As with last year the major morning tracks and the afternoon workshops offer teaching on every level of the craft--beginner to professional. I'm totally jazzed to take a non-level morning class this year taught by Mark Mynheir--police officer and SWAT team member, suspense author and all-around good guy. Oh, and he does a mean rap, too. I still call him CopDiddy. Mark is teaching a class on police procedure--a must for all those mystery/suspense authors, published or unpublished. I've heard him teach a workshop before, and he's terrific.
The keynote speaker this year is Angela Hunt. I roomed with Angie at Mount Hermon. She put a snake in my bed. But that is a story for another day, and besides, evil Deb Raney is to blame for it. (And no doubt this feud shall continue on to ACFW.)
So--back to the conference. Lots of great teaching. Lots of great fellowship and worship. ACFW is a family. If you're a newbie to the conference, never fear. You'll feel right at home in no time. Cara Putman and I run a thingy for first-timers to the conference. Folks are put on an email loop and can send us questions for about a month before the conference. We answer the questions by sending to the whole loop. Then we have an hour together at the beginning of the event. By the time newcomers go through all that, they're well prepared and far less nervous.
I'll be emceeing the conference this year, which I look forward to. Around those responsibilities, I tend to spend a lot of time in the prayer room. Conference attendees, do take the time to come into the prayer room just to focus now and then. There will be people to pray with you if you want, or you can be by yourself in a corner. I've seen amazing answers to prayer in the ACFW prayer room, and the answers continue throughout the year. After my prayer times with people, for the whole next year and beyond I'll receive emails from folks telling me what God has continued to do in their lives. Awesome stuff. But then, He's an awesome God.
We'll be having a public book signing at the Mall of America. We're taking over one of their main areas in the mall, complete with book signing tables for dozens of authors and a Jumbotron of running video. If you know anyone in the Minneapolis area, send 'em to the event.
When you come to the ACFW conference, you will:
Learn a lot
Laugh a lot
Love a lot
Lunch a lot (that is, eat)
Link up a lot (networking with authors, editors and agents), and
Look a lot (there's all sorts of cool people to watch)
See ya there!
(Anybody wanna put a snake in Deb Raney's bed for me?)
With my mom, Ruth Seamands (would you believe she's 91?) at the 2007 awards banquet.
Gina Holmes and --who's the other gal? -- playing me and Deb Raney in a hilarious skit poking fun at the Advisory Board Members. I couldn't get this photo any bigger. Gina's shirt reads: "Breathe" (with a checked box) and "Don't breathe" (box unchecked). She was wearing a seatbelt belt.
The Belle and Baron of the Banquet: Mom in her traditional Indian sari (my parents were missionaries in India), and Chip MacGregor in his family kilt.