I'm in Dallas for the National Romance Writers Conference. It's always a great week to reconnect with old friends and to meet new ones. I flew in from Atlanta on Monday, checked into the hotel and had a relaxing night. I spent Tuesday with over 100 members of the Mystery and Suspense Chapter of RWA, also known as the Kiss of Death Chapter! The officers put together a fantastic program each year with workshops and hands-on programs by experts in the crime field. This year Detective Michel Carroll from the Fort Worth Police Department walked us through a real Homicide investigation. Detective Manuel Reyes in the Cold Case Division filled us in on his speciality--robbery, crime scene search, burglary, homicide . . . okay, the guy's a expert in everything! I'm a medical technologist so I especially enjoyed hearing from Thomas Stimpson, the Director of the Forensic Division. In the afternoon, five search and rescue specialists gave us the "how to" on SAR. I filled a notebook with information that will probably show up in a book or two down the road. Really, it's a suspense writer's dream to be able to talk to the experts in all those fields. What amazes me is that they're always so happy to share the information and answer any questions the Kiss of Death gals and guys may have.
Tuesday evening the KOD chapter hosted a yummy buffet dinner, and we had the privilege of listening to Gayle Wilson speak. Gayle's one of my favorite people and a fantastic author. She's also the most gracious and welcoming person I know--a beautiful Southern Lady from Alabama and past president of RWA.
Today, I'm attending the Faith, Hope and Love Chapter's conference with talks from established inspirational authors, an editor/agent panel and luncheon with the presentation of the Touched By Love and Readers' Choice Awards. In the afternoon, we'll have our business meeting and worship service, which is always a special time as we lift up everyone at the conference. I always pray for my readers, so I'll be remembering you in my prayers this afternoon.
Any of you who have attended RWA know that Wednesday evening is the mega book signing for literacy with over 400 authors participating. The publishers donate the books and the proceeds benefit literacy. This will be my first time to sign at Nationals and I'm so excited!
I wrote for SOUTHERN LADY MAGAZINE for a number of years -- it's always been my favorite ladies' mag! This year, I'll be giving away ten one-year gift subscriptions to SOUTHERN LADY (each one is a $21 value) throughout the conference. If you're at Nationals, be sure to stop by my table at the book signing to enter the drawing for free subscriptions. Let me know if you're an Army wife and you'll receive a gift as well. In addition, I'll give subscriptions to those who enter my contest in the Goody Room.
Bright and early Saturday morning, I'm presenting a workshop with debut Steeple Hill authors Leigh Bale and Janet Dean. Steeple Hill senior editor Krista Stroever will join us as we discuss THE FIRST YEAR ON THE JOB: FROM "THE CALL" TO PUBLICATION. I feel so honored to be able to speak at the conference and I'm praying we get a good turnout despite the 8:30 AM time slot. If you're at the conference, I hope you'll be there to cheer us on!
I'll fill you in on more of the details next Wednesday. Be sure to stop by then and say hello!
Wishing you abundant blessings,