As the John Denver song Rocky Mountain High begins… “He was born in the summer of his twenty-seventh year, Comin’ home to a place he’d never been before…” That’s what attending the very first American Christian Romance Writers Conference in 2002 was like for me. I came home to a group of people I’d never even met before. An insane, though wonderfully so–well, all except for Brandilyn Collins–group of about 87 people who had gathered for a weekend in Kansas City to talk about writing. I was in heaven! And didn’t know what on earth I was doing. But I learned.
I soaked up the fellowship and the knowledge. I joined a critique group (Hi to the other four gals who made up the original ACRW Crit Group #5, my fabulous critique partners Jeanne Marie Leach, Lisa Harris, Debbie Vogt, and Beth Goddard! Love and appreciate you, gals, for marking me up like you did! I learned so much from you.)
That’s also where I first met Deborah Raney, my writing critique partner. Deb and I are on book number twenty-one together now, I think, and we’re still going strong. I really appreciate the critique relationship we’ve developed over time–the trust and safety we have with each other. My books are so much better because of her.
In fact, the relationships I’ve developed since joining ACFW have made all the difference in my writing journey, as have the annual conferences. I’m not sure I’d be published without ACFW. I know I would’ve had a much harder time navigating this oftentimes lonely and difficult road without this organization, which makes me look forward to September all the more!
Deb and I will be teaching a class at the conference this fall, and we hope to see you all there. Deb’s an excellent teacher, and I promise to try my best not to mess you up too badly. Click here for more details on the conference.
And continued blessings,
A Lasting Impression, a Belmont Mansion novel, coming in November