Tuesday, September 22, 2009

All about the ACFW Conference

Boy, where do I begin?

First, allow me to introduce my lovely roommate Kathy Cretsinger. If you click on the image, it will take you to her blog. Kathy was such an encouragment to me. Love you, Kathy! xxx Okay, it was supposed to take you to her link, but it's not working. So, here it is: http://www.kattscribbles.blogspot.com/.

I had an absolutely wonderful time at the ACFW Conference. It was exciting to meet so many of my cyber friends! I already felt close to ACFW members, but even more so now.

I'll get down to the nitty-gritty. Here's what happened to me at conference:

ABOUT B&H: I met with Julie Gwinn (Karen Ball's partner and marketing manager for B&H; for those that don't know, it'd be a dream come true to have Karen Ball as my editor) and she asked for a FULL of "The Master's Wall." I just happened to have a printed out copy that I made for the Donald Maass workshop and asked if she'd like to have it, or if she'd prefer I email it. She was very excited and said she wanted the hard copy. I also told her I had the first six chapters of the second book and asked if she'd like to have those as well. She said yes! So, she now has a hard copy of my full manuscript--she took it with her to her appointments during the conference, so I think she was reading it there.

Anyway, I explained that this is the first book to a two book series, and she asked if I could make a third because they only do three book series'. I said "yes," while inside I was begging God for the story! So, I'm supposed to send her a two paragraph description of the third book. Well, Saturday night after praying, God gave me an idea! It's a story I've wanted to write for years, but didn't because I was busy with my current WIPs. It's amazing how God works.

Pray Julie loves my story! I've been working on a description of the second and third book. I also need to revamp my proposal. It has to sell all three books. Laurie Alice has been a HUGE help in showing me how to do that. Thank you, Laurie Alice! xxx

So, PRAY! Don't pray that she likes my story, pray that she LOVES it! LOL

By the way, B&H has some awesome book trailers.


I met with Sue Brower who requested to meet with me via my agent. She really likes my story and my writing. Her only concern is being able to sell this to the publishing board. She made some suggestions for what I should add to my proposal, so I'm going to do that. After that, when the time is right (could take up to a year, she said), she'll approach the publishing board with it.


I spoke to Kim Moore who asked for a full from my agent (this happened before the conference). We were supposed to try and meet at the conference. I met with her in the dining room. She didn't remember who I was or my book. I couldn't get an appointment with her, so I never really had a chance to remind her about my story, etc. I don't blame her for not remembering. There are too many to keep track of. But I still introduced myself to her and we had a nice brief chat.


I spoke with Charlene Patterson from Bethany House. She said she loved my book and my writing (she was a judge for the historical fiction category in the Genesis; my story was a finalist; she was very enthusiastic about it, so much so, I was shocked; I hardly had a chance to say a word during my pitch), but she said it wasn't "right" for Bethany House because their biblical fiction authors are Jannette Oake and some other guy I don't remember. She encouraged me to find another publisher, and if I had anything else, to keep them in mind.

It was encouraging, but disappointing at the same time.


I heard from someone that went to their late-night chat that they will start publishing Biblical Fiction in two years.

My novel isn't a Bible story, doesn't have Bible characters, nor do I use miracles to solve difficult plot issues, but because it falls in first century Rome, it falls under the Biblical Fiction category. Ugh.

So, that's everything for now. Time to get back to work on my proposal. Please pray I do a good job on it. Honestly, I'm comfortable writing fiction, but this aspect of "selling" is my weakness.


  1. Thanks for the great blog telling of your experiences at the conference. I think many of us can relate that we love to write our stories and fall in love with our characters. Then they want us to sell our babies? How dare they!

    I'm trying to tell myself that if I can write a novel, I can do what it takes to sell it to an editor, and do what it takes to market it. Of course, I have to keep telling myself. I need a new mantra: I love marketing. I love marketing. I loveee marketing.

    You have come a long way toward seeing your books in print. It will happen and it will be a three book deal!

    God is good.

    A J

  2. Sandi, do you remember how God quickly gave you the idea for a third book? Well, this very same God can help you market your series! Let's not pigeon-hole Him, okay? :-)

    You've set your goal, reached for your dream, now all that's left to do is grab it and run! You're a success in the making, young lady. Don't forget it!


  3. I loved hearing your recap of all of your editor experiences! Wow, you're getting some great leads!! I'm sure that one of them will work! It was great meeting you! Blessings on your journey!

  4. I'm so sad that I didn't get to see you and Kathy at the conference. I didn't register for the actual conference, just the banquet, plus I was late getting in - not until Friday night. I did see your name and pic on the powerpoint screen during the Genesis! I craned my neck for you but couldn't find you. Maybe you were behind me. :(

  5. Rhonda, thank you for your encouraging words. You're right! I won't pigeon-hole Him! Thank you for telling me that. :-) I needed it.

    AJ, I love marketing. I love marketing. I love marketing! LOL It's good that you're thinking that way. You're on the right track.

    Jody, it was GREAT to meet you too! And CONGRATS on your contract! For those that don't know, Bethany House offered this great writer a contract! Whooo, hoooo! xxx

    Christine! I didn't know you were there! You HAD to have seen me without realizing it. I sat right up front and center. Whew. It was hot there!

  6. ACFW was awesome. Kathy thinks the world of you too.

  7. There are a few people I wanted to connect with and sadly, didn't meet them all. But I am happy to have met Sandi in person. What a treat. I have the pleasure of critiquing Sandi's WIP and it's wonderful. I look forward to the day it's in print on the store shelf, like her previous (and now contracted) stories.

  8. Congrats on all the great leads. Keep writing the story that's burning in your heart and let God open the right doors in the right time. He's pretty good at the details. :)

  9. Sharon, it was so great to meet you at the conference! And you too, Debra! It was so fun to meet the "winner" of The Blue Enchantress on my blog! Speaking of, if you don't receive it by next week (assuming you haven't gotten it), let me know. I'll send out a reminder to MaryLu. She's a busy lady. :-) By the way, I don't have any contracted books yet. And Candee, RUNNER-UP of the Genesis in the Women's Fiction category, thanks for dropping by! Yes, God is good at the details. When your name was called for the Genesis, I knew He was taking care of details. :-)