Friday, March 25, 2011

Springtime and Fiction Fest 2011

I live in Maine, just a little south of Bangor. We still have quite a bit of snow on the ground here, unlike other more southern parts of the state. Imagine my surprise this morning to see daffodil and crocus buds peeping out of the ground in the tiny patch of my garden not covered in snow! It's not even April yet, so I'm very excited to see the signs that winter is over. The not so exciting signs of springtime in Maine are the flooding rivers and muddy walkways. Not to mention the muddy floors. I can't wait to see the flowers blooming in a few weeks.

Maybe it's because I was born in May, but I've always found spring to be my favorite time of year. The snow is melting away, revealing all the imperfections it has hidden all winter, and then you start to see budding leaves and flowers everywhere. It's a new birth every year. In some ways I feel sorry for people who live in parts of the world where there aren't four seasons. They don't get to feel the excitement of seeing flowers poking out of the ground next to a snowbank and know it's a sign the long winter is almost over. Of course in the middle of the winter when it seems like spring will never come I really wish I were one of those people!

This spring I'm lucky enough to have my first book, Past Destinies,  published. That is certainly a birth! For all who helped to make it happen I want to thank you. Last spring I attended the Connecticut chapter of Romance Writers of America's Fiction Fest, which they have every year. It was my first RWA conference and I had no idea what to expect. I had no idea you could pitch your book to editors or agents. I just knew it would be a great way to meet other authors and get some tips on improving the craft. I had several copies of synopsis and first chapters of my books printed out and ready to give to anyone who might show an interest. It didn't take long to find out that was not something expected of authors attending. I'm sure I had a few indulgent smiles sent my way! The best part about the conference was that I had two requests for more information on my book, Past Destinies. I know those requests are what gave me the confidence I needed to again pitch it at the next conference where it was picked up by Lyrical Press. I knew my writing was good enough, I just needed someone to give me a chance.

So this year I plan to attend Fiction Fest again. This years speaker is one of my favorite writers, Eloise James. She's one of those authors for me whose book I buy as soon as I see a new one. I love her! I'm also looking forward to seeing some friends I made last year and have the excitement of telling them about my first sale. The best part is being around 'my' kind of people. Writers!