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Teen Guest: Elizabeth Liberty Lewis

As I told you about a few days ago, Elizabeth is here on my blog today! She writes at Exhortations by Elizabeth.   I answered these same questions on her blog a little while ago. You can read them here. Here she is!

1. What made you decide to attend the conference?

A number of things - partly because it was so specific (I mean, a conference solely for Christian speculative fiction writers? Really?), partly because my friends and my dad urged me to go, partly because I felt it was too big an opportunity to miss.

2. Meet anyone special?

Oh, where do I start? I met Kat Heckenbach, whom I had been friends with on Facebook for a few months and was counting down the days to the conference; I met Grace Bridges, who runs Splashdown Books in New Zealand and has a beautiful accent; I met Kathy Tyers, who wrote the Firebird trilogy and two Star Wars novels and is now my honorary third grandmother; and I met Jeff Gerke, the owner of the publishing house I hope to get to publish my novel(s) someday.

3. Did you do anything embarrassing?

Besides missing my mentoring appointment and walking around for an indeterminate amount of time on the second day with a huge stain in my pants? The keynote speaker (Jeff Gerke, whom I had been nervous about meeting for months) pointed me out in the middle of the keynote speech because I drew stick figures depicting me meeting him on my blog. That didn't really count as embarrassing, though, I suppose. Oh, and I was blubbering in the car on the way over the second morning. That was pretty embarrassing, especially since I was sure everyone could see my bloodshot eyes.

4. Were you as exhausted as I was?

Midnight bedtime the first night, 1 AM bedtime the next, so you decide. Even though I'd promised my mom I would go to sleep by 11. There went that out the window.

5. Are you an introvert/shy, and did that affect how you interacted with the people there?

I actually had an experience similar to yours, Alyson: I didn't exactly talk more than I usually do (which isn't much unless I'm with someone I know) but I was much more forward than I usually am. I had the nerve to ask people whether I could join them at lunch, talk to several published authors, and  *gasp* even put some of my business cards on the table with the others'.

6. Did you come home with any special encouragement or insight into your writing?

I was really inspired by the classes that encouraged us to write different stuff, even if the mainstream market won't accept it. That was one of the main themes of the entire conference. One of the nice one-liners to take home was "what God requires and what the CBD prefers are NOT the same thing."

7. Did you take lots of notes?

About three pages' worth, front and back, so yeah. I debated taking my laptop but just ended up with my old notebook and a new one for backup in case I filled the old one up. Except my friend who came with me forgot her notebook and ended up taking my new one home by accident.

8. Can we have a sample? ;)

Some of my most interesting notes were from Bryan Davis' class about The Hero's Journey. They basically go like:
ordinary world
crisis/creation of imbalance *squiggle over to the side* "crisis creates object of desire"
conflict adding tools for opposing ant. *another squiggle over there* "protagonist gains something in the first conflict to make them stronger"
I was having fun with those squiggles.

9. Was there an assumption about conferences you had prior to going that was proved right or wrong?

I guess I kind of assumed that all the published authors and the publishers themselves would be kind of uppity. I didn't expect them to look down their noses and sneer "Prove yourself" exactly, but I expected them to distance themselves. To my surprise, they just turned out to be...well, people.

10. Would you go again?

I would definitely go again if an opportunity presented itself to go with some of my friends, as I did this time. They steadied me and provided me with someone to bounce off of, so to speak. I'm not sure how eager I would be to go alone, but I've got to branch out sometime. ;)
Thanks for being here, Elizabeth! I'm glad you had fun at the conference.


  1. Very cool! I know Mr. Davis and Jeff Gerke too. :) What conference was this? I've been to the Florida Christian Writers Conference every year for four years. :)

    Stori Tori's Blog


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