An overdue shout-out and THANK YOU to Heather Graham’s Writers for New Orleans. I was excited to attend this writers conference, held in the French Quarter over Labor Day weekend. Here’s a bit more detail, from the “thank you” email sent to the participants:
“We’re a unique little group, which came into being because of the devastation created in NOLA when the levees broke after Katrina. . . We’re warm, we’re small, we’re intimate. And, my biggest hope each year, is that we manage one task for you–and that’s to send you home happy and inspired.”
In my case, they definitely succeeded!
I was happy to meet and spend time with so many writers; and share thoughts and ideas on researching, publishing, and balancing all the demands of life with writing time.
Just a few of the writers there:
Heather Graham—the best-selling author is a native of Florida, but has a long-standing love for New Orleans. Indeed, several of her more than 200(!) romance, suspense, and paranormal novels are set here. I am so very grateful to Heather for her generosity, her time, and her dedication to great stories!
David Morrell—“Rambo’s Daddy,” David Morrell hit the scene in 1972 with his debut novel, First Blood. He is the author of over thirty books, thrillers set in different times and locales. His latest series explores Victorian-era London. And he has such thoughtful advice on writing. Here is something I heard him say in a session (that I later looked up and pulled from his website): “Before beginning each project, I write a letter to myself that asks the question: ‘Why is this book worth a year of my life?’ There needs to be something about a book’s theme, its research, and the way it is written that grabs me and won’t let go.”
And I was really thrilled to chat with my fellow, local, New Orleans writers; this was my first opportunity to meet most of them face-to-face. I’ve included links to their websites below:
Stella Barcelona – author of the Black Raven romantic thriller series
Colleen Mooney – author of the New Orleans Go Cup Chronicles
Liah Penn – mystery/suspense writer, and author of four novels, including the award-winning Pure Death
Alexandrea Weis – author of multiple paranormal, horror, and romance series, including the Magnus Blackwell series
My apologies to everyone I missed—I’m sure I’m leaving some folks out. I could fill pages and pages more about this event. But I have to stop somewhere.
So, to conclude, I’ll give an update on my own writing: the weekend of the conference, I juggled the sessions with running home and dedicating time to my second novel, The Trouble on Highway One. I was combing through some final edits, and hoped to be complete before the conference began, but, alas, it didn’t happen. I can now report that last Tuesday, September 4, I submitted a (hopefully, nearly,) final draft to my editor for one last review.
Happy and inspired, indeed!