September is Conference Time!

ACFW brochere

Conference guidebook

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.

Barbara & Kathryn in historical garb

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 with Seymour Agnecy sibs & Mary Sue Seymour

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.

Friends at conference

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.






Romance Panel

The Joy of Romance!

The Joy of Romance!

Come enjoy a fun-filled afternoon and meet your favorite authors! You will get a chance to ask those questions that have been burning inside ~ Where do you get your inspiration? Why do you write romance? What is your favorite thing about being a romance author? Is it really all about the tiara? (Just kidding!)





If you are in the area, I would love to see you there! Stop by and say hi!