Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Texas Christian Writers' Conference

Only a week and a half until the Texas Christian Writers' Conference in Houston, Texas. We have a great faculty lined up this year. Wayne Holmes, Dennis Hensley, Cheri Fuller, Mona Gansberg Hodgson, Tamela Hancock Murray, DiAnn Mills, Anita Higman, Janice Thompson, and Kathleen Y'Barbo. They will be presenting workshops on various writing topics throughout the day. We have lots of free books and give aways for the attendees.

It's not too late to register for this one day conference on August 5 at First Baptist Church. We'd love to have you. A registration form may be obtained by emailing me at Registration fees may be sent to our Treasurer, Pat Vance at 1108 Valerie, Pasadena TX 77502. Registration is $75 for the day including lunch and Continental breakfast.

Next year the conference will be on August 4 and will feature Sally Stuart, Kathy Ide, DiAnn Mills, and Lena Nelson Dooley among others.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Make the Most of Your Appointments.

Tips for those editor/agent meetings

With the ACFW conference looming near, we need to be prepared for those appointments we’ve made and for any “chance encounters of the editor kind. These tips have been garnered from my many years of attending conferences as well as directing the Texas Christian Writers Conference and from discussions with other authors. No matter what conference you are attending, these tips will help you get the most out of your individual meetings.

The key is being prepared before making the appointment.

  1. Know the genre of your manuscript and research the houses publishing your genre.
  2. Read the guidelines of that house and be certain your manuscript meets them all.
  3. Sign up for your appointment.

Before the appointment.

  1. Learn all you can about the editor.
  2. Make a file for your manuscript. (Not the manuscript itself, but notes)
    1. Business card
    2. One sheet with your manuscript info and your biography
    3. 70 word or less blurb of your manuscript
    4. One or two sentence summary of your manuscript
    5. Sheet with the name and picture (if possible) of the editor and the guidelines for that publisher.
  3. Memorize and practice your pitch with your spouse, your friends, your critique partners, whoever will listen.
  4. Make a list of questions you might ask the editor concerning your manuscript, their house, or guidelines.
  5. Make notes if they request a manuscript as to when they want it, how to address it etc. (If your manuscript isn’t finished, and a full is requested, make note of the deadline you or the editor sets.) If for a proposal, give the editor an idea of when it will be sent.
  6. Be polite, not pushy. Smile and accept the decision of the editor/agent if he or she isn’t interested and thank him/her for the time.

Chance Encounters

  1. Have the same folder ready at all times.
  2. Select the editors whose houses publish your genre. Memorize their faces.
  3. Sit at their tables at meals and be prepared to make your pitch in a minute.
  4. Have your list of questions ready to ask if you need further information.
  5. Don’t be afraid to approach or start up a conversation in the hall or elevator, but be polite, not pushy.
  6. Give them a business card with your information and a blurb about your book on the back of it. ( Your picture will help them remember you)
  7. Take classes led by the editors of interest then approach them after class to inquire if they have time to talk with you a minute or two.
  8. Attend the editor/agent panels and listen carefully and take notes. You never know when some new information may work in your favor.

If you have more than one manuscript to pitch, have a folder for each one ready to whip out at the table, in the food line, in the elevator, or in the hallway. Talk with others who write the same genre you do. Above all, have a good time, and rest wh

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Review for A Thousand Tomorrows

I just finished Karen Kingsbury's book, A Thousand Tomorrows and must recommend it to everyone. If you cry easily when a story gets emotional, have your tissues ready as this one is a tear-jerker in the way of Love Story. Ali and Gunner will live in your heart long after you read the last words. Karen gives us real characters undergoing a very real difficulties. Seeing Gunner's hatred evolve and then diminsh as Ali shows him how to love is magnificent. Karen paints them in such a way that you see them in every action, feel their every pain, shout for the their victories, and rejoice in their love, then cry in their beautiful hope for the future. Karen gives us two disabilities in Carl Joseph's Down Syndrome, and Ali's cystic fibrosis, and shows how God works each one. You won't be able to put this one down.

One of the reasons this book touched a chord with me is that our grandson has cystic fibrosis. The hardships Karen describe for Ali are the same ones we see in Robert Mikell. Ali has a lung transplant, and our boy had a liver transplant. This is a disease that attacks all organs of the body, some more profoundly than others. Robert Mikell's parents face the same hard questions with him as Ali's faced. Whether he has A Thousand Tomorrows or ten thousand, we know he is in God's hands.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Everything's Coming Up Josey

Josey flees to Russia after her boyfriend jilts her and marries her sister, and her "best friend" announces his engagement. She goes as a missionary to teach them about God, but learns more about herself and her own relationship with God. Being in the Lord's work is nothing like she imagined in all her preparations. From her first encounter at the Moscow airport to the surprise at the bistro, Josey finds Russia much more than she expected. Susan takes the reader on a delightful ride around Moscow as seen through Josey's eyes. The secondary characters give added spice and depth as Josey copes with her friendships. As Josey grows and learns to lean on God, she finds the desires of heart where she least expects them. This is a fun read with great spiritual insight. Don't miss it.

Although Chicklit is not my favorite genre, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Josey reminds me so much of myself at her age. Yes, I can remember that far back. I laughed with her and cried with her through all of her adventures and encounters with a culture so very different from her own. Susan has done a wonderful job in taking us on a journey to Russia.