| Rochelle Manners with her Wombat |
and Even Before Publishing authors
|Ruth, Bonetti, Anne Hamilton and Jo Wanmer|
Each year these conferences have kept on improving and it was great this time to have more publishers present to share with us. Those of you who have been privileged to share at such conferences know the delight of meeting author friends again and getting to know other authors, writers, editors and folk in the publishing industry.
|CALEB Award dinner|
Finalists waiting for the winner.
|Writing exercise at master class|
The sessions on both full days sought to cover topics for fiction and non-fiction writers both published and unpublished. The Friday included Master classes on writing Fantasy and Young Adult books and the Romance genre - which I presented. Other sessions included “Over the Ditch” - on writing in New Zealand, Spiritual obstacles in Writing and Devotional Writing - which Ray presented. Included on many and varied sessions on the Saturday were the panels I shared with other published authors about “Romancing the Story” and “Writing a Series”.
Then of course there was the CALEB Award dinner with some excited finalists waiting to hear the winner in various categories.
This year, instead of flying to Brisbane, my husband Ray and I decided we would put our car on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry to cross Bass Strait and spend several weeks on the Australian mainland before and after this great conference weekend. From Melbourne we would travel out west up to Queensland to attend the conference and then back down the east coast to Sydney on the way to Victoria to get on that ferry for home 6 weeks later. We planned to try and book as many speaking and book-signing appointments as we could. However, the months beforehand while we tried to organise our schedule ended up being a very busy time with commitments, especially trying to finish writing projects.
Of course, from the start the whole venture was much prayed about and we tried to leave it all in God’s hands to open and close doors for us. Now we can testify once more that God is the very best scheduler any writers can ever hope to enjoy the benefits of. That doesn’t mean there were no challenges or unscheduled events. Sounds just like “life” doesn’t it?
Click on the link below to see details of this beautiful shop. A real privilege to share there.
Cornerstone shop in Erina, Gosford area of New South Wales.
|Book-signing at Cornerstone at Erina|
|This is one of the most beautiful Christian bookshops we've ever seen.|
Also has a great café at back with an outdoor courtyard with tables
We were able to do book-signings in Christian bookshops at Orange and Erina in New South Wales, and at a general bookseller in Dalby on the Darling Downs west of Brisbane.
The plan was also to visit briefly other Christian bookshops in towns we drove through to at least introduce ourselves as published authors to the staff. We had a list of shops but were really saddened to discover quite a few had closed their doors, including in major country towns like Albury and Tamworth. With online and e-book sales becoming more prevalent, many shops are doing it very tough. Over the years I have worked as a volunteer in small independent shops and know the ministry these can have. It is sad for us as writers of course. It is even sadder to have these real opportunities disappearing to share with folk who may never enter a church door but will venture into a Christian shop and leave with material God can use to show His love in their need, to draw them to Himself.
Another challenge was a health one. During those hectic weeks before we left Tasmania, Ray had visited his doctor to have treatment for a sore on his face. A couple of weeks into our trip, in Dalby God provided a very experienced doctor in skin cancers who even sacrificed his afternoon off to correctly diagnose and cut out the skin cancer - fortunately a carcinoma, not melanoma but which still needs further treatment by a specialist now we are home.
|My dear Hunter Valley romance writer|
friends of many years.
It was a real delight to see an aunt of mine from South Australia I have not seen for over fifteen years who just “happened” to be visiting my cousins in Brisbane while we were there. We travelled 5,124 kilometres with so many other “God incidents” during those six weeks that I am still awed by. I am often the “list maker”, the main “organiser” in our family. I like to know why, when, where, what and how. Once again God has reminded me that HE is in control, that when I hand over all that I am, all my ambitions, self and pride, HE will be able far more affectively to use me in His service where and when and how HE wants to.
She is delighted that her Heartong Presents historical and contemporary inspirational romance novels are now available again as e-books from Barbour Publishing through their Truly Yours Digital Editions.
Check out the video trailers for her current Baragula books and especially the new one for historicals, The Southland series, on YouTube.