They say writing is a solitary act. That is true, and yet there is a lot of support out there if you look.
For a few years now, I have been a member of the Writers’ Community of Durham Region (WCDR); an amazing group of writers who are very supportive and encouraging. Some are multi-published, some are just thinking about writing, and many are in the business (editors, teachers, etc).
I joined the WCDR after I wrote my first novel. “Wrote” mind you…not submitted, not published. I joined to find out how to get it published, and I learned a lot. The one thing I learned is that the book will likely never see the light of day. Although my first book ended up being shelved (or more correctly removed from my computer to a USB key), what I gained resulted in Silver Blade being seen and accepted.
The one thing that seemed to be lacking from my WCDR experience was other romance writers. Romance is the largest book market out there, and yet I felt like I didn’t belong with these writers. “What do you write?” I’d ask and get answers like poetry, non-fiction, and memoir. “What about you?” they would ask. “Paranormal Romance” I’d say and feel like I wasn’t a serious writer.
Now let me clarify that no one…ever…at WCDR made me feel that way. It was all of my own doing, and yet I decided I needed some more interaction with like-minded individuals. So this year I decided to spread my wings and join the Romance Writers of America (RWA) and the TRW (Toronto Romance Writers)…you must join the RWA before you can join the TRW. And both memberships were Christmas gifts from my mom – thanks mom!
Anyway, my first TRW meeting was yesterday, and it couldn’t have been better. Yes, it was 95% women (and I think 2 of the men were there simply because they drove their wives) but just listening to some of the women talk, I knew I was in the write place (pun intended).
What made it even better, was that Kelley Armstrong was the speaker at my first TRW meeting. She spoke from 9 – 4 about the business end of writing, as well as her own personal writing. I’ve got her entire Otherworld series, and can’t wait for her new adult Cainsville series to come out in August. Here is a photo of me with Kelley. (Yes, I did ask her permission to post her photo on my blog.)
I’m looking forward to learning and sharing with these women (and men). If I could achieve a fraction of Kelley’s success with my books, I’d be happy. As I said before, as a romance writer, I believe in happy endings!