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If you read last week’s post, you will remember that +Cindy Huff, my guest blogger, stated that beneficial to attending a conference are
the connections you make with editors, agents, and fellow writers. I attended two days of the Write-to-Publish
Writers Conference in Wheaton, Illinois last week and do I have a story for
In my latest novel, I wanted Sonja
to invite some authors to her coffee shop. The idea was simple. Sonja could
have a local author or an author who had written about Door County visit the
shop and have a book signing.
I first thought I might make up
authors and books to highlight. Then I had the notion of researching to see if
I could find a real author to include. One of the first books that came up in
my search was A Door County Christmas. It is a collection of four Christian romance
novellas all set in Door County.
Hmmm… Sounds interesting so far. My
husband, filled with kringle and pastries made in the name of research happily ordered
the book for me. I contacted one of the four authors, +Cynthia
Ruchti, and told her my idea.
“I want to invite you to speak at
my fictional coffee shop in Door County,” I typed. The author checked out my
blog and agreed to let me include her in my book. Actually, her comment was
“This sounds like fun!”
Pretty cool, right? Well, it gets
better. As I checked her website I realized Cynthia Ruchti+ was scheduled to
lead worship at the Write-to-Publish conference. The very same conference I
planned to attend. The very conference I used to launch my writing career last
year. As it turns out, Cindy was the worship leader last year as well. I just
never made the connection.
Cynthia Ruchti and Me!
So I arrived on Wednesday morning.
I am standing in the hall when I see the guest speaker in my book arrive. As
she gets close I intend to introduce myself but instead she sees my name badge
and gives me a big hug. She led my critique group on Wednesday evening and we
had lunch together on Thursday afternoon. What fun. What is even more
interesting is that I think I nailed her bubbling personality in the pages of
my book. Cynthia Ruchti is a woman who loves the Lord and uses every fiber in
her being to share that love.
The fictional book signing was a
great success. Here is an excerpt from when Sonja first learns from Melissa
that the author has accepted the invitation.
not going to believe this, Sonja,” she called as she raced up the steps to what
Sonja called Shirley’s kitchen. “Remember when you told me to see if one of the
authors of A Door County Christmas would be available for the Pumpkin Festival next year?”
you going to say one of them will come next year?” Sonja answered with great
I don’t know about NEXT year, but Cynthia Ruchti can come THIS year!” Melissa
“This year? This October?” Sonja was
emailed me back and said it sounds like fun. She lives in Wisconsin. She and her
husband love Door County and as it happens she is not scheduled for anything
that week except for a women’s Bible study midweek so we need to look at the
calendar and send her some dates back!” Melissa was fairly dancing around the
kitchen balancing her laptop on one arm and poised to type with the other.
Yep, that is what I call making connections. By the way, as
I enter this revision stage I will let you in on a few changes my critique
group suggested. But that is for another day. See you next week.