Home from Taylorville IL

We left early Thursday morning (3:30 a.m) to head for the Bakersfield airport to go to Phoenix and then St. Louis MO. From there we rented a car and drove to Taylorville IL and got there without a problem, thanks to our handy portable Magellan that told us exactly what to do wand when to do it.

Once we found our motel, I called Billie Johnson, publisher, Oak Tree Press, to let us know we were there. The purpose of the trip was to attend the Prose in the Park writers conference where I gave two presentations, one of How to Write a Mystery and the other, Creating Memorable Characters.

Hubby and I joined Billie for dinner in a really nice restaurant, enjoyed good food and lively conversation.

The next day we roamed around Taylorville for awhile. In the late afternoon, Billie came to our motel and brought me a contract to publish the next book in my Rocky Bluff P.D. series. (The former publisher has closed her doors and given me back the rights to the books already published in the series.)

I took the signed contract back to the get-acquainted party that evening. One of the attendees and fellow presenter was J.D. Webb, fellow mystery writer and Internet friend I'd met at Luv is Murder in Chicago.

Unfortunately, the conference wasn't as well attended as Billie had hoped for--but those who did attend were attentive and eager to learn. Despite the small numbers, we all had a great time.

That evening, we again enjoyed our dinner meal with Billie and her friend.

The next day, we packed up the car but before we left, we returned to the conference site where we perused some of the queries Billie's publishing house has received in recent weeks. One thing everyone learned is that before you send out a query, you certainly need to read the publisher's guidelines and learn what should be in a query.

We told everyone goodbye, plugged in our destination on the Magellan and headed back to the airport and returned our rental car.

It was a good weekend. It was fun meeting new people and seeing a part of the country we'd never visited before. Best of all, I can continue on with the Rocky Bluff P.D. series.



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