I thought I'd write about some authorly stuff because it seems like this part of my life has been very active this month. (This is a picture of Lifted's page in the summer 2010 Simon & Schuster catalog. Looks great, huh?)
About a week and a half ago, I was invited to participate in an editor's retreat at a professor's home in Orem, Utah. What was different about this gathering was you had to be a nationally published children's book author or illustrator to attend. Ruth Katcher from Egmont USA came from NYC to talk about the children's book publishing industry and after mini-presentations by Utah authors Mette Ivie Harrison, Kristyn Crow, and Carol Lynch Williams, Ruth let us know what she thought about the first few pages of our works in progress. It was really exciting to get a sneak peek at the manuscripts such talented authors were working on, and everybody's feedback--whether from an experienced editor or an experienced writer--on the pages I shared was priceless.
Soon after, I heard back from my literary agent on the 3 book proposal ideas I'd sent her earlier in March. She thought my paranormal romance (YA) was most promising and had some great ideas for it. So, as you can imagine, I'm busy reworking the synopsis and writing those first couple of make it or break it chapters.
I've also been busy presenting lately. My sons' elementary school invited me to present an inspirational and humorous talk I call "Imagine the Possibilities!" Shortly after, I was invited to participate in a Salt Lake City charter school's literacy night, which was especially fun because I bumped into a couple of old friends who now have children who go to that school. Then I was supposed to present "The Path to Publication" at a university's writers' conference, but due to some strange conflicts, they canceled. Oh well, now I have a great presentation just waiting to be delivered elsewhere! Next I had another unexpected phone call. Each year, the sixth graders at Valley Elementary put on a Serve to Save dinner, where they raise an average of $6,000 for local, national, and international charities. Their keynote speaker canceled last minute, so they wondered if I could step in. So I did. On Thursday night, I spoke about the importance of service, and I have no idea how it went, but I was honored to have been asked. Then, yesterday I also had a speaking engagement, this time at the League of Utah Writer's spring conference. I did a workshop on pitches and since people were taking notes and participating, I think it went pretty well.