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This really happened.

I've got a full circle story to share, one I thought appropriate to kickoff this new blog. Before I dive in, welcome! I'm glad you're here and I hope you visit often.

November 8, 2008, I turned 41, and I treated myself to an SCBWI membership. Best money I ever spent as a writer. Over the course of the following year I got myself to three of their writer’s conferences: the Winter Conference in NYC, the Pocono Writer’s Retreat, and the eastern PA chapter’s Fall Philly Conference.

Back then I was un-agented, with one finished manuscript under my belt and a fiery determination to be traditionally published.

For the 2009 Fall Philly Conference, I sat in the audience at the Whitford Country Club in Exton, PA with sweaty palms and a stomach that refused to settle. I was excited. Nervous. Terrified. Intimidated.

Catherine Gilbert Murdoch—the author of Dairy Queen and many other novels—gave the keynote that day. I hung on her every word. She was living the life I wanted: published author and public speaker. I marveled at her stories, her clever wit and delivery, and said to myself, “I want to be up there one day addressing a room full of writers.”

It would take me another year and a half to land my first agent (that’s 2.4 years of querying if you’re counting). CRACKED, my debut novel released in January of 2012. Fast forward to the fall of 2017. I’ve had three novels release and an anthology. I’m doing the damn thing. And then I was asked to deliver the keynote at the 2017 Fall Philly Conference.

Full. Circle. Moment.

This year’s conference was held at the beautiful Warwick Hotel in Philadelphia. There I was, on the stage, addressing a room full of writers. I literally had chills. Like a dork. That experience—the moment, the day—still has wisps of fantasy, a certain dreamlike feel. But it really happened, and it will remain a treasure.

Photo credit: Kim Briggs
Photo credit: Lindsay Bandy

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