More Bits and Pieces—the Conference, the Books

Yesterday tiredness muddled my brain. I knew there were notable things about the ACFW Conference I wanted to mention, but after I posted at Speculative Faith I couldn’t concentrate on any of them long enough to report in any meaningful way.

I have to say, one of the most delightful aspects of the conference was meeting so many people with whom I’ve dialogued in cyberspace. Riding to the hotel from the airport, I discovered I was sharing the shuttle with Dee Stewart from Faith in Fiction.

When I arrived, the first familiar face I saw belonged to Bryan Davis, the mind behind the Dragons in Our Midst YA fantasy series. This was right after I registered and Suzan Robertson, my ACFW mentor and the organizer of the FIF dinner, greeted me.

Mark Bertrand posted a very nice reflection on his blog and mentioned a number of other people I met who I’ve discussed writerly topics with over at FIF.

Later that evening at the Meet and Greet, I met the brain-trust of Spec Faith, Stuart Stockton, and several other contributors— Shannon McNear and Beth Goddard. Then during our SFF get-together, I met John Olson, author of Adrenaline, CSFF Blog Tour participant Jackie Castle, and a host of other writers who are either actively writing speculative fiction or who are interested in doing so.

People aside (and it is really impossible to put the people aside when you talk about the conference), the best thing for me was my continuing workshop, but I’ll save that for another post.

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Book tidbit. If you only had money for one Christian science fiction or fantasy book, I think I would recommend Karen Hancock’s Light of Eidon. Of course, if you buy that book, I tend to think you’ll find the money to buy the next three in The Legends of the Guardian-King series.

For one thing, there is a reason Hancock is a four-time Christy Award winner. She is a wonderful writer and a vibrant storyteller. Yes, I think the two things are separate skills.

Some authors have what people in writing call “the high concept”—a fresh idea or unique spin and lots of conflict, both internal and external, that propels the story forward so that a reader wants to find out what happened next.

Other writers have beautiful description, development of complete characters, and a “way with words” that allows a reader to feel along with the protagonist, to be a fly on the wall during private conversations.

Real talent brings the two together, and in my opinion Karen Hancock does this. That’s a keeper, in my opinion, and I encourage anyone wanting good CSFF to start here by buying Light of Eidon at their local Christian bookstore.

In fact, I’ll make it a “two-fer.” I acquired a number of books at the conference, and I’ll send the first person who writes a comment about purchasing Karen’s book—not on line but in a bookstore—a second book of your choice from a list I’ll send you.

More on good CSFF books next week.

Published in: on September 26, 2006 at 1:04 pm  Comments (8)  
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