There was much to applaud at the writers' conference in Denver, but there were three outstanding speakers that made this year's Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold Conference stand out.
I didn't take notes during these speeches, so I don't have any quotes for you. But all three speakers left me with a warm appreciation for these women's successes and their assurance that the rest of us writers could accomplish anything we wanted if we just set our goals, worked our butts off to reach those goals, and always stayed alert for unexpected opportunities.
Friday night we heard from Carol Berg, award-winning fantasy author and RMFW Writer of the Year (aka WOTY). Carol is an inspiration, and she's from right here in Northern Colorado, so I've had the good fortune to hear her speak before. She works hard and the proof is in her bibliography and awards. Carol makes me want to go in my office, close the door, and try a lot harder than I've ever tried before.
The speaker at the Saturday banquet was the charming and funny Jodi Thomas, a Texan with a lovely accent who can tell a story and slip in a zinger that makes her audience roar with laughter. A New York Times bestselling author of romance, she has an impressive list of published books that includes several series. Once again, I listened and thought, if Jodi can do this, I can certainly do a lot better with my time and my commitment than I've done so far. Frankly, though, I'd pay good money to learn how to make an audience laugh the way Jodi can. She's amazing in many way.
Sunday's keynote speaker was so encouraging. Debra Dixon is a founding partner and President/CEO of BelleBooks/Bell Bridge Books, an author, and a powerful force in the new world of publishing. How many people look around and see publishers and bookstores crumbling while readers buy e-readers and say, "I think it's time to start a publishing company." Not too many, but look what this group of forward-thinking women has accomplished. Debra made me want to write a bunch of books, and then go out and start a new business too.
More than anything else, I want to congratulate the conference committee for their selection of these outstanding speakers who put the icing on the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers birthday cake (the organization's 30th).