Women’s Fiction Festival: Just a Teaser

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I’m in Italy, in the tiny town of Matera, trying to figure out how to write this, stitch up a pair of slacks and grab a bite to eat—all within 30 minutes. That’s when day two of the Women’s Fiction Festival is held here every year. I’m here because West Virginia writer and author Marie Manilla urged me to take this trip as a reward for the fruits of my labor. I’m going to give her a big hug when I return. She was spot on: it is rewarding to be sitting here next to an open window from which I can see ancient buildings just a few feet away.

Another reward comes at the festival, or conference, itself. That’s where I met the agents, editors and publishers who spoke yesterday. Not because I had an appointment, either. They’re just here, and they’re happy to mingle with the writers.

They provided many insights into the changing face of publishing, which I thought I would share with you last night. Instead, I ditched my obligation to my readers and went to a Bible meeting instead, where I met people who are now like family. Then I came back to the Albergo Italia, changed clothes and went to dinner. It was 10 p.m. Like most Europeans, they dine late here. Then I sat up talking to Christine until 1 a.m. about life
here, about the conference, and about life in general.

So now I have just 15 minutes, and haven’t eaten or mended my slacks. The good news is, dinner isn’t the only thing late around here. So is everything else. That’s why I’m fairly certain Adam Firestone, a weapons expert, will not have begun speaking in the scheduled 9 a.m. slot when I show up. At least I hope not, because otherwise, I’m going to be late—and firearms is something I want to learn more about. I’m working on my first fiction piece, and a firearm plays a pivotal role. He should be able to help me nail the crucial details: type of weapon, velocity of bullet, etc., that I’ll need for the story to be accurate.

Yesterday’s program was a wealth of information, all about the publishing business. And I’m sorry but this is just a teaser. I’m afraid we’re down to 10 minutes and it just won’t do to show up with a gaping hole in my trousers. So stay tuned, and I’ll give you the details later today. I promise.
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Daleen can be reached at daleen.berry@gmail.com.
Editor’s note: Daleen Berry will join a Sept. 16 discussion about the topic of child sex abuse at Webster’s Bookstore in State College, Pa. Berry is the first recipient of the Pearl Buck Award in Writing for Social Change, for her second book, Lethal Silence, to be published sometime in 2012. Berry speaks about overcoming abuse through awareness, empowerment and goal attainment at conferences around the country.

Her memoir (paperback and as an e-book) can be found at bookstores everywhere, or ordered online. To read the first chapter free, please go to Goodreads. Check out the five-star review from ForeWord Reviews. Or find out why Kirkus Reviews called Berry “an engaging writer, her style fluid and easy to read, with welcome touches of humor and sustained tension throughout.” To read her award-winning memoir, Sister of Silence, in e-book format (or any other e-book), download a free app from Amazon for your phone, tablet or computer.

If you want to read 100 reviews, go to Amazon. To view the Sister of Silence book trailer, go to her VintageBerryWine Youtube channel.


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