Right now the ALL I WANT blog tour is going on, and I've been answering a ton of interview questions about the book or how Jo, Racheal and I decided to do this, but I haven't had anyone ask me how we all met.
Jolene and I started emailing each other almost two years ago. We both belong to a writers group for LDS women (ANWA) and she'd asked for someone to critique her manuscript. I volunteered to do it and we traded. I read The Next Door Boys and she read a book of mine that I'm querying. I loved The Next Door Boys. I'd gone through a spell of critiquing books that still needed a ton of work, and Jolene's book was so good and so publishable--which was awesome.
After this, we were both querying books at the same time, so we traded lists and research on agents, and emailed each other the statuses of where we were on rejections and requests. It was awesome to have someone doing this at the same time, because it really does take courage to put a book out there and query agents--knowing that you are going to be rejected at some point.
In May 2011, we both went to the LDStorymakers conference in Salt Lake City. She flew in from Alaska and I drove up from Arizona. I was really nervous about meeting her, because we'd been emailing for months and knew a lot about each other, but didn't really know each other, if that makes any sense at all. (I wonder if that's how people who date online feel...) Anyway, we met up at the conference and she was just as cool and easy to talk to as it had been emailing. We spent the whole day together, going to classes and sneaking M&Ms. It was so much fun.
Here we are:
I knew who Rachel was long before I met her. Her first book, Divinely Designed, came out several years ago, and my mom picked it up from Deseret Book and told me that I needed to read it. I was just finishing up my edits on Meg's Melody--so I had LDS publishers on the brain. I really liked Rachael's book and her writing style--and I remembered doing the whole dream thing: If I can get my book published, would I get to meet people like Rachael? That would be so cool. (Yes, I'm a nerd. And for the record, it is really cool to meet people who's books I love)
So at the same writers conference I met Jo at (Storymakers 2011), I also met Rachael. We saw each other in passing here and there in the halls, and we were both finalists for the Whitney Award in the romance category, so we set up that we'd sit by each other at the banquet. I wasn't going to know anyone there and was feeling pretty awkward.
My husband and I sat with Rachael and her husband for dinner and the awards ceremony--and had a great time. Both of our husbands are engineers, so they were able to talk easily to each other (and Rachael and I both understand what it's like to be married to an engineer.) Rachael was so great and easy to talk to, and really made the awards banquet so much fun for me.
I wish I had a picture of the two of us together. I don't have any pictures from the Whitneys, which totally stinks.
I'm actually not sure of how Jo and Rachael met. I'm pretty sure they met in person at that conference as well. Maybe one of them can pipe in and let us know.
It's been way fun getting to know these girls--and just so you know--they are as friendly as they seem on their blogs and in their books.
Any other shoutouts from the Storymakers 2011 conference? I know I met a few more of you there. If you've met one of us before, tell us how it happened!