We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.
This past weekend I attended the DFW Writers’ Conference. It was a wonderful experience, both for meeting people and learning good stuff.
Friday afternoon I met Jillian Dodd at the hotel where she and Tiffany White had a room together. As we visited, she made the comment it was a lot easier to find guys than women. When I asked her to explain, she said most guys just posted a photo of themselves on blogs and Twitter but that most women got all dolled up for their photos and then photoshopped them to make them even better. When you met them in public they often didn’t look exactly like their pictures.
Soon we went to the lobby to meet Jess Witkins and Julie Glover for supper. I knew both online, but I’d never seen either of them. They reversed Jill’s theory. Their pictures didn’t begin to do justice to either of these beautiful ladies.
She’s a down-home Southern girl, born in Tupelo, Mississippi, and now living in Starkville, Mississippi—but to hear her talk, you’d swear she was from New York. My ears don’t work fast enough to keep up with her. She’s a sweet lady, though, and very encouraging about self-publishing ebooks.
Why does Jess look so much better than I do? Never mind.
Jess, Tiffany & Julie
Kait & Jess
Saturday morning as I loitered with a cup of coffee, waiting for the opening session to start, I ran into Jenny Hansen in the hall. Jenny’s a rock star to me, and it was great to meet her.
As we began to assemble a table to sit together for the opening, we were joined by Kristen Lamb, Donna Collins Newton and Piper Bayard. Later Ingrid Schaffenburg joined us. I’ve known Kristen for some years, having run one writers’ group and started another one together, and I’ve known Ingrid for a while, but I’d never met Donna or Piper, and I was thrilled to meet both.
Piper, Jess & Jenny
Jenny, me & Jillian
How did Nigel get between these beauties – Donna & Ingrid?
These photos came from Jess, since I didn’t have my camera available. This was pretty much the group I ran around with for the weekend. Kristen and Kait were both presenters and weren’t always with us, but they would sorta come and go. I felt like I was in the presence of some pretty powerful writers.
James Rollins, who keynoted the conference, joined us Saturday night for supper and Sunday for lunch. Although he’s a big-time bestselling author, he acted like he was just one of us. Very down-to-earth and friendly. He was also an excellent speaker, both in his keynote address and in the classes he taught or served on a panel for.
Most of the classes I attended dealt with or touched upon self-publishing, since that’s an area of acute interest to me right now with my first book coming out in the next couple of weeks. Some of the agents are even beginning to change their views of the self-publishing world and epublishing in particular.
My first session Saturday morning was not directly related to publishing or even writing. It was a class on networking at conferences, presented by a beautiful young lady from Dallas named Brenna Smith.
Photo doesn’t do Brenna justice
Brenna really knew her subject, and I managed to get her to agree to present some of her ideas on my blog in the next couple of weeks. Look forward to that.
What conferences have you attended?
What were the high points of those conferences for you?
Every Wednesday and Friday one of our Life List Club members posts a blog on the LLC Website. Speaking of Jess Witkins, she’s featured today on that site.
After you comment on my post, be sure to come back here and click on the LLC Website so you can read hers also.
David N. Walker is a Christian father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years as a health insurance agent. Most of that career was spent in Texas, but for a few years he traveled many other states. He started writing about 20 years ago, and has six unpublished novels to use as primers on how NOT to write fiction. He is currently putting the finishing touches on his non-fiction Web Wisdom: Godly Thoughts and Inspiration from the Inbox and starting his new fiction work—a series of novellas set during the period from 1860 to 1880.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me at @davidnwalkertx