Friday, October 24, 2008

Freebie Friday - Missing Surrey

Here we are at the end of another week. Is it just me, or does time pass really fast these days? Maybe it's because I stumbled through these past several days in a jet-lagged stupor.

Anyway, Happy Friday! Hope you all have fun plans for the weekend. Me, I'll be busy with Trunk-or-Treating, band competitions and the OSU/Penn State game (Go, Bucks!) Keeping busy is good, because it will keep me from dwelling too much on what I'm missing this weekend - the Surrey International Writers' Conference.

For any writers reading this blog, let me tell you - the SIWC in Surrey, B.C. is one of the best conferences around. I first heard about it through a writers' forum I belonged to on Compuserve. A lot of the forum members attend every year, including best selling novelist Diana Gabaldon, who is one of the staples of the conference. I first went to Surrey about eight years ago and have been back five times. This year, sadly, is one of the years I'm not able to attend.

When I speak at workshops, one of the things I emphasize for authors is the importance of networking. The Surrey conference provides one of the best atmospheres for writers to connect with other writers as well as with editors and agents because of its laid-back, open attitude. The workshops are great, and the extras, such as Jack Whyte singing the Hippo song and Diana, Jack and Anne Perry in Michael Slade's shock theater, are priceless.

My favorite part about the SiWC, though, is meeting up with friends I've known online or who I met at the conference in previous years. A couple of the years, my fabulous crit group gathered at the conference as well. And get this - one of my YA CPs is now the head of the whole conference. KC Dyer took over the helm last year. She is all kinds of fabulous.

I'm having withdrawals this weekend!

As I promised, this week I will be offering two freebies. In honor of KC, I'm giving away a copy of her book, Ms. ZEPPHYR'S NOTEBOOK, and I'm also offering up the last of the Japanese goodies and a ceramic incense set. To be entered to win, leave an entertaining message below. I need something to cheer me up since I'm missing the conference!

This Freebie will remain open until Monday, when I will begin a series of authors' ghost stories leading up to Halloween!