I had the opportunity to briefly meet Laurie Salzler at the Conference in Orlando that she speaks of below. And I got to witness the panel she describes as well. It was a LOT of fun. Since then, Laurie has been a Facebook Friend and I’ve followed her posts pretty religiously.
Did you know that she’s a FANTASTIC photographer in addition to being a well-respected author? Well, she is! Her photos of nature are really just stunning.
Laurie’s most recent novel, Right Out of Nowhere, was released just this Monday! Congratulations, Laurie!
You can order your copy of Right Out of Nowhere at Blue Feather Books. Hurry!
On February 7th, 2011 I signed a contract with Blue Feather Books to publish my first lesfic novel entitled A Kiss Before Dawn. Ten months before, I started it as something to do. I had a story that wanted to be written and so I did just that. Trying to get it published hadn’t even entered my mind at that point.
In 2010 I had met some wonderful women through the Internet, and things started happening. Jeanne Magill urged us to go to this thing called the GCLS. I had no idea what it was and so we “sent” Jeanne to go as our guinea pig, figuring if she came back alive and intact, we might consider it.
She did, and so I started making plans to go to the 2011 conference in Orlando. Saxon Bennett, Layce Gardner and I had become pretty good friends by then and decided that we’d hang out together. Cool. My partner Linda and I would at least know some other “conference virgins” and in the event of a sacrifice, we make them go first and run like hell.
In the meantime, Amy Dawson Robertson was in the process of putting together a panel called “I Had This Idea,” and asked me if I’d be a participant. Crap. There went my secret plan of staying incognito as a wallflower and watch the goings-on. I said yes. And immediately regretted it. Then got excited about it. It would be the first time I actually had the opportunity to talk about my book…to people other than Linda and a few other close friends, who had to be tired of hearing about it.
When we arrived at the hotel, Linda stood next to our bags while I checked in. As I walked away from the desk, I spotted fellow BFB author, Bev Prescott and introduced myself. While we were busy chatting, one of BFB’s fearless leaders, Jane Vollbrecht grabbed me and pulled me into a huge bear hug. Even now the memory makes me smile. I knew I had found some new family.
Layce and Saxon arrived a short time later and we went exploring. Holy crap! I met people like Georgia Beers, Rachel Spangler and Chris Paynter, all of whom we got to be good friends with down the road. Literally. Georgia and Rachel lived down the road from us in NY, and now Chris is only hours away since we moved to Michigan. But I digress.
When it came time for the panel discussion, Saxon sat on my left. We nearly clung to each other because it was the first public appearance for both of us. Amy Dawson Robertson sat on my right, then Layce, then Pol Robinson. Karin Kallmaker kept our sorted lot in line at the podium. What a blast we had! It was amazing to answer questions about what made us tick. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
From there we went to several other discussions and readings. Being a newbie to all of it, I soaked up as much information as possible.
Truly the highlight of my entire conference that year was meeting my publishers face-to-face, Emily Reed and Jane. They both embraced me and introduced me to other BFB authors. On the larger scale, we were nearly all there as writers or spouses of writers…and what a group. What camaraderie. It was amazing.
Due to personal reasons I couldn’t attend the Minneapolis conference, nor will I be going to Dallas this year. But I am very much looking forward to Portland in 2014.
Laurie Salzler holds a degree in Natural Resources Conservation and Outdoor Recreation. She has worked with animals (wild and domesticated) her entire life, including several years in the equine industry at training and breeding facilities in New York, Pennsylvania and Michigan. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast, whose activities include horseback riding, hiking, snowshoeing, bird watching and photography. One of her favorite activities is walking with her pack of canines. Laurie lives in southeast Michigan with her partner and their six dogs, three horses, and numerous other critters.
You can find her on Facebook or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org