conference prep, book two, and other september bits

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People have been saying “See you at conference next week.” Ahhhhh! So exciting!

Among other adjectives.

Though things have been quiet on this front, there’s lots going on. So for those of you who aren’t in the middle of conference prep and finalizing last-minute details–or realizing you leave in one week and just beginning–here’s an update on what’s going on in my writing world.

For my finished manuscript, I’ve written a one-sheet, a page of vital details about my book for editors’ and agents’ quick reference. It’s currently in the hands of my graphic designer best friend, waiting to be whipped into a visually-stunning masterpiece {No pressure, LJ :)} Along with it, I still have to piece together my proposal, of which I essentially have all of the components written. My synopsis and first chapters have already been edited and subjected to the blood, sweat, and tears of my critique partners. Now it’s time for the final sweep!

So, what’s this conference all about anyway?

It’s the convergence of the American Christian Fiction Writers and friends in the industry. For family and friends who have been praying, here’s what I’ll be doing at conference:

  • Finally seeing my wonderful writing friends and critique partners in person. This is what I’m most excited about! PS: More and more people are participating in our pre-conference Mix and Mingle if you want to “meet” the lovelies who are going. I’m excited to see what happens when this bunch gets together. The stories I’ve heard are legendary!
  • Meeting some of my favorite authors…or standing in the corner trying to muster the nerve to talk to them. But most likely geeking out, speaking way too fast, and posting lots and lots of pictures on Facebook. In the words of the infamous Smalls, “Don’t be a goofus. Don’t be a goofus.” I’m trying to prepare myself now.
  • Discovering new favorite authors. There’s no hope whatsoever for my To-Be-Read pile.
  • Presenting my first manuscript to at least one editor and one agent, with whom I have scheduled appointments. Somehow I know God has other unscheduled, less scripted opportunities planned. People I know have met their agents at dinner, in the hallways, at the bar after conference activities are finished for the evening, etc. I’m told to expect the unexpected, which is a conundrum for my predisposition. But I’m working on it.
  • Attending classes led by published authors and industry pros. There are classes on writing, editing, marketing, working with agents. I’m excited to bust out my inner Hermione Granger where she’s actually useful 🙂
  • Finding out the results of the Genesis competition. There’s a gala next Sunday night where we will all be dressed to the nines and the Genesis finalists will be announced. To be honest, I already feel like a winner just for hitting send on that competition. It’s already brought me so many opportunities and connected me with wonderful new writing friends.
  • Praying for peace and God’s will over my friends’ work and my work. That God would press the override button on my goals and expectations and guide me in the right direction that will accomplish His will and give Him the glory.

Yes, this conference has the ability to shape the direction of my writing career. But first and foremost, it’s an opportunity to have fun and learn a lot about the craft and industry that I love!

And what of my second manuscript?

I can’t end this post without talking about my second manuscript. Though I never know how much detail to divulge about a story in this avenue, all I can say is that I’m really excited about it. I’ve had to pull myself away from it to make sure I’m preparing my pitches for my first manuscript.

The important details: the main character is a blogger suffering from PTSD, OCD, and a general desire to control everything because of a tragic accident that happened when she was in high school. Her life, work, church, etc. is all online where she can control everything, project a much more put-together version of herself–and hide behind her keyboard. That changes when her employer forces her to become a brand ambassador for a prominent restaurant family in town, specifically, to promote their party boy son’s new restaurant. The theme of the story is healing and that many aspects of growth involve a daily process or battle or decision. I love it!

Oh, one more thing? This is the actor I’d pick to play my main character’s love interest:

Happy September, friends! It’s going to be a good one!

What are your goals for this month? Any fun (or potentially bucket-list-fulfilling) plans?

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