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Sunday, October 22, 2023

Are Writers' Conferences Worth It?

cj Sez: It’s been a while since I’ve traveled out-of-state to a writer’s conference, but it’s not because I think I don’t need to attend since I’m already published.

  I’ll answer that question with a “yes, writers' conferences are worth it.” I always benefit from some nuggets of helpful advice/information at any conference. And networking with fellow authors is a major plus. For me, though, it’s a time and money thing. When I have the money, I can’t seem to break out the time, and when I have the time, I’ve already spent my money on something else. (sigh)

  That said, I thought making a conference plan for next year might help. I’ve had my eye on the Mystery Writers of America Florida Chapter’s Sleuthfest conference ( I’ve never been to this conference, and it’s about a day’s drive away from home. Bouchercon is another maybe go-to. Their 2024 conference is scheduled to be in Nashville, which is also a day’s drive. Do you have any other possibilities to share?

  Maybe I can call a trip to a conference a gift to me. My Christmas and birthday presents all rolled up into one gift. If the stars align just right . . . just maybe.

For writers:

  A Little Nudge. . . The beginning of National Novel Writing Month is nearly here (November 1). Get more info here: 
This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done. It’s that easy, and that hard. — Neil Gaiman
  Getting ready to publish: After I take my manuscript as far as I can (several edit cycles, a manuscript exchange with out-of-state authors that write in my genre, and if I’m really lucky, a beta reader), I need the input of an expert, an editor, for her/his expertise in the character
development and plot enhancements that make the story work. Whether submitting queries to agents or self-publishing, having the manuscript professionally edited is an essential part of the process. Do not skip that step.


A review for readers (and writers because we are all readers):

Paradise Valley by USAToday best-selling author Rosanne Bittner is not a new release but one that I happened across while doing research.

  The novel is historical fiction—a Western romance about Maggie McPhee Tucker and Sage Lightfoot. Violated, battered, and widowed while on her way to Oregon, Maggie is determined to exact vengeance for her husband’s murder. Sage lets her tag along with him even though he has his doubts, but Maggie holds her own and then some in untamed Wyoming in the mid-1880s.

  Ms. Bittner knows her historical facts but doesn’t beat the reader over the head with them. I particularly enjoyed the fast pace and conflict that were not interrupted by historical detail dumps that some writers pack into one complex sentence.

  I’m not into sappy romance stories with bleeding hearts, and Paradise Valley is none of that. It’s tightly written, gritty, and tough, as I would
expect the Wild West to be. If you like strong women and men who will do what it takes to do more than just survive, you’ll like this novel. I give it 4.5 Stars. 


  Here’s a quiz for you…Can you name all of these felines from my descriptions?

  The daughter of a queen; the Pink Panther's valet; Hardee's puts cheese, egg, and bacon on it; that can of specialty small corn kernels; orange and sweet and spread on toast; female and friendly with all the boys; Star Wars bad guy all in black with the raspy voice; he's starvin'.

  Disclaimer: Not all of these kitties live in my house; some just come for the free food on the patio or porch and leave.


Okay, that’s it for today. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same. Raising prayers for a happy and safe you.


Now a note from my sponsors:

Perfect for the upcoming holiday: HALLOWEEN PIECES . . . 18 pieces of 
My short paranormal story I’m kind of proud of, “Once in a Blue Moon,” included in this fourth installment of the Mobile Writers Guild anthology PIECES series. Paperback and ebook available. Kindle is $1.99.

My novels THE DAWGSTAR and DEATH ON THE YAMPA are fast-paced, thriller/suspense stories with sassy banter and a smidgen of romance. (Perfect diversions for a quick weekend getaway.)

The books are available on Amazon or through your favorite eTailer and bookstore. Got a library card? You can read the ebooks free from Hoopla.

The Haunted Book Shop has a few signed copies of my books in stock. TO ORDER, contact:  If she happens to be sold out, I have a small stash. 

  Angela Trigg, the awesome owner and a RITA Award-winning author in her own right (writing as Angela Quarles) will be happy to ship you any book(s) by any author of your choice.

➜ Follow me on . . .  
➜ Amazon:    Amazon Central Author Page
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