I’m in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for the month of April. I need your help! To meet this challenge, I’ll be doing one post a day, working through the alphabet.
Your job is to comment and keep me motivated! Let me know you’re out there and following along. Can she make it? Will she? Of course she will! With you as my cheering section, I won’t be stumped by J or Q or even X.
And before I forget, let me say thanks to ARLEE BIRD, the Challenge founder! Thanks, Lee. This is going to be fun!!!
So without further ado, here is today’s post.
A is for Alba. I write books about Scotland, you see. Specifically about the Highlands of Scotland around 1516. So starting my alphabet with Alba makes perfect sense to me! How about you?
What can I say? Dallas Area Romance Authors (known as DARA) put on a great conference, and with the assistance of Fresh Fiction and Barnes & Noble, a terrific book signing.
The speakers were amazing. I’m sure you’ve heard of at least a few of them. Cherry Adair? Christie Craig? Lori Wilde? How about the hunk on my cover, Jimmy Thomas? Or Mark Coker, the creator of Smashwords? Those are just a few of the remarkable talent and I haven’t even mentioned the conference attendees.
No, there will not be any oil men, horses or cattle involved. Not even longhorns.
But there will be writers. Authors, editors, agents, even a cover model or two.
I’m going to Dreaming in Dallas, the annual conference put on by DARA, the Dallas Area Romance Authors. And from what I hear, it’s going to be a great time!
So here are my Thursday Thirteen reasons every writer should attend at least one writers’ conference every year.
1. Meeting and making friends with people you only know on Facebook. Or Twitter. Or Goodreads. Or…you name it.
2. Face time with agents and editors. They’re real people, too!
3. Workshops, workshops and more workshops. Where else can you learn so much in such a short time?
4. A new location. There are conferences all over the country. Take your pick.
5. An exotic location. Some are held overseas, and I don’t just mean Hawaii.
6. Covermodels. Jimmy Thomas will be at Dreaming in Dallas. He’s on the cover of my debut book. Can you guess how much I’m looking forward to meeting him?
7. More covermodels. Some conferences have several. Even many. No, there can never be too many.
8. Raffle prizes. Need a giant basket full of your favorite author’s books? How about a three-chapter-and-synopsis critique by a published author, agent or editor? You can win them.
9. Pitch sessions. A few minutes sitting across a table from a real, live agent or editor. It’s good to spend a minute or two on small talk, then you can tell them about your latest project and answer their questions. They may even ask for a partial or a full!
10. Conference food. Okay, this may be the least exciting part of the weekend, but it’s usually plentiful and between meals and snacks, more than you need, especially since you’re spending most of your time sitting on your a..ah, posterior…in those fantastic workshops.
11. Swag bags. Books, bookmarks, trading cards, pens, keychains, postcards, enough to take your suitcase over the airline’s weight limit. There’s always UPS or Fedex or good old USPS. Good thing I’m driving to Dallas.
12. Trading tables. Bring books that didn’t quite make it onto your keeper shelf and pick up a few more that might.
13. Booksignings. Meet your readers, sign books and have a great time. Part of the proceeds at Dreaming in Dallas go to charity. What could be better?
What conference are you going to next? I’d love to hear all about it. You might convince me to go!
Revisions are done on the second book in my Highland Talents series, Highland Seer! I sent them back to my editor on Friday, so I’m hopeful that Highland Seer gets into the queue for a fall release, and that I have a new cover to debut soon.
In the meantime, here’s another snippet from Highland Seer. This follows soon after last week’s snippet. Enjoy!
The Lathans have found a clan in trouble. There aren’t many fighting-age men left, and no one to train the younger lads. Donal is determined to find a solution to this problem, but he’s got his work cut out for him. The half-trained young man who is as close to a master of arms as the MacKyrie’s have finds Donal and Bram working with the younger lads and takes offense. Donal challenges him to show his stuff, but Micheil isn’t inclined to treat it as a demonstration.
Enjoy my Six Sentence Sunday Snippet!
Micheil growled an oath and shoved through the crowd into the circle. “They’re too young to take up fighting,” he argued. “No one would accost them.”
“Were those lads on the whisky wagon too young to be waving their dirks at brigands armed with claymores, then?”
That stopped Micheil in his tracks. He drew his weapon.
I’m so excited! I signed the contract last week for the second book in my Highland Talents series, Highland Seer! This past week I worked on revisions, which I plan to return to my editor in the next two or three days so that Highland Seer can get into the queue for a fall release.
The Lathans have found a clan in trouble. There aren’t many fighting-age men left, and no one to train the younger lads. Donal is determined to find a solution to this problem, but he’s got his work cut out for him.
Enjoy my Six Sentence Sunday Snippet!
Donal had collected sticks and wooden swords lying about in the dirt. He gave one to each lad, paired each lad with another, then ordered, “Show me what ye can do.”
Their enthusiasm for sparring didn’t surprise him, but their lack of skill did.
“Do ye think to defend yerselves or yer mates like that?”
The lads stopped what they were doing and stared at him, wide-eyed. “Aye,” a brave one answered him. “We’ll defend our clan to the death.”
“Then die ye will, laddie, unless ye learn how to fight.”
I’m taking a week off from Thursday Thirteen. Yes, it’s true. But I have a really, really good reason.
I’m in revisions on book 2, Highland Seer!
While I work on that, I have a job for you. What topics would you like to see me explore in future Thursday Thirteen posts? As always, keep it clean, please. But have some fun. Your idea might be just the thing to go viral, so give it some thought and comment on this post.