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Monday Mentions: Howls, Wags & Wins!

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He loves me for my mouse...

I’m just back from the Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc annual conference, and had a ball! It will take me a few days to get caught up but I wanted to post pictures and give some shout-0uts about the great folks and speakers–including the furry ones.

Thanks to the officers and committee chairs and volunteers that made the conference possible. President Dan Case, conference chair (and new president!) Linda Apple, the contest team of Nita Beshear and Maria Veres, Gloria Teague the secretary, treasurer Barbara Shepherd and  and publicity director Jen Nipps.

There were three to four sessions scheduled each hour, and that made it difficult to decide which session to attend (and miss other great speakers). This year I was honored to be a speaker and we had a fun session on Friday with media training, and Saturday the Ebook DIY was well attended.

Media training session at the OWFI conference.

My apologies for the technical difficulties–the power point presentation with all the fun furry pictures pooped out on me, and I didn’t get to cover ALL the info that I had prepared. Starting tomorrow, I will begin a Tuesday Tips series based on the presentation that includes all the DIY tips, links to important information, and marketing for your Ebook. The book signing (below) featured several of the books I’ve “kindle-ized” and also brought back in POD.

Amy at book signing.

The best part of the conference for me is networking and hanging out with friends, and meeting new folks. I collected a boatload of business cards (and hope I can find ’em all as I unpack!). It’s great fun to finally put faces to names of “email friends” or Facebook connections–and I must say “sorry, my bad…” in advance cuz I’m awful with names and so avoid listing people as I know I’ll get names wrong. 

I always look forward to seeing my good friend Carol Shenold, and met a really neat author/poet Joanna Tweedy who explained all about Quiddity (check it out!).   Tina Haapala is the founder of the Excuse Editor, and a writing coach and marketing consultant. At breakfast before I left the con, I got to meet several more terrific writers. Natasha Hanova won several awards, reason enough to hate her, but she’s a thoroughly nice and talented writer. Judy Ridgley is another winning writer to watch–check out her blog, as is Marsha Lytle. Chesty, the dog, made a big impression but I don’t think he has a blog!

Chesty wants my squeaky mouse!

Chesty (above) is an Italian Mastiff and service dog partnered with writer Jackie B. Jones. He came to visit me during the book signing and was particularly interested in my Play & Squeak mouse toys. We even had a signing duet (he has a lovely baritone voice). Chesty also added his howls of approval at the Saturday night awards banquet whenever folks applauded a win–what fun!
The Embassy Suites Hotel, home of the OWFI con for many years, makes everyone feel welcome. The “happy hour” each evening is a hit, and a great opportunity to unwind, exchange cards, share notes about the sessions and celebrate successes. My friends from Sherman also attended, Lois and Ron and Frank.

Lois & Ron Richardson


Frank Steele

 I first met Liz and Steve Berry at Thrillerfest when he was the co-president and worked as a volunteer for Liz–she’s the executive director. So I was thrilled that Steve was this year’s keynote speaker–inspiring!–and Liz gave a great talk on marketing.

Steve Berry offers an unscheduled morning talk.

 Steve even generously gave an impromptu unscheduled Saturday morning talk on plotting and character (7:30 a.m., yikes!) that was packed. So yes, I did the fan-thing and ask for a picture. *s*

The amazing Liz and Steve Berry

Sorry, folks, I didn’t get any pictures of the Friday night “sparkles”  for the Famous Author banquet. That’s the evening that those who had the great fortune to publish a book the previous year are recognized. This year, William Bernhardt announced the names and I was pleased to have my American Pit Bull Terrier book recognized. On Saturday the contest presentation was a great surprise when the book won Best Nonfiction Book in the published category–and yes, I did get pictures of those sparkles.
Here are just a few of the folks I met, some I heard in sessions and others connected iver meals or buzz sessions during the weekend:  
Kathleen Anderston, literary agent
Pat Browning, and Jackie King, awesome session on “selling your book on kindle.”
Gretchen Craig, romance author
Verna Dreisback, literary agent
Scott Eagan, literary agent
Kate Epstein, literary agent
Mari Farthing, editor Metro Family Magazine
Andy Horton, screen writer
Kelly James-Enger, sessions on ghostwriting and contracts
Max McCoy, author, interview techniques and more
Rhonda Penders, editor The Wild Rose Press
Fred Pfister, Ozarks Mountaineer Magazine
Joanna Beth Tweedy, awesome poet and editor with Quiddity Literary Journal
Wendy Lyn Watson, author of cozy mysteries
Dale Whisman, author/playwright
Vivian Zabel, editor 4RV Publishing
 I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions–and to stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

About amyshojai

Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified animal behavior consultant (dogs/cats), award winning author of 30+ pet care titles and thrillers, and spokesperson to the pet industry.

17 responses »

  1. I wasn’t able to take as many photos as I wished, but I have some on Face Book, and tomorrow will try to get some on my blog and website.

    I always enjoy visiting with you, and I loved the “duet.”

  2. Amy, this was my second OWFI Conference. I loved it more than the first one. It’s an amazing thing to be in the same room with so many well-known authors, aspiring authors, and supportive friends. I looked forward to seeing your bling. Loved the Friday night outfit. I hope to get my blog post up today with some photos. Gotta say, I did love Chesty. He provides such a great service for his “master.” And, oh my goodness, when I received the 2nd place award for my feature article I was so excited I embarrassed myself and everyone who knows me. I will see you next year.

    • Winona, it was fun to see how excited you were–and everyone else was, too! There’s nothing embarrassing about joy and celebrating success! Now then, go out and get that feature article published and we’ll all do that Snoopy-Dance-O’-Joy with you, too. *s*

  3. Amy, I had such a great time talking with you over breakfast. I’m with you, time flew by at the conference. I look forward to blogging and Facebooking with you between now and the time we meet again at OWFI next year. And thank you for the compliment.

  4. Amy, Each day of the conference you looked so beautiful! I loved your session on e-books…it was wonderful even without your pictures. You said you had handouts, but I forgot to pick mine up. (Think I’m morphing into an air-head!) Will you post these on your website or blog site? I’d love to download one.
    Jackie King

    • Hi Jackie, Glad you enjoyed the session! I think we ran out of handouts. That info will be posted on tomorrow’s blog–actually that will work better because they’re all loooooooooooong links and this way you can just “click.” Great to see you at the con!

  5. Great post Amy. Thanks for all the advice and fun at the conference. One little thing, my name is spelled, B (as in boy), e, s, h, e, a ,r. I only mention it because, it will be easier for folks to find me, once I update my blog again, if they spell the name right. 🙂 Us unusually named folks have to stick together.


    • I’ll correct it–that’s what I thought! but it was spelled Bershears on the officer list in the conference booklet so . . . *s* sorry about that.

  6. Thanks for the mention, Amy! I’m looking forward to the handouts. I am trying to absorb all that I learned this weekend and to “practice what I preach” and spend more time on my own writing. I know it will not only help me, but I will be able to learn more about the process every day and pass it on.

    • Hi Tina, Great to connect–and I know you can do whatever you want to do. We all have problems with that “do as I say, not as I do…” thing. *s*

  7. Congrats on your win, Amy.

  8. Lois Richardson

    Great conference shared with wonderful, fun friends. Gathering notes, manuscripts, and then hope to make right decisions for the next step. Thanks for all the support. Looking forward to setting up a blog-I think.

    • Lois, you can do it! Great seeing you and Ron at the conferenence. *s* Keep me posted on all the good news that’s sure to come from the con experience.

  9. Pingback: Monday Mentions: About Pets & Heroes « Amy Shojai's Blog

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