Thursday, September 27, 2012

Special Company

On Saturday night at the conference gala, my friend Becky and I were looking for a table. We apparently were on the wrong side of the room, as all the tables were reserved. Just as we started to walk in another direction, a sweet lady called us to sit at her table. Come to find out, she was one of the nominees for an award that evening! Miss Liz Johnson is her name.

So we sit down and get comfy. A cute, petite blond gal sat next to me. When Liz introduced us, I found out that the sweet lady is the Book Buyer for a large book store chain! This is the one the publishing houses go to and ask her to put their books on the shelves at the book stores.

I must say, she was probably the sweetest person I met at the conference. I told her about my two novels and she said, "I'd read them."

Anyway, meeting the author and employee of the book store chain was yet another great opportunity for connections.

Pretty soon, I'm going to have the characters of my novels start guest-posting for me. That should be fun! :-)

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Next Step

Attending the writer's conference last week was the best thing I could do for my writing career. I had the magnificent opportunity to meet other unpublished writers, authors, literary agents and other publishing professionals. Not to mention, I got to spend four days with a good friend.

Ready for the news, yet?

What I never expected, but greatly hoped for, came true. I came home with literary agents interested in my work!

Not just one, but two! They both want me to send a proposal and sample chapters. This is a huge step in a writer's endeavors to attain publication, and not easy to accomplish.

Needless to say, I'm just a little excited.

It's going to be a difficult task to perfect my proposal. A proposal tells the agent all about the writer, the writer's novel they're trying to publish, and why that novel will be a success in the marketplace. It's a one-shot chance to convince an agent that the writer would be a good addition to his/her client list.

Even if it doesn't end up working out with these agents, the connections I made with them are priceless.

I'm so grateful that I was provided with the opportunity to attend the conference, and look forward to the results it has to bring.

Want to know about another huge connection I made at the conference? Stay tuned, and I'll write a post later this week.

If you haven't already, 'like' my Facebook page at

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

And the title is...

Shadows of Tobago

Although Sever the Blossom received more votes, I decided to go with Shadows of Tobago. Last night I was working on my one-sheet (one of the documents I will be showing agents & editors at the conference), and the following phrase came to me while I was writing:

Unforeseen shadows linger in the corners of the tropical paradise 

The important aspect is that the title sets the tone of the novel. Below are a few comments of those who like the title:
"Shadows of Tobago, implies mystery and intrigue"
"Gives it a sinister tone"
"Sounds ominous"

Remember, my novels are Romantic Suspense with elements of Thriller. An article I read last night, by an agent I hope to pitch to this weekend, said that the title needs to set the tone for the story. And that's just what Shadows of Tobago does!

What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Writer's Conferences

One week from tomorrow I'll be heading off to Dallas for the ACFW conference! It's a huge deal for writers, especially for those who are unpublished and have stories that they're ready for the world to read.

Want to know why? Read on...

For those of you who are unaware of how things work in the publishing industry these days - I know I was until about 2 years ago - it's not so easy to get your manuscript on the desk of an editor at a publishing house. Gone are the days when you can just mail in your work to a publisher. Unless you have inside contacts, the only way to get your work seen by a publishing house is through a literary agent.

That being said, it's not easy to get an agent to look at your work either. Many many (I could write it 10 more times, but you get my point) people have written books. Some good, some decent, some not so good. All of these writers want to get their books published. Thing is, publishers can put out only so many books a year. Understandably, literary agents must be extremely selective in the writers they choose to represent. Most of the writers who contact them, usually by email, are rejected

Here's what happens at a conference:

Writers get to meet agents face-to-face and pitch their novels to them. Guess what other audience writers have at conferences? Editors!

Going to a writer's conference is something serious writers must experience. For those seeking publication, it can be a turning point in their career. Although, again, there will be hundreds of writers there pitching their work to agents and editors. 

Not only that, it's a great place to network, there are exceptional learning opportunities in the workshops, and friends to be made.

Much preparation is involved for those who will be seeking out agents and editors. I'm well underway and feel confident that I'll be prepared for this awesome experience!

Oh, and did I mention that I get to go with a close friend of mine who is also a writer? Even better!