This week I get to run away from home and do one of my favorite things: attend a readers’ luncheon and host my own author table. I’ll be at the first annual Barbara Vey Readers Luncheon in Oak Creek, WI on April 10th. Thirty five authors will be in attendance and over 200 readers have purchased tickets.
As an avid reader, I wish I’d known years ago that these types of events existed. If you’ve never been to one, you buy a ticket and eat lunch with an author. Usually the author has some small gift for you at the table–a book, chocolate, anything. During lunch, you chat with your author, ask questions, and pretty much get to know each other. After lunch you’re treated to a talk by the keynote speaker, usually a very well-known and popular author. This luncheon has Heather Graham as the keynote.
In addition to all the other fun, these events typically involve lots and lots of raffle baskets donated by the authors, their publishers, local businesses, etc. You would not believe how extravagent these things get. Personally, if I wasn’t attending as an author, I’d be investing in raffle tickets! My basket contains a Kindle, an e-copy of my book, The Doctor’s Mission, and other fun things.
Yep, if I’d know events like this were out there, I’d have gone in a heartbeat. If you think something like this would be fun, google “readers lunch” and see what you get. Now, for this one, ticket sales are closed. However, I have one ticket to give to a reader who attends the FREE event Monday night (April 9th). You can come out and see myself, Dianna Love, Trish Milburn, and Marjorie Liu at the Tri City Bank, 2115 10th Avenue South Milwaukee, hosted by the local public library. (more details at www.barbaravey.com) We’ll have a panel discussion, chat, and sign books.
Over the last couple of months, I’ve been redecorating. I hired a young woman whose work I’d seen before and challenged her to help me make a few changes, including finding a place to call my own for writing. The caveat was that we had to use as many things I already owned as possible. Can I get an “Amen” to being budget conscious?
One of my favorite results came when we took the front living room, a room that when originally designed had too many openings to easily accommodate a sofa, and turned it into a writing palace. We moved bookcases from other rooms, kept the rug, and traded other furniture around so I could use a small dresser to store my mailing supplies. I highly recommend this type of “repurposing” the things you already own when you are looking to make a change. The only new things in my office are the paint, the large monitor, the curtains that my friend Gail made for me, and the cubes on the bookshelves for organizing the storage.
Best of all, we got my favorite desk out of storage and I now had a place to use it. I originally purchased the William and Mary style desk you see in the picture above when I owned a 100+ year-old Victorian and the huge rooms dwarfed it. When we moved into this house, I couldn’t hardly get it in through the doors. BTW, did you notice that the desk style and my characters’ names in The Doctor’s Mission are the same? Coincidence?
Disclaimer: The walls look green in this first picture, but they aren’t. don’t ask. There is a reason why I normally leave the photography to my daughter and son-in-law!
So, where I used to be a bit of a house gypsy concerning my writing space, I now have a completed office that I love. Apparently, so do my dogs. In this rare photo where they are both out from under the desk, I managed to get a shot of the office dogs doing what they do best.
Sleeping and keeping me company.
I wouldn’t mind having you guys keep me company too. Just awake and on the blog, not the rug. Tuesdays are my new Heart and Home posts. And yes, I know it’s Monday, I’m just putting it out there a day early to give folks time to discover it exists. On Tuesdays I’ll share remodeling photos, pics from our Sunday suppers, or just anything related to family and the things I love.
To encourage you to stick around and visit, I’ll have the occasional contest for leaving a comment. Today’s giveaway is something I feel suited to Monday’s theme of Hearth and Home: Debbie Macomber’s Knit Together: Discover God’s Pattern For Your Life, a set of 3 cd’s read by Sonja Lanzener.
So tell me, have you redecorated, repurposed, or even rearranged in your home or a particular room? Is there a particular item that you own that you’ve found a new use for in your life? Or do you just have pets that are underfoot? Leave me a comment to be entered. I’ll draw a winner on Wednesday morning. Entries accepted until Nov. 8th at 11:59 p.m. EST. No prize subsitutions. One entry per person, per household. Void if not permitted in your state. US entries only.
I managed to accomplish exactly one thing off my to-do list yesterday.
One out of twenty-three.
One of the five items I highlighted as essential.
But, it was a big ONE for me. I created, formatted and posted the excerpt from my first book, The Doctor’s Mission! Let us pause for the infamous Snoopy Dance.
And to really celebrate, I’m giving away books and more for those who take the time to read chapter one.
TWO lucky winners will each receive the following: 1. A set of Love Inspired Books consisting of one Love Inspired, one Love Inspired Suspense, and, of course, one Love Inspired Historical. 2. Your choice of a $10.00 Starbucks, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble gift card. 3. Small gift bag of jungle-inspired and author-related items.
