Thursday, October 16, 2014

ACFW, Writing, & More

It occurred to me that I haven't written a blog post in two weeks! I've been trying to stay consistent, and post on Thursdays, but the month of October has been a busy one.

I returned from the ACFW Conference in St. Louis at the end of September with so many amazing memories tucked away in my heart. I learned from some of the best in the industry, strengthened old friendships, and created new ones. I attended my first author reception with Barbour Publishers, went to my agency's reception in the hotel lobby restaurant, and pitched my story ideas to a handful of editors. I laughed until I cried, I talked about writing for hours and hours, and I watched some dear friends win important awards. I was encouraged by wonderful people who I respect and admire, I was inspired by writers who have paved the trail, and I was humbled by people who went out of their way to help me on my writing journey.

With my GLAM Girls: Lindsay, Alena, & Melissa.

Jeanne Takenaka receiving the MBT Frasier Award.

Two of my favorite historical romance authors (and teachers)!
 Jody Hedlund and Karen Witemeyer.

With Barbour Editor, Annie Tipton, at the Barbour Reception.

With my editor, Becky Germany, at the Barbour Reception.

With my writing Fairy Godmother, Sarah Forgrave. :)

With Susan May Warren, my amazing writing mentor.
The 2014 ACFW Conference was one of the very best. I truly feel as if it could not have gone better.

Upon returning home, I saw my first cover, which was an amazing dream come true. I worked on my second novella, A Groom for Josette, which is due to my editor by November 1st. I also wrote two story synopses to submit for possible future projects, and I started brainstorming my next full length novel. Amidst all of that, I began revising my last full length novel, as well. At one point, I had five different stories bouncing around in my head, demanding attention!

Right now, I'm only working on one of them. All the other things have either been accomplished, or put on the back burner until later. This next week will be dedicated to preparing for my agency retreat in Monterey, California.

When I return from the retreat, I will be prepping to teach my first writing workshops! My good friend Melissa Tagg will be joining me in Minnesota on November 15th to present the workshops. The first is titled: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Publishing World and the second is: 10 Ways to Hook a Reader. I'll share more as the date approaches.

After that, it will be time to start my next full length novel! The one I plan to write has been on my heart for the past couple years. I have great hope for this story. It's unlike any other story I've written, or read. We'll see what God has planned.

Your Turn: What have you been doing this month? What season of the year tends to be busier for you?

Thursday, October 2, 2014

My First Book Cover!

I can hardly believe I'm writing this blog post today! Do you see that cover?!?! It has my name on it! And tucked inside the book, right in the midst of some incredible novellas, my first story will be printed. My story!

That's amazing to me, and a testimony to the faithfulness of God. He planted the dream, He watered it with His word, He sent sunshine upon the fertile soil of my heart, and He has made it grow.

Dreams really do come true, and this book is proof.

I began to dream of being a published author when I was nine years old, and twenty-five years later, I'm looking at my very first book cover.

Do you have a dream? I know you do. Is it dormant, or is it at the very forefront of all you say and do? Does your dream scare you, or empower you? Do you feel as if you'll never achieve what you've dreamed? Or are you certain it will one day be yours?

No matter where you're at on your dream journey, have hope. God placed the dream there like a tender little seed, and He wants to see it grow and flourish, until it produces fruit.

This book is the fruit of my dream--the first fruit. My dream is still in the process of maturing. But someday, with God's grace, I hope to bear an abundance of fruit from this dream.

Your Turn: I'd love to hear about your dream.

~ ~ ~ ~

The Most Eligible Bachelor Collection releases on May 1, 2015, but is available for pre-order here.

I'd love if you stopped by my Amazon Author Page and liked it! You'll find the page here.

And if you'd like to learn more about my story, Four Brides and a Bachelor, which will be a part of this novella collection, please go here.