Wednesday, October 04, 2006

More ACFW Thoughts

I've been keeping track of what others have written about the ACFW conference, especially reading the day-by-day (almost blow-by-blow account) of my conference mentor Shannon McNear (I'm even mentioned twice in her accounts). Now that it's been almost a week and a half since I've gotten home and I've caught up on my sleep, I figured maybe I would share some more thoughts about it all.

I'm not sure why I haven't been giving it more thought. I think part of it is that the minute I got back to Blue Earth, there was a ton of things to deal with (a parishioner about to cross the Jordan, Jill's best friend's wedding to attend, the usual rigamarol of being a pastor, plus that big "other issue" in my life that I'm still not prepared to discuss at length). I had to dive back into my somewhat regular routine with both feet and haven't had a lot of down time to really process through what I went through. Now, though, let's see here.

For starters, I'm definitely not sorry that I went. It was a very good, very uplifting experience. Like I said before, it was heartening to see that there were a lot of fantasy and sci-fi writers out there trying to crack open the Christian market. Maybe not as many as the romance or mystery writers, but it seemed like every day, more and more of us came out of the woodwork. I even stumbled over a few. Or, rather, they sought me out. Perhaps it's because, as Shannon said, I'm TALL and I was wearing this around my neck:

Second, in some ways, the conference was a bit discouraging. But I guess that goes hand-in-hand with writing sci-fi and fantasy. The good news that I kept hearing is that some publishing houses are beginning to open ever-so-slightly to fantasy. The bad news is the same isn't happening with sci-fi.

Why is that a big deal? Well, let me share the pitch line I had printed on the back of my snazzy business cards:

"A pastor unearths an alien who is searching for grace."
See the problem? Yeah, me too. My encounters with editors and agents was not always encouraging. Dave Long from Bethany House informed me that Bethany was pretty much closed to sci-fi. Steve Laube said that the market was pretty much closed to it as well, although I enjoyed our chat as he shared some stories about the Firebird trilogy.

Now, all is not lost. I was able to send a proposal for said book (actually, for said sci-fi trilogy) to Steve Laube and Andy Meisenheimer of Zondervan and I'm waiting for their replies. I have a feeling it'll be "Thanks, but no thanks", but that's okay. At least I'm in crash position for it.

I seem to have hit my blog's outer limits for length. Tomorrow, more thoughts and maybe I'll even post about the writing dilemma I seem to be facing post-Conference.


Mirtika said...

It's very hard for us who want to write CSF. Very hard. I wake up wishing I was obsessed with women's fiction or suspense. Would make my life so much easier. :)

But, we can't help what we love, right?

Anyway, ponder those fantasy ideas. Why not...


Merrie Destefano said...

Don't give up on writing Sci-Fi. The battle isn't over yet!