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Monday, March 3, 2014

Carolyn Haines on Daddy's Girls Weekend

Today, we are excited to have Carolyn Haines, prolific author of over fifty published books to grace the pages of Lyrical Pens. Carolyn, Southern to the core, an animal lover and avid participant in rescuing animals, a professor at the University of South Alabama, an author well known to the New York Times best seller list, and the creative mind behind the wildly popular Bones series complete with houseghost, is a wonderful friend to writers. She won the coveted Harper Lee Award in 2010 and writes in multiple genres, including the popular Sarah Booth Delaney mystery (Bones) series and her sinister books written under the pseudonym, R. B. Chesterton.                            

March 4, 2014
If you haven’t sent in your registration for the hilariously serious Daddy’s Girls Weekend, do it now. You don’t want to miss this wonderful opportunity to meet and greet authors, agents, and readers!

Now let's turn out attention to what Carolyn Haines has to share.

Daddy’s Girls Weekend, our annual writers/readers conference, is just around the corner. I got off the phone a few minutes ago with Ben LeRoy, the editor and publisher at Tyrus Books, which is part of F&W Media. We were making plans for the conference (Ben is one of our loyal presenters), which will be held April 3-6 at the Battle House Hotel in Mobile.

Madcap weekend blend of fun and publishing information/business. And this year we have a wonderful slate of writers/industry professionals, some new and some who have supported the weekend for the past three years.

Readers and Writers Invited: When the idea for the conference was first born, I knew we would be walking a fine line—one that was helpful to writers, but one that also included readers. I think the speakers who have come to the weekend in the past did a fine job of straddling that fence. And this year will be no exception.

Exciting Speakers:  If you’re interested in learning more about the broad range of professionals who will attend, check it out at  We are also offering manuscript evaluations by professionals and sessions with energy worker/writer/artist DeWitt Lobrano. Holly McClure, a wonderful agent I’ve known for many years, will take pitches.

Day Rate for those who work on Friday and can’t attend the whole conference. Or for those who really just want to play, there’s a costume party at Grand Central Bar and Grill on Dauphin and a treasure hunt on Saturday in the downtown area.

Value:  People sometimes ask me “what is the value of a conference?” First of all, there is so much to learn about writing and publishing. I’ve been writing for a long time, and last year I went to the World Horror Association conference in New Orleans. I learned a ton of new things and met a bunch of great new writers. (I met Greg Herren there! Like me, Greg writes horror and mysteries. He also edits and does a lot of other wonderful stuff. He is one of our presenters and a Big Daddy candidate.)

Conferences offer a chance to meet industry professionals face to face. Personal contact is very important. If you have a chance to speak to an editor or agent, you have cracked open a door into the world of publishing. It’s often said about many other businesses that it isn’t what you know, but who you know. This also applies, to some degree, to this crazy world of stories and books. A face-to-face in any business is a powerful thing.

Making New Friends is another plus. I met some great people at WHA that I would never have met anywhere else. My writing community is far flung.  I know some terrific writers in Mobile and this region. But by going to conferences, I have met people who share my love of fiction and my passion for writing from all over the globe. This gives me community, and even solitary writers need that.

Living in the Deep South can be a drawback in some ways when participating in an industry that has been mostly focused in New York. Even if a writer went to New York hoping to meet industry professionals, it would be very hard to do. But these same professionals are at conferences with the goal of finding new writers. They are hunting for a great new story or voice, and conferences are the place to make it happen. 

Focus:  Conferences allow for writers to spend time with others who share their focus. I teach at the University of South Alabama. I’m encouraging my students to attend DG Weekend (or any other conferences they can get to) because exposure to different writers who are willing to share their knowledge and stories broadens that learning experience.

The best thing you can do for yourself today is register for Daddy's Girl Weekend (rates are sinfully low) and check out everything Carolyn at  One thing is for sure, if you attend the conference, you will meet Carolyn Haines and a world of other good writers, agents, readers, and maybe a ghost or two.  See you there.    Mahala

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