A month from today I will be in Tennessee, visiting with my writer friend Kay Elam, and  attending the “Killer Nashville” mystery writing conference. By then, I shall have two 72,000-word cozy mysteries “completed” and ready to pitch.

The short-term plan for that weekend is to find the right fit with the perfect agent and sign a representation contract. The long-term plan is to have that agent find me the right publisher for my mystery series within the following six months.

I figure having two books in the series already in “final form” is preferable to showing up at the conference and saying “I’m going to write more books like this first one.”

In June, I submitted the first 50 pages of my first mystery for consideration in the Claymore Awards. Becoming a finalist will put me in a very elite group, and will give me a little more clout with potential agents and publishers.

According to Kay, there were 251 entries this year. The top 10 make the finalist list. My intention, of course, is not to just be in the top 10, but to win the whole darn thing!

I get tingly just thinking how winning this aware will promote my credibility as a writer, burn calories doing the happy dance for hours on end, and provide bragging material for all my Facebook friends to read!

I’ve decided to start dancing right away; that Claymore Award is going to look so fabulously good on the bookshelf above my computer!