Yesterday I drove down to Birmingham with a friend, and writing partner, to attend the Southern Magic Readers Luncheon. The chapter did an amazing job of providing great food, hosting a wonderful program with Anne Stuart as the keynote speaker, giving us lots of cool author goodie baskets to try to win, and offering plenty of opportunities for readers to meet the authors. Afterward, we were able to buy books and get them autographed as well.
I love this luncheon because I see how much the readers love the romance genre. The spirit in the room is sparkling with energy. To know that one day my books might bring readers joy and give them the HEA they deserve to discover is a great and heady feeling. I know some people may pooh pooh the romance genre, but it deserves more respect than it receives. These books give women HOPE. And I love the idea of giving my readers that gift.
As a writer, the luncheon is immensely important to me. I get to reconnect with my fellow writers, published and unpublished. I get to celebrate my friends’ most recent successes. Whether it is the first book sold (go Naima!) or the 10th sold, each milestone is recognized. And I get talk about writing with my CP, published authors and my writing partner on the way down and back again to Madison.
We need this time to reflect and connect with the people in our field. The writing world is one where we’re usually boxed up in our offices battling revisions, or where we’re sitting in a coffee shop downing too much java, or driving down demons of doubt when we receive yet another rejection. Being able to sit with other writers and published authors and just talk about it is a gift to me.
I was privileged this year to sit at Lynn Rae Harris’s table. She’s a HARLEQUIN PRESENTS author, newly published, and on her way to great success. When I first met Lynn, she was a Golden Heart finalist and had won a yearlong book editor through the Mills and Boon contest in London. In the year that has followed, she has received her call. Her contract! And I am so pleased for her.
She’s a gracious and generous person who answered all our questions and shared a wealth of information with those of us who still stand on the unpublished side of writing.
That’s the other thing about being a romance writer. Romance writers want to see other romance writers succeed. And the southern chapters I belong to make it their mission to help us all. Both Heart of Dixie and Southern Magic, along with my newest chapter, Georgia Romance Writers of America, give me professional support. In the year I have lived here, I have learned more about how to pitch, compile a synopsis, and SFO Green Berets than ever before.
These chapters and the people who make them run smoothly get a high five from me!!
Now I am energized and ready to hit the next round of revisions for the GH.