Friday, September 27, 2013

Annual Authors' Event and Memories from The ACFW Conference

Tomorrow we will celebrate our annual Author Gala in Paducah, Kentucky. If you are visiting the area, be sure to drop by the Etcetera Coffee House on 6th street to meet six authors from six states.
Etcetera Coffee House is known for its specialty coffees, delicious sandwiches, and to-die-for desserts. The event runs from 11 a.m - 1 pm.

Author, Linda Swift always does a wonderful job of organizing the event and makes sure our tables are decorated with pretty tablecloths. Her talented husband will provide pretty keyboard music. Songs that will take you back to the time when songs had beautiful melodies.

Each author will have his/her separate table, his/her books, plus a candy bowl filled with treats for the grabbing. the authors and states represented are: Linda Swift--Kentucky, Celia Yeary--Texas, Danielle Thorne--Georgia, Larry Hammersley--Indiana, Pamela Hearon--Illinois and Laurean Brooks (me) Tennessee. We expect to have a huge crowd. Be sure to sign up for the drawings. A gift basket, and books.

On another note:

I returned from the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) conference in Indianapolis, on September 16th. The wonderful three-day event left my head spinning. The experience was a 72-hour blast filled with writing classes, appointments with editors/agents, and mutual introductions to seasoned, new, and promising authors, over a delicious meal in an elaborate dining room.

I talked to Frank Peretti, and Lena Nelson Dooley, to name a couple. Both are as nice as they can be.

Steve Laube from The Steve Laube Literary Agency, sat down at our table on Friday night. He gave us background on how he became an agent, then asked everyone's names, and what genre they wrote. Mr. Laube affable, and knowledgeable in his field, and has a gift for putting everyone at ease.

One thing I took away from conference that surprised me is that agents, editors, and well-known authors, are real people--just like you and me. People with which you'd like to sit down and chat over a cup of coffee and strudel.

Saturday evening was open (the only time I had to catch my breath). Deb Kastner, who writes for Love Inspired  and one of three roommates, was free. We teamed up and walked at least 10 city blocks to El Rodeo, a Mexican restaurant. Before we pushed through the door, a sign on it caught my eye. "Restrooms $2.00." Upon entering, we noted the place was virtually empty. The food and service were excellent, meaning that wasn't the problem. When I looked toward the front, I saw the manager staring through the glass door at everyone walking past, as if wondering, "Why isn't anyone coming in?"

I must admit, I fought the urge to suggest, "Maybe...if you took down that 'Restrooms $2.00 charge" sign ...." I would hate to see a great restaurant fold due to something that could easily be remedied and would cost them considerably less than the the customers they will lose WITH the sign.

I left the conference with hope, renewed faith, and a request for a book proposal. I've put it in God's hands because He knows best.