Sunday, September 21, 2008

The ACFW party's over!

But not really. I just got back from the annual ACFW conference in Minneapolis, where I got to hang out with some old friends—all folks who have the same passions as me. I hung out with Sue and Melanie, two delightful new friends, while the hotel got our rooms ready. Later that night, after the general welcome session and agent and editor panels, I headed on down to a late night chat where my agent, Tamela Hancock Murray (pictured with me), and one of her associates answered questions about how their agency works.

The next day, I ate, chatted with friends, ate some more, went to meetings, and hung out in the meeting room area, where I saw (and hugged) Margaret Daley, Shelley Galloway, Janet Barton, Rhonda Gibson, Irene Brand, Miralee Ferrell, Lisa Ludwig, Beth Goddard, and Jean Kincaid.

Then that night, Janet Spaeth, Lena Nelson Dooley, and I went to the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company for dinner before the Barbour dessert reception at the Mall of America Aquarium. What a wonderful—and yummy—party! Thanks, Becky, JoAnne, and Susan, for such decadent sweet treats in a creative venue! This is definitely a first for me—eating chocolates beside shark-infested waters!

On Saturday afternoon, we had what just might be the biggest book signing ever at the Mall of America. I had the privilege of sitting between Vickie McDonough and Shar MacLaren (pictured to the left of me). Did I mention the fact that I love their books? If you haven’t read them, what are you waiting for? Run to your nearest bookstore and look for their latest.

The awards banquet on the last night was amazing—from the dinner to sharing the winners’ joy. We ended the evening at Becky and JoAnne’s room where a bunch of Barbour authors gathered to surprise Susan Downs on her (?) birthday. No one told us how old she was, but I bet most of us have her beat by at least a few years.

I’m back home now, unpacking and doing laundry. It might not sound like fun, but the occasional flicker of the special memory brings a smile to my lips.

Oh, before I left home, I got my hands on a copy of soon-to-be-released Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas by Sandie Bricker. What a cute story about a woman who experiences a series of mishaps (some hilarious and some that are sure to make you cringe) as she tries to be someone she’s not, just to get the attention of a special guy! Look for it wherever you buy books on October 1. This book was so captivating, the time to and from the conference flew by—pun intended!

I'll get back to work tomorrow on my work-in-progress with a renewed spirit and enthusiasm for my writing. My biggest challenge will be to ration my time sending e-mail to all my old and new friends from the ACFW!


Lonely Paul said...


Miralee Ferrell said...

Hi Debby, It was such fun chatting with you and getting to meet another one of my "Summerside Sisters" in person. Can't wait till our Love Finds You books come out!! I hope you'll keep in touch. Miralee

Debby Mayne said...

Hey, Miralee! It was wonderful being able to spend some time with you!

Jean Kincaid said...

Hi Debby, it was a treat spending time with you and Janet at the conference. I didn't know you had sold to Summerside. How wonderful and congratulations. If you do a newsletter, put me on your list. I'm trying to win friends and influence people. rofl. No, I'd just like us to stay in touch.

Later gator,
Jean K

Anonymous said...

Good morning, Debby. I'm still not caught up after the 4 delightful days we were together at ACFW. As I posted on the Summerside Press site, I have pictures, too, but I'm having trouble getting them from the camera to the computer. I did buy new batteries yesterday, and that helped some. I'll try again today.
It was great to meet you, and enjoyed our time together. Irene Brand

CatMom said...

Hey Debby!
It was great meeting you in person, and I'm looking forward to reading your books! ~ The conference was an amazing (although exhausting-LOL) experience for me. I'm thrilled about what I learned and all the new friends I made.
Patti Jo
from Georgia :)

Janet Spaeth said...

It was so good to see you and hang out with you! You are such a sweet patootie!

I'm still totally exhausted. Apparently sleep-deprivation will do that to you....

Debby Mayne said...

Hi, Jean! Thanks for the congrats! I thought everyone heard me scream for joy when I sold to Summerside! *g* I'm already thinking about next year's conference when I can see you and all my other ACFW buddies.

Hey, Irene! It was great seeing you in Minneapolis! I look forward to seeing your pictures.

I enjoyed meeting you, too, Patti Jo. It's always fun to make new friends, but especially at the ACFW conference. I'm looking forward to next year already!

Janet, I know what you mean about sleep deprivation. I've been working hard on catching up on sleep. And you know difficult that can be when real life happens. I loved hanging out with you!

Tamela Hancock Murray said...

Debby, what a delightful post. I really enjoyed the time we spent together at ACFW! Sounds as though you saw many of our friends. Looking forward to next time! Hugs, Tamela