Well normally I come back from this conference filled with hope and enthusiasm that this year will be the year I sell a book. Two years ago I got an agent, Last year we had news of a pending sale on a Heartsong, plus lots of nibbles from several interested editors.
But this year was completely different. This year I went to the conference with four contracts in my pocket. One from Heartsong, two from Love Inspired and one from Barbour. Wow! What a great feeling. It changed the way I approached the conference too. No more nervous anxiety about pitching my books to editors or agents. No more trying to determined which editors might be a good fit for my current story. This year I could go simply to enjoy the experience, meet with other authors, spend time with friends and do a lot of networking.
The first night my agent, Joyce Hart took all of her clients to dinner at a Mexican Restaurant. What a fun night meeting other Hartline authors.
The next day was one of the most exciting for our group, The Bards of Faith, the Jackson, Mississippi writers group I belong to. Four of us sent a proposal to Barbour for a Christmas novella collection and it sold. Two of the authors were unpublished. One of the highlights of the conference is when Barbour awards surprise contracts to unpublished authors. This year the contracts went to our two members. Cynthia Leavelle and Ginger Vaughn. We’d all know about it for weeks but couldn’t tell them. What fun seeing their faces when their names were called.
That night I got to attend a meet and greet with Love Inspired editors, Tina James and my editor, Melissa Endlich, and all the Love Inspired authors at the conference. I’m so excited to be part of this wonderful group of people.
Friday night was another Love Inspired event. The authors all went out to dinner at an Italian Restaurant and had a great time. One of the editors from Publishers Weekly came with us and wrote a very nice article about us with a picture.
Saturday night was another big event, the Carol Awards. The of the most prestigious awards in Christian Fiction. Two of our members, our fearless leader Aaron McCarver and Diane Ashley, won for their Christmas Novella. What a way to end the evening. We’re so proud and happy for our members. It made for a very fun and upbeat ride home from Dallas to Jackson.
Now it’s time to go back to work and produce those books that I have contracted. Three of them are done, and the last one in in the works. Next year when I go to conference I might have real books in the conference book store. That should be fun!