’re happy, too. 😉


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