This past week I was privileged to return to The Highlights Foundation for a workshop retreat on writing horror, called Books With Bite. Yep. Many of you don’t know this, but I’m working on a couple of YA novels along with my picture books…and once I saw the description and the brilliant authors who would be presenting, I knew I had to apply. I was thrilled to be accepted!
As always, the folks at Highlights could not be more welcoming:
Before we even got started, my Dragons and I got to meet the fantabulous author/illustrator Denise Fleming, who was an artist in residency. #buckletlist #fangirling
The first night, we enjoyed ice breakers and got to know each other. We’d all received 20 pages of each others’ manuscripts. It was so much fun to match the faces with the extraordinary minds of what had given me nightmares over the past few weeks, lol!
Then we hit the ground running the next morning, talking about what we’d enjoyed within each manuscript, and what we had questions about. To ensure everyone had adequate time, we discussed three manuscripts each morning. I learned so much from my new friends! Plus, each person received a one hour one-on-one with one of the mentors. Mine was Micol. It was enlightening not only to hear her comments, but to truly see how an editor reads. I received so much information, I think my brain began to ooze out my ears… (hey, I’m working on writing horror, give me a break here.) 😉
The grounds are breathtaking, and there was plenty of time to enjoy nature walks while digesting the comments. I took several.
Molly, the Highlights beagle, kept us on track:
And then, there was time to write. My Dragons found their own creative outlet:
As might be expected, we did spend one night telling ghost stories. The moon was only too happy to accommodate:
Luckily, I had my brave Dragons to protect me…
The cherry on top of this awesome workshop is that a group of illustrators were also enjoying a retreat, and welcomed me into their little fold one night at dinner. (I may have gushed a little…illustrators rock, and to be a part of their conversation was an honor.) My Dragons made friends with this little brownie, handcrafted by the incredible Chris Derby.
So, to honor the rule of “3” (as many of us writers are apt to do):
Tons of thanks, love & hugs to all who made this possible (including my hubby, who truly supports me in every way…)
And now, I must write.