Waiting for our plane in the Bush International Airport, I overheard one woman say “Tamela.” That’s all, but that’s enough. In this business, we know that the only Tamela out there is Tamela Hancock Murray, literary agent.
I interrupted her conversation with her friend. “You two must be writers. Are you going to the ACFW Conference?”
They were. I was talking to Beth Wiseman, best-selling author of inspirational Amish novels, and Carol Voelkel, pre-pubbed and just as sweet as ripe peach.
And thus began one of the most wonderful weekends of my life. For those who read my post on the ACFW loop, this is also where MSB’s awakening began. This is where he discovered that my little corner of cyberspace is populated by some truly wonderful people.
I’ll pass by some of the bigger names right now, and just mention the “real” people, some I’ve known for years, some whose friendship I developed just before going to the conference, some whose friendship I acquired at the conference and hope to never lose.
After we landed, we took a shuttle to the hotel. Sitting at the back were Jodie Wolfe, Kathleen Kramer, and Dina Sleiman, all from Pennsylvania, and Mary Johnson, from Guam. I told them to wave at my husband, because he didn’t believe they existed. Really. He was convinced the only folks on the internet are cyberstalkers. They waved–and laughed, because they could relate.
First one of the CW crew I met was Chris Solaas. I sat with him in Jim Bell’s Early Bird Session. Let me tell you about Chris. I’m convinced his wife married him for his smile. It sweeps across his face, giving him a Hollywood dazzle. Add it to his expressive eyes, and you have either an impish kid with his hand in the cookie jar, or a version of Jack Nicholson’s Riddler. Someday, he’ll wind up in one of my books.
My husband and I had lunch with Dave and Cat Dyck, and MSB found a friend for life. They hung out together all weekend, and I could’ve visited with Cat until they threw us out of the Steak and Shake, but schedules didn’t allow. We did do a little sight-seeing, but I wasn’t fortunate enough to cross paths with her after Friday. However, God bless ’em, our husbands planned a visit for next year. Dave and Cat are coming to Texas, and we’re on their list of folks to visit!
Lisa Grace is my new marketing guru. Another spec writer, she has a book that’s all the rage–the Christian alternative to Twilight, and recommended by AOL for just that purpose. Angels in the Shadows is destined to be huge, and to a certain extent with that endorsement by AOL, it already is. She showed me her one-sheet and I couldn’t read it. My eyes were constantly drawn to her picture at the bottom, something her soon-to-be agent also discovered. Glamorous, mysterious, set deep in the woods, Lisa’s picture is perfect for her spec fiction. And she told me how to achieve that effect! For that alone, I’ll love her forever! But I also love her for the concrete ideas she gave me for marketing Give the Lady a Ride when it comes out in 2012.
Lynn Mosher and her husband made a special trip from Kentucky to visit us Saturday night. I don’t know what to tell you about Lynn that you don’t already know–she’s warm, compassionate, funny, and married to a top-notch comedian. The man could send Mona Lisa into a fit of giggles! Seated at our table in Weber’s Grill (and I hope I don’t forget anyone) were Carl and Sheila Hollinghead, Tamera Kraft, Ruth Mills, Becky Minor, Suzanne Hartmann, Lisa Grace, and Chris Solaas and his wife and daughter. Billy and Carl hit it off and chatted the entire time on one end of the table while Lynn, Lisa, Sheila, Tamera and I ran through a variety of topics at the other end. Oh yeah, and the food was good too!
This post is already too long, so I’ll have to fill you in on some of the other events and folks I met later, but I’ll close with this: I don’t care how tired I was, how numb my brain got, how sore my legs were, I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything in the world. I feel like I’ve made some life-long friends, and even though they’re all relegated back into cyberspace, I’ll never forget how special they made me feel–especially the CW group.