Thursday, September 27, 2007

8th Annual Express Yourself...Authors' Conference

Tonight I am 'penning a Pennsylvania post' from the Sheraton Park Ridge Hotel in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. And yes, two days ago I was in Edmonton, Alberta. So how did I get here? Well, by plane, of course. :)

I am attending the 8th Annual Express Yourself...Authors' Conference, sponsored by Infinity Publishing. I was very honored when the Special Projects Director John Harnish asked me if I would take part on a panel, and since one of my goals is to give back to writers--particularly to new authors--I was thrilled. Plus, I've never been to PA before.

I left Edmonton yesterday morning very early. The flight was uneventful, with a stop in Minneapolis. Haven't been there either, although I didn't see much from the airport windows. :) When I arrived in Philly, I couldn't get over the heat. 90 degrees F. It was about 40 in Edmonton when I left.

Today's conference event was a writing workshop that covered self-editing, overcoming writer's block and much more. The day ended with a terrific buffet and our guest speaker Dave Lieber, an author and award-winning columnist for the Fort Worth Star Telegram. Dave encouraged us to "break the rules", something which I seem to not have a problem doing. :)

Tomorrow will be a full day and I'm looking forward to it. Conferences always give me ideas for writing and marketing, and anyone who knows me knows that I am always looking for creative and fun ways to market my books.

On Saturday I will be presenting at the conference--on 2 different panels. The funny thing is that I knew about one of them but had no idea about the other. I found out today that when I told Infinity Publishing that they could "use" me in any way that would benefit them and the attendees that they did just that. :) Good thing I love to talk about writing and marketing. I am really looking forward to being able to share some of the things that I have learned along my journey. So for any of you who are writers, I will put together some of my notes next week and post them on my site.

Also, as the Canadian Author Liaison for Infinity Publishing, my goal is to connect writers (especially Canadian writers) with one option for getting published--self-publishing. This has become a viable and acceptable method of publishing, especially since most traditional publishers accept less than 2% of manuscripts. Although my personal goal is to have all of my novels traditionally published (and I would be quite happy with one or more of the big New York houses), I recognize that there are different goals for every author. So if you're a writer looking to get published and you want to consider self-publishing, I invite you to check out Infinity Publishing, a company that really does have its authors' interests at heart.

For my dear readers, please know that I am always striving to learn more about my craft. There are always new things to learn. I write for 'me' in the beginning, because I have a story that needs to be told. But then I write for you--for every fan who has supported my work in the past and for every new one who discovers me. My goal as a suspense author is to challenge myself with writing a story that is sophisticated yet entertaining, suspenseful yet emotional, and always my best work with enough twists and turns to keep you on your toes. I hope you'll let me know when I succeed.

By the way, if you are in the Valley Forge area tomorrow and Saturday, please stop by the Sheraton Park Ridge Hotel and have the hotel come find me at Infinity's conference. Providing I am not in the middle of my panel, I would be happy to autograph a copy of Whale Song, The River or Divine Intervention. I have limited copies available.

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