I had a grand weekend at the Naples Press Club Writers Conference as a volunteer. So many things happened there that I'm going to have to sum it up with obnoxious bullets.
- I got to know the members of the Naples Press Club. What a generous bunch of people. They made me feel included even though I didn't know anyone well. They even invited me to have dinner with them on Saturday night. I had to wait until my sister's birthday party was over, but I stopped by for fifteen minutes and brought the hubby. I'm going to join the Naples Press Club as an Associate Member as soon as I can steal $50 from my food budget. (With Weston Commercial Cleaning, Inc. still a startup business, $50 is a lot.) For more information on the Naples Press Club, visit www.naplespressclub.org.
- I got to reaquaint myself with Dr. Molly Barrow, Ph.D. Molly is a fellow ArcheBooks author. She's a psycologist, and her first book, Matchlines, is about relationships and finding a good match. I've read the book, and she's right on. If you're in a serious relationship or thinking about getting married, I encourage you to read Matchlines. Now you wouldn't believe it, but almost 7 years ago, I was the manager of a small coffee shop called Java Java, and Molly and her husband used to come in all the time. I can't believe that both of us are now fellow ArcheBooks authors. Find out more about Dr. Molly at www.askdrmolly.com.
- I got to know Robert Dean Bair. Bob is an ArcheBooks author whose book, The Cloisters of Canterbury, was published by ArcheBooks in September. Bob was part of a secret special forces Army unit back in World War II. My husband immediately liked him and wanted to know more about his experiences, so I bought him Bob's book.
- I got to hang out with my friend, Sandy Lender (see the Today the Dragon Wins link), and ArcheBooks authors: Linda Bilodeau
(www.lindabilodeau.com), Prudy Taylor Board (www.prudytaylorboard.com), and Penny Lauer. We formed an author speaking group called the ArcheBook Divas. (Actually, they formed it. I just chimed in every now and then because I kept getting called away, but they included me anyway because they are a great bunch of women.)
- I got to hang out with Linnea Sinclair, a RITA award winner (think Oscars for the Romance genre) and writer of a bunch of science fiction/romance books. She gave me a lot of practical advice, and even offered to help me become a better writer. I love Linnea's personality. She's honest and intense--my kind of woman. (I love to hang out with intense women. It's one of my requirements.) She's also the secretary of the South Florida Romance Writers of America--more on them later. What I love about Linnea is her desire to help other authors. I watched her give writing advice and even offer to refer other authors to her agent all days. What a generous woman. For more about Linnea Sinclair and her books, visit www.linneasinclair.com.
- I got to watch my publisher, Robert Gelinas, solve a rubics cube in less than three minutes. I'm telling you, the guy is a genious. I'm going to have to catch him at a dull moment and get him to teach me how to do it. (He kind of gave me a start at a strategy, so I might be buying a rubics cube in the near future....)
- I made some valuable contacts, and new things might be on the horizon.... I'll keep you all informed.
If you're a writer, and you want to get published, I really encourage you to go to writers conferences. I probably made three contacts this weekend that might pay big dividends in the future, and that's just at this conference. Last conference, I had (endured might be a better term) a fifteen minute pitch session with a man named Robert Gelinas (which turned into an hour long conversation), and six weeks later, he offered me a contract for a book called A Prophecy Forgotten. Who knows where a writers conference might get you.For more information on my debut novel, A Prophecy Forgotten, check out my website at http://www.elysianchronicles.com.