Writing from the Ashes

One of the favorite motifs of fiction is resurrection. Characters redeem themselves (or try to), the past catches up for better or worse, and there are phoenixes everywhere ascending from ashes. My own book is called Revived. History itself is given a legacy of resurrection, thanks to Christ rising from His grave.

Resurrection was also the theme of the Pikes Peak Writers Conference. Even better than last year’s event, this was an unforgettable time to make new friends and meet with old ones.

To wit:

To the right is DeAnna Knippling, critiquing guru and author. On the left is Amber Benson, who played Tara from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," and is a novelist as well. Both of these ladies are AWESOME human beings! And lots of fun to hang out with.

To the right is DeAnna Knippling, critiquing guru and author. On the left is Amber Benson, who played Tara on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” and is a novelist as well. Both of these ladies are AWESOME human beings! Lots of fun to hang out with.

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Libba Bray, being her crazy self. Hilarious, friendly, and just plain likable.

My friend Joseph Smits. I can't think of many writers who make me laugh as hard as this gentleman. And Amber photobombs like a pro!

My friend Joseph Smits. I can’t think of many writers who make me laugh as hard as this gentleman. And Amber photobombs like a pro!

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My good friend Rob Killam. Did I mention he writes zombies like no one else? This guy’s gonna go far someday. Guaranteed.

And here's a picture of some chicken. Marriott staff took very good care of us. Which is good, since we writers are high-maintenance.

And here’s a picture of some chicken. Marriott staff took very good care of us. Which is good, since we writers are high-maintenance.

Aaron Michael Ritchey, Libba Bray, and Amber Benson led the way with keynote speeches. Inspiration filled the air like an inviting perfume. I got the sense of openness and fellowship that I’ve been missing for so long in my writing life.

Oh, and I should mention I pitched the fantasy novel, and the agent requested 20 pages. That’s always good news! [But I did realize I played up the sci-fi aspect of it like the book was a half-and-half blend of fantasy and sci-fi, when it’s more like 2% sci-fi and 98% straight up fantasy. So I almost screwed up the pitch unnecessarily. Oh well. 20 pages is still good! :)]

Thanks for your time, everyone! I’ve got a sequel to my sci-fi Kindle story to work on, and twenty pages to prepare for official submission. Carry on, and remember: It’s never too late to rise from the ashes.

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My First Interview

Well, for the first time in my life as a writer, I have officially been interviewed. Rob Killam, good friend and zombie connoisseur extraordinaire, has just had our exchange posted to the Pikes Peak Writers blog. Check it out! It is about my pitch appointment with a literary agent at the PPWC, and I’m glad Rob decided to interview me about it.

http://pikespeakwriters.blogspot.com/2012/05/pitch-under-fire-interview-with-john-k.html

The Pikes Peak Writers Conference: 20th anniversary

(Gathered from Facebook)

This April, I am (hopefully) attending the Pikes Peak Writer’s Conference in Colorado Springs, at the Marriott Hotel. My fellow writers who have attended the conference have assured me of its quality, helpfulness, and potential. From what I understand, it is among the ten best conferences in the nation, and the friendliest as well.

April 19-22 marks a special occasion, for it is the 20th anniversary of the conference, and contains an abundance of opportunities for those authors looking for an agent to represent their novel, pitching a book to get a publisher’s attention, forge connections in the writing world, or simply to search for community and helpful advice on making yourself a more recognized and more professional writer.

If you’re interested in going, there will be a good number of high-profile speakers there, including agent Donald Maass, bestselling author Jeffery Deaver, novelists Susan Wiggs and Robert Crais, and many others besides.

Their official website has what you will need to learn if you decide to go: http://www.ppwc.net/html/ppwc.html

A lot of the volunteers and leaders are good friends of mine. This will be my first conference, but I look forward to it. There you can also register, apply for a scholarship if you can’t pay for the whole ticket, or donate to the Pikes Peak Writers or the scholarship fund.

You can find out more about registration here: http://www.regonline.com/builder/site/default.aspx?EventID=972508

I hope to see you there in April! Keep writing, and keep looking for the best stories.