Wednesday, September 18, 2013

MY FIRST ACFW Conference - W*O*W!!

     The 2013 American Christian Fiction Writers’ Conference rocked. I was honored that the Lord made a way for me to go to Indianapolis.
      Next year is in St. Louis, Missouri, and I’d encourage all to start planning to go now. The link is then click 'Conference' and sign up! I promise, if you love being in God's presence with 600-700 Christian writers, you will not be disappointed!
     ACFW's ‘First Timer’s Email Loop’ blew me away, all the information astounding. Everything posted by two board members Brandilyn and Cara proved so helpful to make all us first-time attendees feel comfortable—from traveling to what it would be like once we arrived. Plus it let us newbies make friends with others before we went, too.
Holly Michael from Kansas City MO
My Roomie, Mimi Conteur from N. Carolina
 These are my new sister- writer-friends who were all First timers like me : ) There was an immediate bond! And we're starting an online critique group.
Tanara frm Phoenix AZ


The ACFW ladies introduced many First-Timers to One-Pages—a tool to have your novel idea/synopsis and biography on one page to hand to an editor or agent; they went over the ‘elevator pitches’ and even took the time to critique and help make those the best they could be. All this made interviewing with an agent or editor so much less intimidating.

Mary Sue McAdoo Seymour and me : )
The Seympour Agency Ladies
 Blessed to already have Mary Sue, a New York agent who hosted a dinner at P.F. Changs for all her authors on Friday night, I didn’t need any agent appointments! It was great meeting all her ‘Seymour Ladies’, my fellow agency scribes.
Beth Adams, Amanda Demastus and me
       And I already have my editors for historical Christian romances in Beth Adams and Amanda Demastus with my VOW UNBROKEN debuting from Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster, next March. It’s available now for pre-order so you don’t have to remember! My editor said it would really be great if there were a thousand pre-orders waiting to be shipped on March 4th! You can go to any number of sites, but here’s two: or

       They hosted a Saturday dinner at a great pizza place for the Howard authors. This photo is taken at the ACFW gala Sunday night. Anyway, they’ve got first option on my romances, so I didn’t need to meet with another editor for those.   
      So, I took STARFISH PRIME, book one of The King’s Highway trilogy to pitch to a mid-grade Christian editor. I pre-chose Kim Childress with Zonderkidz; I figured with her raising four kids almost the same age as the four grandsugars I’ve got, on top of our love for the Lord, we’d hit it off. She flabbergasted me when she told me the manuscript was already on her desk in the short pile! She’d already taken it to her editorial board and they had a couple of questions which I was able to answer. I believe it was another divine encounter!
     And here's another miracle. I’ve gone to schools all over Texas with the mid-grade River Bottom Ranch Stories as a visiting author, teaching creative writing for grades K-5. I use the new songs God gives me that go with the stories to reel in the student’s attention if it starts to stray. So, I’d asked the Lord for a new song to go with STARFISH PRIME. I got the beginnings on the plane in route. Then in a class—thirty minutes before my appointment with Kim—He gave me the entire song which I sang to her! It’s a sweet tune titled Angels Unaware. I’ll post the lyrics sometime, but this is already getting long. Kim promised to get back with my agent within the month! Can you say exciting? :)

      What I looked forward to most was the corporate praise and worship, and it did not disappoint! God’s manifest presence came down and Holy Spirit walked among His people! I sang. I went to His throne. I even danced before Him a bit! It was absolutely Heavenly to be there and love on Him with so many fellow writers!
      I’m praying He makes a way for me to attend every ACFW Conference until He comes again! What a wonderful experience it was!