Sunday, November 16, 2014


By Mike Long 

So, after my last blog on my love of writers’ conferences, I should offer an update for some balance. Mary and I recently returned from three days in Eureka Springs, AR, participating in the Ozark Creative Writers Conference. It did not go exactly as planned.

There were four primary reasons we attended, aside from the facts that we'd never been to northwestern Arkansas and it was Fall in the Ozarks; good reasons by themselves, and those good reasons saved the trip for us.

The things we were really looking forward to were: 
(A) the release of my third novel, Higher Ground, by High Hill Press (conference host)
(B) meeting screenwriter/author Robert Knott and maybe pushing my books at him 
(C) seeing Tiffany Schofield, Acquisitions Editor, Five Star/ Cengage, who was bringing contracts to publish my two novels as hardcover large-print editions for the library market
(D) having Gary Goldstein (Kensington Press) give my fourth novel a "NY look"

None of those things happened.

The day prior to the conference, Louella Turner of High Hill Press emailed that Higher Ground wasn't ready for print; she assured me that it would be out by 30 November and therefore available for contest consideration by year end. I didn't nail her down on which year exactly.

Robert Knott, Tiffany Schofield, and Gary Goldstein were no-shows. Seems the Fall is a great time for funerals. Delta, World's Largest Non-Scheduled Airline, added to the fun.

Nevertheless, we had a great time. The region and town were quaint and colorful, and the weather was perfect, except for the persistent rain. Many friends from the Western Writers of America were there and that fellowship suppressed any disappointment. I'd grabbed the last suite at the conference center, so lots of folks found their way to our unit after each night's Happy Hour/Dinner. Talk about fellowship. Most left by two AM, and all left before Mary left me. Award-winning authors Dale Jackson, Brett Cogburn, and Johnny D. Boggs were there and helped me with the liquor.

Our featured speaker was Jeff Guinn and he was delightful. Author of much nonfiction, he has best-sellers on Charles Manson, Wyatt Earp, and Bonnie and Clyde; we are reading them now.

In short, we made lemonade out of castor oil, or maybe vice versa. We still like conferences but have slightly reduced our expectations.

1 comment:

Leigh Stevenson said...

Love the balanced view! It keeps expectations realistic. Sorry, among other things, about the rain!