At the North Carolina Writers Network 2014 Conference

I’m in Charlotte in a swanky hotel attending the North Carolina Writers Network Conference. Like all conferences, there are keynote speakers, workshops and lots of food and drink. But this is a network, so I network with lots of famous and not-yet famous writers with a glass of water in my hand.

20141122NCWNGurganusAAllan Gurganus, who wrote Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, speaks about the sad state of North Carolina education Friday evening.

20141122NCWNpitchworkshopSaturday, I go to The Art of the Pitch with two free-lance editors, Carin Siegfried and Betsy Thorpe.

I learn how to Craft my Message with Priscilla Goudreau-Santos, a publicist.

Faculty readings, book signings and more Happy Hour – I even sell a couple of Mountains-to-Sea Trail books.  But I’ve come here for a specific purpose.

After publishing three books with traditional royalty based publishers, I’m thinking what I keep saying is the unthinkable – self publishing. I’m visiting all the national park units in the Southeast before the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016.  Every national park has a human story as well as great scenery.


I’m writing about the historical characters, rangers, volunteers, park partners and visitors. My book looks at the connection between parks, as well. If you go back in my blogs, you’ll see short snippets about lots of parks.

My book needs to come out in 2016. I’ve not been able to excite a traditional publisher and time is running short. But I need a book in my hand in 2016. If I had a more flexible schedule, I’d continue my search for a publisher. Hence I’m learning about self-publishing. It’s much more complicated than “Just go to Amazon. They’ll print it.”

As I learn more, I’ll share in this blog. Though I specialize in writing about outdoor issues, this is an outdoor issue. In 2016, the country will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service and I’m going to be part of the celebrations.

PS The 2015 North Carolina Writers Network Conference will be in Asheville. Plan on being there!


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