This month I’m talking about the process of querying, rejections and why I chose a small press for this project.
My general viewpoint on conferences is that they should be viewed as a working vacation. Part of this is because of what I write and what my expectations are.
The big conferences for Romance writers are RT (Romantic Times) and RWA National (Romance Writers of America). They serve different purposes.
RT is geared mostly towards readers, although they do have some writing classes. I’ve attended this conference as an aspiring author, published author and a reader. I’ve always viewed this particular conference as a working vacation. It was a chance to visit my author friends, Lyn Armstrong and Debbie Cairo. It was a chance to see a new city, visit friends and attend parties. I always attend writing classes there and go to publisher spotlights. I actually met both my publishers (Liquid Silver Books and Resplendence) at RT.
RWA is geared mostly to the business side of things. I’ve yet to attend this particular conference, even though I’m a member. I have attended regional RWA conferences including Midwest Fiction Writers and WisRWA. I found both beneficial to my writing career. Classes tend to revolve around business, craft, and publishing in general.
Some other conferences I’ve attended are Lori Foster’s RAGT (Reader and Author Get Together). This is also a reader geared Con, unlike RT it is much smaller and there are about ten readers for every published author. Lori keeps the author roster small so readers can interact. Maddy Barone introduced me to this Con and we’ve traveled the last two years together.
I’ve attended two local Sci-Fi con’s since I write Paranormal Romance. CoreCon and ValleyCon. I highly recommend if you write in a genre that falls into the genre of SFFP (Science-Fiction, Fantasy, and Paranormal) that you consider attending a local or regional Con. It is a great way to meet readers and I find the communities, in general, to be very supportive of creatives.
There are also many Romance Reader Cons popping up. I ran across this website that might be helpful for those of you writing in the Romance Genre.
I usually attend RT when I can and if I can rope someone into going with me. RWA is still on my bucket list. I’ve attended Lori Foster’s RAGT the last two years. This year, due to my job loss, I’ve cut back on my conferences. I will likely only attend the local sci-fi cons and my annual writing retreat at the end of September.
Overall I love conferences and attend as many as my budget will allow. If nothing else I get a few classes in, meet a few new authors and network. That’s a win in my book.
I thought I’d share a few of my top Ten favorite Romance Novelists. There is a pattern here. Most of them write historical and are either on my auto-buy list or I re-read them over and over. They are however in no particular order.
Johanna Lindsey – I have a few Johanna Lindsey books I read over and over. “Defy Not the Heart”, “say you Love Me” and “Love me Forever” I had to purchase Nook versions because I’d worn out the covers so bad.
Catherine Coulter – I cut my teeth on Ms. Coulter’s Regencies. I’m not as much of a fan of her FBI series, because hey I like Historicals. A few of my favorites are “Sherbrooke Bride” and “Midsummer Magic”.
Hannah Howell – I binged and have purchased the Entire Murray Clan Series, but my truly favorite Hannah Howell book remain’s “Kentucky Bride”.
Cathy Maxwell – Cathy Maxwell makes me cry in the very best way. She has some stories where such sacrifices are made you can feel it. Hence the crying. I don’t have a particular favorite and have read them over and over, all I can say is keep them coming Ms. Maxwell, keep them coming.
Tessa Dare – The first book I picked up by Tessa Dare was “When a Scot Ties a Knot”. Loved it, and was then forced to play catch up when it was the 3rd book in her “Castles Ever After Series” which lead me back to her “Spinster Cove Series”. Ms. Dare has the right amount of heat in her stories that make me search out Mr. Holland. So he’s a fan as well. 🙂
Maddy Barone – Maddy Barone writes a post-apocalyptic werewolf series, “After the Crash” which I adore. A few of my Read over and overs are “Wolf Tracker”, “Wolf’s Oath” and “Wolf’s Vengence”. Thank god I have digital copies of these.
Kristen Callihan – I remember I was traveling for work and I was looking for something to read in my hotel room and purchased “Firelight” for 99cents. Then began my binging of her “Darkest London” series.
