It is hard to come back and face reality after spending 4 nights in a luxurious bed, being waited on hand and foot by hotel staff and ACFW members, eating my fill of good food and even better desserts, and--not the least--seeing very good friends in person. I love being surrounded by people who love Christian fiction as much as I do.
The 2007 ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) conference was one of the best with an attendance over 500. I met with over 30 authors in appointments, and the quality of what I saw this year is even better than in past years. If I had to say no to reviewing anything, it mainly had to do with the subject not fitting Barbour's needs.
The Late-Night Chat that Susan and I did turned out fun. "Teaching" always scares me, but since this was a Q&A format, it required very little preparation and worry about presentation. But if I were to sign up to actually teach next year, what topic would you like to hear me address? Just curious.
Congratulations to all the Barbour authors who won Book of the Year awards. You can see them here.
Also congrats to Marcia Gruver and Cynthia Hickey on their contracts. Tracie Peterson started the tradition of having Heartsong Presents offer an unpublished author a contract at the ACFW conference, and I'm so glad we could continue that this year with Barbour contracts.
Dinner at Truluck's was scrumptious. I highly recommend their food when you are next in Texas. I believe they have 3 locations in the Dallas area. They treated our large, noisy group very well. (Authors pictured are Ramona Cecil, Kim Vogel Sawyer, Becky Melby, and Anita Higman.)
A highlight of the conference for me and many of our Heartsong authors was in getting to see Nadine Smith from Kansas. She is a Heartsong member from the beginning who has all the books. She even made the trip to Ohio in 1998 when we had a small homecoming event for authors and readers. She had her daughter drive her down to Dallas just for the large book signing event at the conference. She was in heaven to get to meet so many of the authors she loves to read.
Here is another picture for you. Mama Ruth (mother of Brandilyn Collins) and agent Chip MacGregor at the awards banquet.
It was nice coming back to the office and finding JoAnne at her desk. She was jumping back into work with full enthusiasm, even though it was her birthday.
Welcome back also to Lauralee Bliss, who just finished hiking the entire Appalachian Trail with her son. It took 6 and a half months that are documented here.