Writing Conferences – The Ups and Downs

I’ve been extremely quiet lately. There’s a reason. I attended the Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc’s (OWFI) conference May 3-5 in Norman, OK. Wow. What a rush! Not only did I meet with my first line editor, but also the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Wild Rose Press. I hung out with them on Friday night after the Famous Author’s Banquet during a Buzz Session.

Oh! Speaking of the banquet, I hit the ‘big screen’ by announcing the publication of my books last year, GRAVE SECRETS and ROMANCE-THE SPICE OF LIFE. DSCN0670_706

DSCN0673_709I wasn’t alone, by all means! Lots of OWFI members had books released last year. Our pictures were displayed along with the book cover and a short blurb about the story. Each author stood when their name was called by Alaska Yup’ik Storyteller Jack Dalton. Then we waved (enthusiastically, I might add) as the audience cheered us on. DSCN0674_710My good friend, Kathlyn Smith, did her best to get a good picture of me. Wasn’t meant to be, though. *s*

I also got to hang out with friends from the West Texas A&M Writers Academy as well as others from Amarillo, including: Jodi Thomas, Linda Broday, Phyllis Miranda. Jodi was one of the speakers, and let me tell you, she told us in no uncertain terms what it takes to make it. Yet, here I sit. Writing a blog and not writing on my story. The good news is I came up with another storyline while there. Woot!

So all in all, I got my money’s worth out of this conference. Will I go back in the years to come? You betcha’! This year there were four other members of Smart Women Who… attending the conference. 931229_10151632008947456_1977057717_n[1] T.D. Hart, Jackie King, Kathlyn Smith, myself, and Susan Shay. I think everyone had a fantastic time.

What about you? Do you go to conferences? If not, why in the world not?! Even though you may come home exhausted—I know I did—it’s a great opportunity to connect with other writers, pitch your story to an editor or agent, reconnect with old friends and make a ton of new ones. How can you lose?

You can’t.


I’m going to piggyback Jackie’s post and talk about our party last Saturday. This was more than just a Christmas party…this was a gathering of kindred spirits. Women of like-minds who encourage and support each other.

We cry and hug if a tragedy befalls one of our families. We hold each other up if one of us receives a rejection.

We jump for joy when one of us receives a request from an editor or agent. And when one of us sells for the first time, we like to celebrate in style and eat cake. Here’s a picture of Kathlyn Smith holding her 1st Book cake with Lynn Somerville and myself beaming with joy. Co-Authors Linda, Kathlyn & Lynn All three of us have stories in the anthology, Romance – The Spice of Life published by DIVA, an imprint of AWOC.COM Publishing.

I should’ve gotten pictures of us playing dirty Santa…at least of Ashlynn Pearce scheming to get the beautiful handmade tree ornament that Jan Warren brought. Ashlynn wound up taking it home, too. (The little sneak!) 🙂

Here are Rhenna Morgan, Lynn Somerville & T.D. Hart deep in thought about a plotting issue, no doubt.

Holly, Lynn, Jen & Susan. Wonder what they're plotting.

Marion Grace and Susan Shay are always smiling.

Marion & Susan

I’m sorry I didn’t get a picture of everyone, but after an afternoon spent with these wonderful women, my well has been replenished and I can write again. I’ve cheered on my writing sisters and received the same from them. I’m so thankful to be a part of this talented circle of women, and I think each and everyone in the group would say the same.


Romancing the Spice

Terminally Curious here.

Did you read Lynn’s post yesterday? She used her blog day to let us know that their new book IS AVAILABLE! (Woohoo!)

I thought her commercial was great!

With everything happening in the publishing business these days, there’s little to no promotion from the publisher for new(ish) authors. If the authors don’t tell us about their great new books, how will we learn about them?

Romance The Spice of Life is series of novellas, written by a group of fantastic writers.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

Here’s what Amazon has to say about it–

 A collection unlike any other, readers will enjoy this compilation of six
diverse novellas; set in varying eras and situations, yet all have one thing in common: Romance.

Each author offers her own slant on affairs of the heart, with a twist. Romance readers should find something to satisfy any
appetite-suspense, historical, inspirational, paranormal, nostalgia or
contemporary, all delivered with a character-inspired recipe at the end.

Of course, I have a pile of questions I want to ask. How did they choose the authors? How long did it take to write it? Did one of them serve as editor? Are they going to have signings all together? How will they split the $$ at group signings?

Was there a boss author? A contract? Deadlines?

My questions go on and on, and since I don’t have answers, I won’t bore you with more of them. Maybe I can talk one or two or three of these writers into being interviewed so we’ll know all the answers.

How about it, ladies? Anybody want to spill the beans? (clears throat) fill us in?


Ever been to a potluck? Then you know it’s a fun opportunity to sample each lady’s best dish and trade recipes. Well that’s the idea behind Romance-the Spice of Life-An anthology of love in all its delicious manifestations. This book, written by six different authors, gives fans of Romance the chance to sample a variety of Romance genres: Suspense, Nostalgic, Inspirational, Paranormal, Historical, and Contemporary.

I’m thrilled to announce AWOC Publishing will release Romance-the Spice of Life in November!

Congratulations to my fellow contributors!

Shattered Promises by Linda Trout (Suspense)

Casanova Comes to Dinner by M. Carolyn Steele (Nostalgic)

Sips and Slices by Kathlyn Smith (Inspirational)

Getting it Right by Lynn Somerville (Paranormal)

Muskadine Love by Nita Beshear (Historical)

Family Feud by Gloria Teague (Contemporary)

And, finally, one more special congratulations to Kathlyn Smith. Sips and Slices is her debut novel. I’m so proud of you Kathlyn!