Bec McMaster – I was waiting for the next Kristen Callihan book to come out when I noticed on my Nook, people who bought “Firelight” bought “Kiss of Steel”, so I did and then proceeded to binge read her “Steampunk London” series.
Deborah Blake – I love the “People who bought” feature on my Nook. While waiting for the next Kristen Callihan book or maybe it was the next Bec McMaster Book, I found Deborah Blake’s “Baba Yaga” series. And subsequently fell in love with her “Broken Riders”
Beverly Jenkins – I picked up Beverly Jenkins up at the Library on Audio Book and listened to “Indigo” on my daily commute. Now I read her books as they come out. 🙂 It’s funny but I really dug the historical knowledge she put in her books, and found myself telling people, “Did you know the underground railroad did this and this.” Thank you, Ms. Beverly, for reminding me why I fell in love with the Historical Romance Genre.
Happy Valentine’sDay! I hope you have a wonderful and teriffic day and curl up with a good romance. I know I will.
As you all are reading this I’m on my way to Southern Minnesota to spend time with DH’s family.
This year I’m thankful for my spouse – he’s a great guy and super supportive of this writing thing I do. My two awesome girls who are spending thanksgiving with their fiancee’s in Texas and Montana respectively.
My tribes – Kudo’s to the Word Weavers, Maddy Barone, Mary Jean Adams, Krystal, Laura and Kat. The Founders circle including, A. Catherine Noon, Rachel Wilder, Nikki, Darla, Evey, and newcombers Stacey and Jonni. And lastly RWA Online – Including my old CP Holli Winters, President Karen, and recent ties like Leslie Scott and Misti. You all make my writing better and remind me why I love the written word.
On my writing journey, I know I would not be where I am today without the tribe of writers around me.
Having a supportive partner and family is important too, and I’m fortunate to have that as well.
But when I write myself into a corner, cuz I’m a pantser and we do that, DH is of no help. But I can call my friend Arden Richards, whose not yet published but is the best plotter I know.
I belong to a number of tribes –
The F-M Word Weavers – This is my local critique group. Arden is a member as well. Also in my group are published Authors Maddy Barone and Mary Jean Adams. The wealth of knowledge in this group is wonderful, and my writing has greatly improved over the years thanks to these ladies. I found this group on Meet-up and It helps that most of the group is made up of Romance Authors.
Romance Writers of America – I highly recommend this group if you are looking to establish a career in the Romance Writing Industry. I’ve been a member since 2004 and belong to an online chapter. I met my first critique partner Holli Winters through RWA. If you want to learn more about this particular tribe I recommend, if you have Netflix, that you watch “Love Between the Covers”. First time DH watched it with me he said, “Sounds like your writer friends.” Yes, yes it does.
Of course there is also Mystery Writers of America, Horror Writers Association and Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers or America. As I do not write in these genres, I’m unfamiliar with their membership.
Romance Divas – I’ve recently joined Divas, but I have friends who have been members for years and rave about the mentorship and learning there. It seems too that Divas is on the leading edge of trends within the Romance Industry. Also they are FREE, so that is helpful for those watching their budget.
Marketing for Romance Writers – Despite the name, more than Romance Writers belong to this community. If you follow my AuThursday interviews, many of the writers are from this group. This group is also FREE.
Writer Zen Garden – I’ve been with Writer Zen Garden for about five years, brought in by my friend and founding member, A. Catherine Noon. Writer Zen Garden has authors of different genres. They are wonderful for writers just starting out and maybe not so Romance focused. To me the focus is very creative and wonderful cheerleading group. And Guess what – also FREE.
I continue to join groups as I see what they have to offer and if it is a good fit for me. I highly recommend that if you aren’t a member of a tribe that you join one. There is something about the writing journey that shouldn’t be done in a bubble. I mean you can, but there are so many options to connect with people and learn, why wouldn’t you.
The groups above have helped me through Writer’s Block, Rejection, Plotting, Marketing, Networking, and supporting me through my writing journey. I can’t imagine writing without my tribes.