ACFW conference as a first-timer

I’m blogging today about the upcoming ACFW conference in Indianapolis from Sept. 17th through the 20th. First, let me say I’m excited beyond measure to be going, and secondly, I wish to encourage any new or want-to-be writers of Christian fiction to consider this invaluable opportunity. Let me share my experiences at another writers’ conference as a first-timer to alleviate any anxiety others may have. Ten years ago, I attended RWA national in Washington DC as an unpublished author. I had my first manuscript done, my synopsis more-or-less making sense, and my head in the clouds. I signed up for an editor appt. to pitch my historical romance later that weekend. But first I attended a workshop given by the senior editor of the publishing house I was targeting. During the first five minutes, this venerable, bigger-than-life editor stated she thought Gone With the Wind was the worst book ever written, and she wouldn’t buy anything dealing with the Civil War if it was the only manuscript on her desk. (my paraphrasing…ten years is a long time) Well, little-me-from-Ohio practically started crying and at my age, that’s so not cool, because as I’m sure you’ve guessed, my masterpiece, my baby was set during the Civil War. Well, folks, I stiffened my upper lip and attended that appt. anyway. The editor I pitched to turned out to be delightful! She set me at ease and boosted my confidence. She told me about the fond memories she had of a family vacation to Gettysburg Pa. Then she requested I send her the full manuscript (probably knowing full well it would never be acquired). I was tickled pink! In the end, that publishing house didn’t buy my baby, but I met wonderful people, took amazingly helpful workshops and I felt like a writer. Because if you’ve written a manuscript that’s what you are…and never let anyone discourage you from pursuing your dream. If you can find the way, come to the ACFW conference—you won’t be sorry.

New release by the awesome Cara Putnum

I’d like to let all my readers know that a great author, Cara Putnam, has a new book just released: STARS IN THE NIGHT.  This writer is not only an award-winning author for Canteen Dreams (Book of the Year, short historical, 2008) but works tirelessly to further the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). Please check out her blog and book.

STARS IN THE NIGHT can be purchased at www.christianbookcom or or ask your local librarian to order. Here’s Cara’s blog:

2010 Carol Award nominee for A Widow’s Hope

I am speechless with excitement and honored beyond belief. I just found out that A Widow’s Hope, the first in my Miller Family series, has been named a finalist in the ACWF Carol Award contest in the long contemporary category. (formerly called the Book-of-the-Year) My feet have barely touched ground since I got the call. (however, today I’m back to work on my WIP since deadlines loom…) I am so honored to be among such impressive names in Christian fiction. Thanks be to God, since this and all else are by His hand.

If any of you are aspiring Christian fiction writers, the place to be to learn and meet other writers is the ACFW national conference in Indianapolis, IN from Sept. 17th through the 20th. Please check out their website for full information.    Here’s a link to see all the finalists in all the categories:

In my other news, I want to thank Kym Lucas, manager of the Buckeye Library in Medina County Ohio for inviting me to participate in Saturday’s panel discussion on getting published in this highly competetive world. I had such a fun time and met such delightful aspiring authors, besides the talented three other panel guests. Thanks for letting me participate.

Anyone in Columbiana, Ohio area, tomorrow evening I will be speaking on How Writers Research (and find story inspiration) at the Columbiana Library in Columbiana, Ohio at 7:00 pm. Please join me for this free library event. Thanks to Flora Doraski for inviting me!

Home from Life & Faith tour & Trailers for New Releases

I’m finally getting caught up with laundry, weeding, and paying bills since being gone for 4 days. The Life & Faith tour in Richmond, VA was great fun. (but I would have appreciated some cooler weather! It was steamy hot in the author’s tent.) But the musical groups were outstanding. I got to (sort of) meet the talented young ladies in Point of Grace. One is prettier than the next, and all have voices like angels.

In my own news, The Way to a Man’s Heart, 3rd in the Miller Family series, will be released any day now. I guess the hold-up is the shipping time it takes, coming from the printer. At any rate, here is the You-Tube book trailer that matches the story nicely.  and also here’s the trailer for my Christmas release, Sarah’s Christmas Miracle.

I hope you’re all enjoying summer and stay well!