Then come back to the blog here and leave me a comment about the excerpt. Any comment that reasonably indicates that you actually read the excerpt. Solely my discretion to decide if you did or not
Deadline to enter is Saturday, September 10, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. EST. I’ll randomly draw two names from all my comments on Sunday, September 11, 2011 and announce the winners in the comments here and in a separate, new blog post. Winners will have until Tuesday, September 13, 2011 to claim their prize as directed in the winner’s post. I reserve the right to reaward any unclaimed prizes! No purchase is necessary to enter this contest. Void if your state or country prohibits this type of contest by law. (Sorry, have to say that). Limit one entry per person, per email, per household during the contest period UNLESS obtained by the following means:
1. Refer a friend and have them leave your name in the comments. One extra entry for each referral.
2. Go “LIKE” my Facebook fan page and leave me a note about this contest on my wall. Don’t worry, if you already LIKE my page AND leave me a comment here, you still get FB credit. www.facebook.com/debbiekaufmanfanpage
3. Refer your friends to LIKE my Facebook fan page and have them leave your name in their comments on my wall. You both get the extra entry! No limit on referalls.
4. Sign up for my newsletter here: www.debbiekaufman.com/newsletter. (P.S. this also puts you in the running for an e-reader when I reach 1000 subscribers! Bonus!)
5. Refer a friend who signs up for my newsletter and lists you under referred by.
6. TEN EXTRA ENTRIES: Pre-order the book online and forward me a copy of your receipt at firstname.lastname@example.org (Hey, if you’re going to read it anyway, why not get extra credit?) I promise to take your name ONLY from your receipt and delete the rest. Prefer to mail a redacted receipt? It must arrive at my designated address no later than Sept. 10,2011. Not responsible for lost or late mail.
Mail your receipt along with your name, address, and contact email to:
Debbie Kaufman, 1423 Southworth Dr. Griffin, GA 30224
It was pretty clear to me after reading all those missionary accounts that I simply had to create a missionary romance in the Liberian jungle. It was also very clear to me that this was a big departure since I had my writing and reading roots in suspense. Suddenly all those years of being a total research geek kicked into gear and I began writing.
I only had a few pages by the time I joined Susan C. May (Nick’s New Heart), Sandy Elzie (The Diplomatic Tutor and In Daddy’s Shoes), and Tammy Schubert, to do nothing but write. I was determined to finish and polish enough pages for an entry into the Maggies (http://www.georgiaromancewriters.org/the-maggies/). I didn’t want to miss out on the great critiques from published authors that the chapter is known for giving.
As a part of the Petit Fours and Hot Tamales blog group, we’d scheduled this “no Internet available” writing retreat for three days at Susan’s family lake house. From daybreak to sunset and beyond, we did nothing but sit on the screened porch and type our little fingers to the bone. Well, okay, there was an occasional conversation and we stopped for meals. Other than that, we really produced. We were all good about shutting down any lengthy chats and forcing ourselves back to work. Outside of a local coffeehouse, it is still my favorite place to write.
Rapidly, my story began to take shape, along with its synopsis. Finally, feeling a little insecure, I asked my friends to read the first three chapters and tell me what they thought. They were very encouraging and I began to think that maybe I hadn’t lost my mind by thinking I could write an historical.
Before I’d left for the cabin, I’d put an item on my watch list at the Brenda Novak Auction for Diabetes (www.brendanovak.auctionanything.com/), an auction I strongly support. Love Inspired’s Senior Editor Melissa Endlich was offering a critique of a partial and a private meeting at RWA Nationals in July. Realizing the auction was about to end, and with no Internet at the cabin, I called my dear husband and gave him instructions for bidding. Then I bit my fingernails and waited.
I was outbid.
However, because of Melissa Endlich’s boundless generosity, I was able to match the winning bid and got a second critique she offered. I was nervous, but more excited than anything. After all, who better to get a critique from that the editor of a line you’ve targeted. If anyone could give me direction on how to better structure the story for Love Inspired Historical, she could.
So, I set out in June of 2010 for RWA Nationals and my fateful meeting with Melissa Endlich. I just made one mistake…
AND that’s a mistake I’lltell you more about on Monday! I’m leaving this next offer open until Monday, May 9th. Leave me a comment and be entered into a drawing for a copy of my new release, THE DOCTOR’S MISSION, when it is published in November of 2011. Gain extra entries if your friends post here and say you referred them. Have you ever had a “must write” moment, or a time of clarity about a direction in your life that suddenly shifted everything for you? Please share!