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Today I’m excited to spend some time with George Weinstein, author, program director of the bi-annual Atlanta Writers Conference and Officer Emeritus of the Atlanta Writers Club. It’s a cool, rainy Saturday in Georgia, and our summer is quickly fading into fall. George and I are sitting near the building entrance, playing hooky from a lecture. Today is the monthly meeting of the Atlanta Writers Club at Perimeter College, and we’re both really looking forward to the ninth Atlanta Writer's Conference, held November 8 & 9 at the Westin Atlanta Airport.
I have to admit, I’m really excited about the conference, as I’m taking part in several of the events. My Evil Little Manuscript is close to finding a home, but I’m not going to stop querying until that happens, and plan on seizing every opportunity & chance to further develop my skills as a writer.
As we talk about the conference, George smiles, and has a glint in his eyes. To me, it’s pretty darn obvious this guy loves to write.
Me: It’s written all over your face-writing is a huge part of your life. And for what it’s worth, my friends say the same thing about me-that my eyes light up when I talk about books or my latest project. So how long have you been writing?
George: Since I was six years old. I wrote plays for our stuffed animals to amuse my sister and brother.
Me: By the way, thanks so much for doing this interview. I really hope some of my readers will attend this amazing conference.
George: You truly can’t beat the quality of events you get for the price.
Me: And I agree with you. So tell me, what events do you feel sets apart the Atlanta Writers Conference from other writing conferences?
George: I’d have to say it’s the diverse offerings we have for up- and- coming writers. For one, we have a query letter critique, where the writer obtains valuable objective feedback of their query letter with nothing on the line. The agents and editors who do your query letter critique are not the ones you’ll pitch the next day, so you can relax, take in their comments, and then make your query letter better before it counts.
Me: That is incredible! So it’s a chance to pre-query, if you will, with either an agent or editor and see what they think about your query before you actually hit “send”.
George: Exactly, but there’s also The Pitch, where you get that rare chance to actually pitch your manuscript in front of agents or editors, that you wouldn’t get otherwise. And the deadline is close, but there are also opportunities to have a portion of your manuscript and synopsis critiqued as well.
Me: And there is still a chance to sign up for these events, right?
George: Yes! But just a few open spots are left.
Me: Where is the conference held?
George: At the Westin Atlanta Airport, and we’ve secured a special rate of only $99 per a night for those attending.
Me: So I hear that your second book is coming out soon. Care to give our readers a sneak peek?
George: Sure. My second novel, also from Deeds Publishing, is THE FIVE DESTINIES OF CARLOS MORENO, and it’s a historical suspense. I guess you could say it’s like THE GRAPES OF WRATH meets THE FUGITIVE. Deeds is accepting pre-orders on their site at http://deedspublishing.com/the-five-destinies-of-carlos-moreno/
Me: I’m intrigued. Tell me more.
George: It’s basically the tale of a poor, innocent guy trying to outwit a relentless lawman during the Depression Era. Many people don’t know this, but at the beginning of the Great Depression, President Hoover “repatriated”, or should I instead say deported, over one million Mexican-American citizens so that white Americans could receive governmental assistance and find scarce jobs because times were so tough.
And back then, most people didn’t carry around any sort of license or legal document with them, so if you had brownish skin and were found by authorities to be without documentation, you were picked up and deported. And my main character, Carlos, is a true American citizen, but because of his skin color he’s hunted down for deportation.
Me: I’m sure I studied this in college history, but I’m really glad you’re bringing this dark part of our country’s past to life.
George: Thank you. And many of the people expatriated were American citizens, just like Carlos. But the really sad part was quite a large percentage of those rounded up and deported were children.
Me: I can’t believe that happened in my America-this is a book I have to read. And it’s coming out soon?
George: In October.
Me: Great! Now I know HARDSCRABBLE ROAD was your first novel, but couldn’t help wondering if the plot was based on the life of anyone you knew?
George: Yes it was-it was based on my father–in-law’s childhood and the gritty journey he endured as a boy.
Me: So let me ask…can we do a cover reveal for THE FIVE DESTINIES OF CARLOS MORENO on my blog?
George: Sure thing!
Deeds is now accepting pre-orders on their site! Go to http://deedspublishing.com/the-five-destinies-of-carlos-moreno/ and reserve your copy!
Me: Awesome! I know our readers love being the first to get a look, and that is one incredible cover! Thanks for sitting down with me George, and for all of your hard work and dedication to our craft. I really look forward to attending the conference in November.
Want to attend the Atlanta Writers Conference?
Visit this site a.s.a.p.!
Visit this site a.s.a.p.!
*It's easy to catch a flight in & out of Atlanta, and the hotel provides free transportation to & from Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.
- Cost for events: - Manuscript/Synopsis Critique on Saturday, November 9: $150
- Pitch on Saturday, November 9: $50
- Editor & Agent Q&A Panel on Saturday, November 9: $30
- Workshop on Friday, November 8: $50
- Query Letter Critique on Friday, November 8: $50
- Best money-saving option? Choose the Atlanta Writers Conference package deal (all five activities): $300
*Note: If you are not a current member of the Atlanta Writers Club, $40 in dues will be added to your total, with 365 days of club benefits, including access to writing contests with cash prizes, free and discounted workshops, and access to the May 2014 Atlanta Writers Conference.