I got back from my latest Texas trip just in time to attend the local writers' conference. It was a packed house with many regulars plus new writers and illustrators who were attending for the first time.
What a great opportunity to network and hear the latest happenings from agents, editors, and writers. It's great to hear what they like to read and why. I came away with a list of new titles of books that intrigued me. To start off (because I'm currently working on my own historical fiction novel), I'll be reading I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith and Dark Triumph by Robin LeFevers. I'm also reading The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle because its theme sounds similar to my own Can You See Me Now? They should keep me busy for the next few weeks (when I'm not writing/revising my own work).
This year's keynote address by Karen Cushman really resonated with me not only because I am a big fan of hers, but because I could relate to her own writing experience. It was good to hear that I'm not the only one who doesn't always follow the rule of writing for a certain length of time every day even if it's just completing an exercise. I feel much better about spending my writing time working on my own projects rather than just writing for the sake of writing. I also believe that reading as much as possible helps improve my own writing and that I shouldn't limit myself to writing only what I know but opening up my horizons by exploring new areas that challenge me to think, see, and write from a different perspective.
Great job Judi Gardiner and Sue Ford.