Writer Wednesday – Find your tribe

Writing-GroupOn 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. 











AuThursday – Dana Marie Bell

Please Welcome fellow LSB Author Dana Marie Bell.  Let’s get to it shall we?  So Dana, when and why did you begin writing?

A: I began writing when I was thirteen years old. I was at the beach with my folks and a story idea just popped into my head. I had to write it down. It was like a compulsion. So I asked my grandmother (Memom for those who read the dedications in my books) for pen and paper and locked myself in a room until I was done. I’ve been writing off and on ever since.

Q:  Do you have a specific writing style?

A: Hmm. Is “smartass” a style? I try to write witty paranormals with heroes and heroines who are equally strong but in different ways. They all have obstacles to overcome, whether it’s inside themselves or external, or both. So if that’s a style, then it’s mine.

Q:  How did you come up with your titles?

A: The title usually comes with the idea. “What if a vampire is cursed to drink nothing but green leafy blood?” That idea turned into my current WIP, Norwegian Wood. The Wallflower’s title stemmed from the fact that Emma used to be a shy girl, always quiet and in the corner. Now, she’s anything but. All of my titles have two meanings. Dare to Believe is about not only Ruby’s need to believe in her new Sidhe mate, but the fact that she can’t resist a dare.

Q:  What are your current projects?

A: I have two projects I’m currently writing and one on the back burner. The first is Hecate’s Own, the sequel to Shadow of the Wolf from Liquid Silver Books. The other is Norwegian Wood, a story idea I got while talking with my husband about a curse he’d put on a friend of ours during our college role-playing days. We wound up fleshing it out and his enthusiasm let me know I had a pretty good idea. I’m hoping to sub it to Liquid Silver for their Strange Hollow series.

Q:  Name one person or group that you feel supported you outside of family members.

A: Oh, that’s easy! Monica Burns and the rest of the DC Area Storytellers. We’re a loose group of authors who live in the DC area and plan signings and convention get-togethers, offer each other advice, and pass on any submissions calls from agents or publishers. We have our own blog, http://dcareastorytellers.blogspot.com. Several of us will be doing the Sinfully Sweet party on Wednesday at the Romantic Times convention! It’ll be at 2:30 that afternoon and plenty of prizes will be given out. The Storytellers hosting will be Camille Anthony, D. Renee Bagby, Stephanie “Flash” Burke and myself.

Q:  Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

A: The middle. Seriously, starting the book and ending the book are pretty easy, but sometimes the middle of the book can trip me up, especially when I’m thinking, “Wait. Did I say x or y two chapters back?” It doesn’t help that the characters like to take my outline, ball it up and play hacky sack with it.

Q:  Do you have any advice for other writers?

A: The same advice I once heard from Isaac Asimov. I got lucky when I was a teenager and got to see him speak at a science fiction convention. Someone asked him his trick to being successful. He said something along the lines of sit your butt in the chair and write. Even if it’s utter crap, even if it never gets picked up, write it. If you don’t, you’ll never sell. I’ve followed that advice to the letter. Even when I have stuff turned down I don’t let it stop me. I just keep plugging away, writing what feels right to me, and so far it’s worked beautifully.

Q:  How did you feel when your first book sold?

 A: SQUEE JUMP SCREAM SQUEE *cough* Call hubby SQUEE! Yup, that about covers it.

 Q:  What was the most exciting thing that happened to you after you signed your contract – besides receiving your first check as a published author?

 A: My first fan letter. I felt right then that I’d done a good thing, because the person let me know that she’d been having an awful day and I’d made it better. There’s nothing quite like feeling you’ve made someone happy. It’s what keeps my butt in the chair (that and Mr. Asimov.)

 Q:  If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?

 A: Being a mom. I’m a full time, stay at home mom, and I like it. I’m lucky in that my husband *knock on wood* makes enough for me to not have to work, but I could if I wanted to. So I’m available when my kids are sick or need me for anything, and there’s nothing I’d rather do.

 Q:  Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?




and my newsletter, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/themagicandmayhemnewsletter/.

Thanks for joining me today Dana Marie!  Join us again on Saturday when we read and excerpt from Dana’s book, Shadow of the Wolf!

Until then be Naughty,