The 2016 Romance Writers of America Conference is now over. It was special to me in many ways, but most of all because it was in my hometown of San Diego. A couple highlights and pictures ~
A high school friend, Jose Cruz, is Chief Executive Officer of the San Diego Council on Literacy and was instrumental in setting up the Literacy Signing on July 13th. I’m only sorry that I did not get a picture with him. He was busy putting out fires…
Seeing another high school friend, Pam L. and her best buddy Pam B. show up at the literacy signing made my night! The signing happens before every annual conference and with San Diego’s event, topped One Million Dollars that has been donated to helping with literacy in the USA!
High School Friend & and resident trouble-trouble maker. (Love her!)
I loved getting together with the Harlequin authors and editors (who came all the way from London!)
At the Harlequin Book Signing. Thank you Lane Heymont for the picture!
High Tea gathering with the HH authors & editors
Workshop on historical clothing put on by the San Diego Historical Society
Historical Clothing Workshop
Horton Grand Hotel for
High Tea — a short walk from The Marriott where the conference took place.
Georgie Lee and Sophia James, Authors for Harlequin
Horton Grand Hotel
Me with Christine Merrill (author)
Blythe Gifford (author) & Linda Fildew (Senior Editor HH)
The Conference was a day after the All Star Baseball Game and a day before ComicCon! Yikes!
I just returned from the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference that was held this year in Dallas, Texas. It was a whirlwind of workshops, being updated on the publishing industry, re-connecting with writer friends and meeting new ones. Fresh new faces and voices are making their way onto the scene which is always exciting.
My Harlequin books do not carry a faith thread, but I find the ACFW conference a fantastic resource. I also feel most comfortable with this wonderful group of writers.
Genre dinner night
The first evening a genre dinner is held, where authors are encouraged to dress the part of one of their characters. It is a fun ice-breaker and conversation starter. This is a picture of me in a Victorian shop-keepers garb–a character from my new Western coming out in December. (Familiar Stranger in Clear Springs) Perhaps the hat is a bit too fancy with the netting…I’m beginning to think I have very little fashion sense (and my current hairstyle does not lend itself to the 1800s!) The woman standing with me is a good friend and writes Biblical fiction and so is dressed in B.C. style.
Panel discussion on What to do when your manuscript is rejected
I participated in a panel with my agent, Mary Sue Seymour, and a few other Seymour Agency authors. At first I balked…the books I have had published are historical western romance–not Christian fiction–and because of that I didn’t think anyone would want to hear what I had to say. But the topic was what to do when your manuscript is rejected and I do know something about that. Although a few authors have the first manuscript they submit accepted for publication, that is not the norm. I came the “normal” route, and had a few pearls of wisdom that I could pass on to new writers. A lot of it has to do with persistence and continuing to refine the craft of writing. It is always a comfort to hear the “war stories” of bigger writers…J.K.Rowling and John Grisham…and know that their first manuscripts were also rejected a number of times.
Enjoying friends at conference
I was happy to learn that Westerns are as big as ever in this crazy publishing business! Readers love them, publishers want them, and the writers who enjoy writing them have a wonderful future! How is that for good news! There is just something about the American West, the cowboy, and wide-open spaces that calls to people. In an industry where things come and go (remember Chick Lit?), Westerns are here to stay.