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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Z. Major

The Lost Son of Balanya.



You might be asking yourself...what is this?


Who is this?


After years of not doing so, I decided back in late May to attend a writer's conference. ACFW to be exact. I'd attended that conference back in 2013 and 2015, but a lot of life has happened since then.

Also, my current manuscripts weren't getting noticed, so I decided that I needed to up my game. Again.


First, I asked myself what genres have been hot in the last few years, and were consistently staying hot.

Those were split time. Or, dual time. If you don't know what those are, they're two different storylines in one book that are connected by a relationship of some kind. Usually family. There's a Big Event that is either hidden, or discovered, by someone in a future time or era, then that person needs to go back and solve a mystery or resolve a terrible secret. The dual storylines must be resolved at the end of the book.

So I took two old manuscripts and combined them. It was fun, but daunting! I also hired a book coach and editor to guide me through this process. Shout out to Ruth Buchanan of Build a Better Us, who you can find at www.buildabetterus.com.

With Ruth's help, I wrestled the characters and storyline into obedience.


In June, I attended a writer's retreat in Maine, and those wonderful ladies fueled my courage and gave valuable feedback to the story. They also told me that I had an accent. Bless them all, THEY had the accents. Not me.


Next up, I needed a one sheet. So I hired the brilliant Hillary Lodge to do this beautiful one sheet that you see. Seriously, isn't it lovely?? As my agent Don Pape said "...it's stunningly beautiful".


Then, on August 23rd, armed with one sheets, determination, business-y clothes, and a ball gown, I set off for St. Louis. It was fabulous to be around so many writers again!


In the conference application, I picked four editors to whom I would pitch my book, and I'd find out once I got to the conference which two I would get appointments with.

And yes, I got the one I reallllly wanted! I managed to acquire two more appointments, so four altogether. Those went very well.


I'm really happy that I went, and I had such a wonderful time celebrating my writer friends at various stages of their careers, including my dear friend Becky Wade, winning a Carol Award for her novel, Turn To Me. You can learn more about Becky and her brilliant writing at www.beckywade.com.



Finally, here's me. All dressed up and barely able to breathe in that dress. But I felt like Cinderella at the ACFW Gala.


Now, back to work.


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