A few interesting links to entertain and inspire you while I wait for my brain to come back from vacation.

Sabrina Fox has an interview with Diann Hunt up on her blog. If you’re good with treasure hunts you might even win a book.

Gina Holmes had a terrific interview with Karen Ball on Novel Journey earlier this week. Part II was particularly interesting to me.

Gina: Speaking of the ‘wow’ factor, is that something you can define or is it something you just know when you see it?

Karen: It’s really hard to quantify. It’s the power in the writing. It’s depth of character development. It’s when you start reading a story and are immediately transported. I think one of the challenges in publishing is that it’s so subjective. Each house is different. Each editor is different. What does it for me may not even impact another editor. It really is hard to define.

But if you’re writing the best story you can and a story you’re passionate about, you have a much better chance for hitting that wow factor. If you really spent your time researching and studying the craft, that’s the biggest thing. You need to be reading really great writing, both in the Christian market and in the secular market. Reading the books that have won the Pulitzer and books that have won the Newbery. Reading excellent writing so writers can bring their writing up a notch.

I can’t agree more heartily about reading voraciously. Parochialism will stunt your growth as a writer. She also talks about branding, about developing relationships in publishing, and how many proposals she sees that still aren’t quite ready to be published.

And saving the best news for last (even if it is a little late), Dineen Miller, one of the few women taller than me, finaled in the RWA Kiss Of Death chapter Daphne du Maurier contest in the inspirational suspense category. Way to go, Girl!

Here’s another picture of Dineen and me at Mount Hermon. Camy Tang took this one and I think it may be the only picture in existence of me with glasses on.

On another Mount Hermon note, my son apparently thought I was at the Orange County airport the whole time I was gone. Makes sense considering that’s where they left me and that’s where they picked me up. No wonder he was so frustrated that Grandma wouldn’t take him to go see me. Of course he told me yesterday that he saw an airplane in the sky, and that the airplane man gave me a parachute so I could jump out. Apparently, he’s never heard of my admonition against jumping out of perfectly good planes.