Words in the Wilderness

July 23-29, 2010.

This conference was the darling of the Sudbury Hypergraphic Society.  While I did not attend all the events, the workshop with Marie Bilodeau and Jennifer Rouse Barbeau was great.  Hosted at Music and Film in Motion, the session was an intimate affair with wonderful insights into process and what it takes to get published.  Jennifer was about to have her first novel, Swampy Jo, published through Your Scrivener Press.

Marie in particular intrigued me with how she broke into publishing and how hard she had to work to get there.  Starting off with success in e-books, Marie’s first novel, Princess of Light, was so successful that the publisher decided to move it to their print line.  The only condition was that she had to have the remaining two novels in her trilogy written and ready for editing ASAP.

Princess was published February 29, 2009 and the second novel, Warrior of Darkness, was released in July of the same year.  Sorceress of Shadows came out in April of 2010, which will give you an idea of how quickly the work had to be done.  Marie front-loaded the work and still managed to write a phenomenally successful series.  One of her secrets: when necessary, she retreated to a local convent to focus on the task of writing.

I’ve since “friended” Marie on Facebook and follow her blog and adventures.  She’s published two more novels, Destiny’s Blood and Destiny’s Fall.  The latter is just out in March (see Amazon for details) from Dragon Moon Press.

Recently, she wrote that she had another date with “giant Jesus.”  This was a reference to another personal writing retreat she had planned at the convent.

When she got there though, she discovered the convent secularized, and dubbed it the no-longer-convent convent.

Have you discovered anyone through a conference or workshop who inspired you?