A year ago I went to the Christian Writer's Guild (CWG) annual conference, Writing for the Soul. As I have written before I had the pleasure of sitting at the table with Jennifer Valent for dinner one night. Jennifer is a past winner of the Operation First Novel Contest and is now in the process of publishing her third book.
After the conference I also had the opportunity to become online "friends" with the 2008 winner, CJ Darlington. We have yet to meet in person, but cross paths through the wonder of Facebook and blogging.
These two women have inspired me to actively pursue finishing my own novel and for that I am grateful. They have gone before me and shown me that it can be done.
Now there is another name to add to the list of Operation First Novel winners. Henry McLaughlin was announced as the winner at this year's conference last month. His novel Journey to Riverbend is described by Karen Watson, associate publisher for fiction at Tyndale House, as a mix of Western and romance.
I find this intriguing because Henry is a 62 year old male and let's face it; most of us think women are the ones who write romance novels.
Henry is another example to those of us walking the road pursuing our dreams that hard work and perseverance make a difference.
Congratulations Henry! I look forward to reading Journey to Riverbend.