Today I'd like to welcome Cynthia Hickey, another author who was surprised by Barbour Publishing with her first contract during a General Session at the ACFW Conference. She was awarded her contract at the first ACFW Conference that I attended, and I was so excited to learn that Barbour awarded contracts during the conference. I had no idea that the next year would be my turn. :)
I joined ACFW in 2006. My husband bought me the registration for Christmas, and although I was super excited to know I was going to my first ever conference, I had no idea how my life was going to change. 2006 was an uneventful, uninspiring year, as far as my writing goes. But seeds were being planted. Then, Barbour announces they're opening a cozy mystery line.
Not knowing what a cozy mystery was, I didn't pay much attention until a friend dared me to write one. So, I looked up what a cozy mystery was, and early in 2007 wrote the story, entered it into a contest, won first place in the inspirational category, and acquired an agent. Unbeknownest to me, my agent had also sold the story to Barbour. This was in May of 2007. Throughout the entire summer, my agent and Barbour kept this a secret, putting off my questions, until I wanted to pull my hair out! They were great at keeping a secret.
Then, at Friday's luncheon at the ACFW conference in 2007, I was awarded a contract by Barbour for my cozy mystery novel, Fudge-Laced Felonies. I sat in my chair, shell-shocked, until my agent pushed me forward and on robotic legs I made my way to the front of the room. My life hasn't been the same since.
That first book led to two more, and now I have a novella releasing in 2012. My three cozies are being re-released as ebooks, and I have ten proposals floating around the publishing world waiting to hear word on, and have recently signed with a new agent. It has definitely been a whirlwind last few years.
Cynthia Hickey lives in Western Arizona with her husband, two of their seven children, a dog, two cats, a snake, and a fish named Floyd. She's been making up stories since she was a child and is thrilled that God finally gave her an outlet for the voices in her head.