Friday, May 21, 2010

They Popped My Hood and Found Gravy on the Dipstick

So I've learned two important things at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference (of course much more) that you need a catchy title for your book/article etc. so hopefully, Todd Starnes, author of "They Popped My Hood and Found Gravy on the Dipstick" won't mind that I've titled my blog article with his book title. The other was that you need a hook to get the reader's attention. With a title like that I figured I could pass on the hook.

I can tell you that this is a great read and that you will not want to put the book down and it will make you feel better because you will be laughing. Todd was one of the keynote speakers at the conference. He is a southern boy, who moved west and then east to work as a reporter for Fox News in the big city. He is a great storyteller and if you have an opportunity to hear him speak you may discover he sounds a little like "Jimmy Stewart". For my readers who are younger, he was an actor from the 40-60's era.

Todd had open heart surgery while in his 30's, lost 150 pounds and ran the New York City Marathon. But more than that he has a love for the Lord and encouraged me to walk closer to him. You can get his book at Lifeway, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million etc.

I attended classes each day and enjoyed fellowship with others writers. At meal time we could sit with the faculty who each hosted a table. I had not planned to, but God opened the door for me to pitch a book idea to Literary Agent, Les Stobbe. He liked my idea and gave me some suggestions to make it more marketable. I had an appointment with Susan King, the Associate Editor for The Upper Room which went well. She gave me a thorough critique of my devotions that I had submitted weeks earlier and said that they were well written. She had suggestions that would make them more appropriate for their publication and encouraged me to submit them after incorporating her instructions.

Before the conference I had wanted to concentrate on my novel, but I believe God is telling me to work on my devotions and articles. Vonda Skelton, speaker and author taught a workshop on "How to Have Magazine Editors Calling YOU!" which gave me a new prospective on magazine articles. She is the author of "Bitsy and the Mystery at Hilton Head"

I will share about some of the other wonderful faculty and keynote speakers in other post including Jerry Jenkins, James Watkins, DiAnn Mills and Christian thriller author, Steven James who taught us the "Wisconsin Milk Cheer" ! Stay tuned.....

1 comment:

  1. Hi Daphne,
    Glad to hear you made it to the Blue Ridge conference - this was my fourth year there
    and it was one of the best years yet.
    Do check out Vonda's website week to week.
    She offers writing opportunities once a month
    and is a wonderful encourager for new writers. What other classes did you take?