|Eric and me at the 2010 ACFW Gala|
This is truly one of the highlights of my year. And Tuesday I was reminded why I can't imagine missing ACFW.
I have a proposal I'm beefing up for ACFW. It's already good, but I really want to push it to great. The problem? I was absolutely stymied. Eric and I had talked around it. He's a great researcher and reads enough to really be an asset in brainstorming, yet I couldn't quite get traction.
So I texted a couple writing friends. Jenny Jones had already spent a lot of time on the proposal, but volunteered to help with brainstorming. Then Tricia Goyer said, sure she'd help me brainstorm. And at conference Colleen Coble and I will squeeze in a few minutes to brainstorm even more layers. Here's why that's so cool!
1) All of us are competitors in different ways. So wouldn't common sense say don't help each other?
2) Tricia and I write the same time period. Not only that, we both have ideas surrounding the same general topic. Still she helped me, and I'd help her in an instant. Then after 40 minutes on the phone brainstorming my book, she emailed with more ideas.
3) Colleen actually called me over the weekend with an idea she got for me while researching a story she's going to write. This isn't the first time she's done that.
This is truly reflective of my experience in Christian fiction. We rejoice with each other. We help each other. We truly feel like a family. These three ladies are only three examples I could hold up of the close friendships and the way we truly root for each other. Last year, I think I was more excited than Jenny (she was stunned) when she won two incredibly well-deserved Carol awards at the ACFW Gala. Colleen is a huge part of why I write. And Tricia mentored me from a distance by letting me look over her shoulder as she wrote four or five books. That's priceless.
And that's why I love Christian publishing!
(P.S. That book we worked on? It's the one I'm writing right now -- will release in February 2014. More details after I sign the contract!)