Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Faith and Fiction Retreat

I'm still recovering from my sunny days in Destin Florida where I attended the Faith and Fiction Retreat ( ), which means one of two things, either it was really a great or I'm really too old for activity. Suffice to say you know the former would be the true statement. Here are a few pictures of some new and old friends. The first is Reshonda Tate Billingsley in her p.j.'s at the book chat for her novel, The Paster's Wife (excellent read by the way). Reshonda is officially the funniest person I've ever met. The second pic is of Ashea Goldson and Kendra Norman Bellamy from my writer's group and also my sisters on the Urban Christian Book Imprint.

If I had to pick one thing that was best about the retreat, I'd have to say it was meeting the book clubs. What a treat. I've never been a part of a book club, but being a part of the late night chats made me want to join one. I looked forward to attending just to observe how bookclubs discuss the actual books and I was pleasantly surprised at the discourse and/or banter that ensued. Wow! I knew this going in but books really speak into peoples lives. Made me proud I'm an author. Below is a picture of the ladies of the Phenomenal Women Book Club. It was phenomenal to meet them and all the ladies from the Regal Sisterhood Book Club, Glory Girls, Sip n Read, Circle of Friends II and Spirit of Sisterhood. There were also readers who weren't apart of book clubs who attended from as far north as Rochester, New York and Columbus, OH and Texas. It was great to see such devotion to Christian Fiction.

The second best part of the retreat was meeting the authors I've never met in person - Reshonda Tate Billingsley, Michelle Andrea Bowen, Mikasenoja, Bonnie Hopkins and of course our conference host, Tiffany Warren. It was great seeing Victoria Christopher Murray as always. Victoria and Reshonda hosted a great panel for writers about the publishing business and the advice they shared was life changing...that is for my individual writer goals and my marketing plan. I really appreciate these ladies transparency and willingness to share. The other panel discussions were great as well. Ooops, please note my local sister writer friends Sherri Lewis, Kendra Norman Bellamy, Ashea Goldson and Dwan Abrams. You know how it is when you're in Nazareth, I appreciate you all too!

In the first picture from left to right is Tiffany Warren, Sherri Lewis, Kendra Norman Bellamy, Bonnie Hopkins, Victoria Christopher Murray, Dwan Abrams, Reshonda Tate Billingsley and Mikasenoja. In the second picture are Sherri Lewis, Ashea Goldson and Dwan Abrams, my Urban Christian Imprint mates from Atlanta and members of the Visions in Print Writer's Group.

Finally, the accommodations and the relaxation, superb. I didn't make it to the beach. Can you believe that? I was far too busy, but I did get to rest in a room with windows from floor to ceiling that had an ocean view. I also had some wonderful quiet time on the balcony in the early morning and the late evening hours. I listened to the waves come in on the beach while I spent some awesome time in prayer with the Lord. It was so peaceful and so needed at this time in my life. Yes, this is a picture I took from my balcony on at the Palms of Destin.

So with that all said, the retreat was a real treat. I'm already planning and looking forward to next year. The food was yummy, too. Who ordered the six layer chocolate cake?!!

Make sure to go over to to listen to interviews with attendees that Dee Stewart recorded.

As always, thanks for stopping by.




Angela said...

Great post, Rhonda! I'm going to link to it on my blog.

The Gospel Writer said...

I want to go, too! You make me feel like I was there.

Patricia W. said...

It was a blast! I had so much fun and it was great to meet you and all the other ladies.

ReShonda Tate Billingsley said...

Thanks for the kind words, Rhonda. It was such a pleasure to meet you and I'll see you on the bestseller's list - I've claimed it for you!

Ty said...


It was great to meet you in person! I posted on my blog and also added photos.



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