Writing is a solitary profession. Most writers are introverts who enjoy being alone, appreciate quiet, and can amuse themselves with the power of their mighty imaginations. For me, though, writing can be a little overly lonely at times. Take today, for example. Other than people who are related to me, and the cashiers at the stores I visited, and the little people I drive via car pool, I exchanged actual face-to-face words with one person. For under five minutes. And that one person certainly wasn’t someone who knows or cares about the world of publishing.
Thus, it’s always a delight for me to attend the American Christian Fiction Writer’s annual conference. I chat with people all day! And EVERYONE present is involved in the world of publishing.
The conference took place last week. Cara gave you a look at her conference experience yesterday and today it’s my turn! Here’s a peek into my (virtual) photo album….
The fun began last Wednesday, the 16th. The conference officially starts in the afternoon on Thursday. But I know from experience that it’s exhausting to sleep poorly the night before the trip, then get up at the crack of dawn, then catch a flight, then check in and rush straight to the first session.
So I convinced my friend Dani Pettrey to fly in on Wednesday. Dani’s first book for the Christian market and mine came out the same month. Since well before that, she and I have been walking this road together, sharing our struggles, encouraging each other, and praying for one another.
Since I live in Dallas and the conference was located in Dallas this year, I picked her up at the airport and we had salads for lunch. Then we relaxed poolside at her downtown Dallas hotel before walking a few blocks to Stampede 66 for dinner. Several other authors joined us there. Some live in town (like Lynne Gentry and Kellie Coates Gilbert) and others flew in for the conference. Like Kara Isaac, who flew in from New Zealand!
The next day, Dani and I immediately buckled down and got serious about our profession with…
I did eventually transport Dani to the conference hotel in the center of DFW Airport. Yes. The center of the airport. Odd location.
Once at the hotel, I soon met up with Katie Ganshert!
More writer buddies awaited at the genre dinner:
The next day I attended a wonderful class taught by Allen Arnold entitled The Wildness of Writing With God. Inspiring!
That evening my publisher, Bethany House, treated their authors to dinner. Two editors and two women from Bethany’s marketing department attended the conference.
On Saturday, Dani and I had the honor of presenting a workshop! It was titled Taming the Social Media Beast. Most writers aren’t social media gurus. For us, social media can quickly become an intimidating, energy-eating beast. Dani and I provided practical tips about how to get the best value out of Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook for whatever amount of time a writer has to give. Oh! And we gave out chocolate and prizes.
We’re always invited to dress up for the gala awards ceremony the final night. Usually, I buy a dress at the outlet mall near where I live, but this year I unearthed one from the back of my closet. Here’s to little black dresses!
And then it was over. All my friends and publishing folks flew off and I returned home.
Here’s the pile of laundry that awaited me….
Have you read books by any of the authors mentioned in this post? Do you enjoy attending conferences centered around your work and/or hobbies?
p.s. I’m currently running a giveaway for 3 signed copies of A Love Like Ours via my facebook page. Pop over and leave a comment on the top-most post to be entered!