ORACON. Ozarks Romance Writers Conference.
What a great time! This was my first writer's conference. As a matter of fact, I joined Ozarks Romance Authors and Sleuth's Ink mystery writers about a year ago. It was one of the better decisions I have made in my career.
It doesn't matter what your passion: knitting, quilting, drawing, or painting, join a group.
Just because the people in your family believe you are strange and obsessed with your hobby or career doesn't mean you are. There is nothing more enlightening and invigorating than a room full of people who share your dream.
Tattered Wings would never been published without the two groups I mentioned. They are nurturing, supportive and smart.
We started our weekend at Barnes and Nobel with a group of talented writers signing their works. They were the speakers for the conference the next day. Everyone came to see them. I had the pleasure of meeting David L. Harrison, who has written 89 children's books and is the Poet Laureate of Drury College. He came to meet the authors, as did dozens of others from the community and people who were merely browsing through the book store.
The evening ended with a tremendous dinner at the Flame in downtown Springfield and a chance to visit one on one.
It was an electric evening. Everyone had their guard down and told stories about their experiences. Laughter filled the room. My only regret is that I couldn't see it from a higher vantage point or talk to more people.
Saturday morning ORACON started. It was held at the University Plaza Hotel and Conference center.
We heard about traditional publishing, Indie publishing, backward plotting, and cover ideas, just to name a few. We had a query letter gong show which turned out to be funny and quite the learning experience.
I was thrilled when seasoned and successful writers dropped by and bought my books, The Adventures of Diggitty Dog and Tattered Wings. Another plus to the day was getting to know V. J.Goodin Schultz who sat next to me. I am currently reading V.J.'s anthology The Death of Big Foot and Other Tails. I recommend it.
Honestly, I have a list of books on my Kindle and on the edge of my desk by most of the members of the two groups I mentioned. I am reading them one by one and each day I am more impressed by the amazing gift for writing these folks have.
A special congratulations to Allison Merritt, Lisa Medley, SD Keeling, and Sara K Jordan for the awards they won at the conference.
I am probably forgetting someone. Let me finish by saying I am proud to be among you and proud of you.