The Fifth Day is a departure from my young adult novels, The Emily Series. It’s a more “grown-up” novel, if you will, exploring the fast-paced world of successful adults in the tech world. Can they balance their careers and their social lives? Can romantic flings be more than just romantic flings? Alexandra and Ryan are about to find out.
My most recent novel, The Fifth Day, is currently being edited, but what’s a little preview between friends?
I’ve come to know the conference circuit quite well over the years. There are several types of registrants in what I refer to as the “conference subculture.” And these type stay true to themselves. Of the speakers there are those that have a high opinion of themselves and love to hear words come out of their mouths, especially behind a podium. Ego is their middle name, and they are often found massaging said ago by not only speaking to the organized group but also to smaller groups before, in the middle of, and after sessions. This group is abundant at every conference.
Second are the self-promoters. The networkers. These people strive to gain copious business contacts from the event. They’re the first to belly up to the bar at the end-of-day reception and the last to leave. Business cards safely tucked in their jacket pocket or handbags, they snake through the crowd with intention and purpose.
Next are the avid learners. This group can be spotted at ten paces. They’re rarely dressed appropriately; either overly formal or simply too casual. They carry their laptops and notepads everywhere, and lean forward in their seats while listening to the speakers. Their enthusiasm always makes me smile.
I was once surprised by the next group, appalled even. These motivated individuals spend more time trolling the sessions for their next conquest than listening to the speakers: the conference whores. They rarely sleep in their rooms, and are often spotted wearing some combination of the clothes they wore the day before. They’re always in the bar until it closes, rarely leave the venue, and as all humans seek like-minded humans, they travel in packs. I guess everyone needs a wingman…or five. The Seattle group I encountered before are true and true conference whores.
My favorite group, however, and another of the speaker type, is the teaching group. These individuals love to give back and find imparting best practices fills them with a joy once reserved for inner-city school teachers. This group is small in number―almost mythical like the jackalope, much to my dismay. They’re serious, humble and above all they bring the most substance to the event.
For this particular conference, Tech Con, we kick off the first day with a keynote speaker over lunch followed by afternoon sessions. I’m embarrassed to say I know nothing about this particular speaker. Matt booked him. Our original Keynote cancelled unexpectedly at the last minute, and Matt was able to secure this new speaker in a pinch. As I trust Matt’s expertise implicitly, I didn’t duplicate our efforts and research this particular speaker. He said he’d be perfect and I take Matt at his word. I do however look at the program now, on my way to the event and notice something. Although not the best photograph, he looks strikingly like the guy I spotted in line with those eyes. Those beautiful blue eyes.