While in San Antonio, I pitched a couple of book ideas. One I came up with when an editor of a new small press showed up and agreed to take pitches. The other I've been writing off and on but could never get anyone interested in publishing.
Both editors showed a lot of interest, and one sent me a contract a week after I came home. It's for a book about the history of the lost communities in the Boston Mountains of the Arkansas Ozarks. The publisher is Old American Publishing and their books are very attractive. I'm thrilled to be working on this at last. I'm hoping for a spring, 2010 release date, but it hasn't been finalized yet. No title is set as yet.
The other hasn't sent a contract yet, but we are working on several ideas and I'm sure it will come through. Keeping mum about the subject matter.
To back up, a week or so prior to the trip to Texas, I was sitting at my book table at the Ozark Creative Writer's Conference talking about my book, Fly With The Mourning Dove, which was a 2008 Willa finalist. A fella I'd known casually for a lot of years approached me and said he was an acquisitions editor for GoldMinds Publishing. He thought I might be interested in doing a book for them on the food culture of the Boston Mountains that would include recipes and related stories. I liked the idea, and now have that contract as well. The bookwill be out in the spring of 2010. No title is set as yet.
The two books set in the Boston Mountains are easy to write at the same time. Having both contracts at once saves a lot of doubling back for research later.
These came about because of networking, and I can't stress the importance of networking enough. Most of my contracts over the years have come about because of contacts I've made at conferences.