Friday, August 9, 2013

Closer to My Dream...

Hey, Y'all,
So, since I last blogged, a lot of things have happened in my little corner of the world. Some have been on the mundane and annoying side- like the long days I've been spending trying to juggle my books with my freelance writing, keeping the house, and keeping my kids alive. Argh.
But, some of it has been pretty awesome. From July 17-21, I was in Atlanta for the RWA national conference. I've been very active in my local chapter for the past 5 or six years (barring my time in Alaska, during which I was active in their chapter), but this was my first national conference. I gotta say,  I had a great time. I think it was because of several factors:

1. The attitude about self-publishing among RWA members has improved greatly over the last few years. Very little snark, and a whole lot of excitement about it.

2. I got to spend a lot of face time with authors I admire, but don't see very often. Had coffee with Wayne Jordan, ate lunch with Farrah Rochon, Seressia Glass and Vanessa Miller, and also chatted with Valerie Wilson Wesley, who is a mystery author now dabbling in romance. It's the first time I've met her and she's a real sweetheart. :)

3. Saw some friends of mine who I also don't see often, like Kaia Alderson-Tyson, my crazy ass crit partner who lives in the ATL area, and Claritta Stinson, my awesome buddy from Little Rock.

4. Great workshops. I came home with a legal pad full of notes.

5. Great networking. I also came home with about 40 business cards. ( I marked on the back when and where I met the person, so my post- conference brain could get it together later. Some cards had a photo on them, which I find very convenient.)

But probably the best part of RWA for me was getting time with my idol, Beverly Jenkins, and the equally illustrious Brenda Jackson. OMG- I can't even describe how much I admire these ladies. I got to sign books with them and eat dinner with them, and partake of their wisdom in a workshop, all on the same day. My po' heart was just pounding, I'm sure my pressure was up. But to have people you look up to take you under their wing is a very awesome feeling. I suppose you could say I felt special, even validated as a writer.

After I got home from the conference, it took more than a week before I fully recovered from the excitement. And about time I started to feel normal- ish again, around came release day for Freedom's Embrace. Let me tell you, the pressure went up again!

Then, last Sunday, I discovered via a tweet from Kaia that my little novella had a mention in USA Today. Yes, the national newspaper.

Know what I did? Cried like a big 'ol baby. I was just overjoyed that the writer (Joyce Lamb) at USA Today thought enough of my book to mention it. I don't know what it will mean for sales, but I'm certainly honored- I was in impressive company in that article! You can see it here:

So, now I'm just starting to come down from that- I wonder what's around the next bend? I have been working so hard at this writing thing for so long, and I'm finally starting to see some of my efforts be validated in a big way.

Hopefully this is a continuing trend of bigger and better things for me. And just in case the excitement gets to be too much, I'll have my inhaler nearby. :)

Until Next Time,