I think I've finally recovered from attending the annual RWA conference in Atlanta. It was a busy and hectic week. I attend this conference for several reasons. One to network. This is a great place to see friends and contacts, all in one place, since most of the publishers come to this conference as well as agents. The other reason I go is to get charged up again about writing. I try to attend several workshops and soak up the information.
This year Faith, Hope and Love chapter of RWA had a mini-conference on Wednesday aimed at writers who are interested in inspirational romances. I spoke at this one day conference about Interweaving Faith into Your Stories while Lenora Worth talked about Adding Emotional Depth to Characters. Later there was an agent/editor panel. I walked away from that conference upbeat about the continual growth in inspirational fiction. Melissa Endlich announced that Love Inspired Suspense was going to four books a month in February 2007 which is an opportunity for writers who like to write romantic suspense.
Another impression I received from the conference besides the growth in the inspirational market is the growth in sexy books. It is interesting to see the two ends of a continuum having the biggest growth. I did hear editors speak optimistically about historicals for the first time in a while. Love Inspired Historicals will begin in October 2007 with two books a month.
I have walked away from this conference feeling anxious about the industry in the past. I felt this year it was more optimistic (beyond just historicals). There are opportunities out there. Harlequin is starting a paranormal line (Nocturne) in October 2006 and the authors were signing the first books in that series at the conference. Sexy reads, paranormals and romantic suspense are still selling as well as inspirational romances. In a conversation with Stacy Boyd she told me the Nocturne line was looking for Alpha heroes with the stories being dark. They are accepting all kinds of paranormal elements--vampires, werewolves, ghosts, etc.
Also Amazon did a program on promotions they have for authors to increase name recognition and possibly traffic to your web site. You can write a short story for them and readers can pay to download them. You can check it out with Amazon. I know how important promotion can be in this industry.
Lastly the Golden Heart/RITA ceremony this year was fun and entertaining as well as short. I really enjoyed the clips from various films having to do with people's perception of a writer's life. I only wish some of those clips were true. Is there anyone out there who can tell me the name of the film they showed with Hugh Jackman as a writer? I haven't seen it and it looked interesting.