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Friday, September 2, 2011

My Gratitude Journal: Writers' Groups

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Today I express my gratitude for writers' organizations. My first was RWA, the Romance Writers of America. It was 1989 and I had just sold my first book to the Silhouette Romances line. (It later appeared as #702, BENEATH SIERRA SKIES, soon to be re-released in digital form.) Writing friends said I needed to be part of RWA and I joined.

Some of it may have been a little silly. I remember the conference when, because I had been charged with an announcement to give to the group, I ended up seated at a table with the Bartling brothers, three blond body builders-turned-cover-model. I had no idea what to say and the brothers seemed tongue-tied in front of a woman their mother's age.

Then the natural comment came to mind: "I know this isn't how I'm expected to react to you guys, but you remind me of my sons." Bingo! We had a great chat, and the Bartlings -- Jim, Kurt, and Chris -- became my mental models for Jim, Kurt and Chris McAllister, the heroes in the first three books in my Rainbow Rock series, written for Avalon in the 1990s.

One of my favorite author groups is Novelists, Inc. I was among the first people to join when it was just getting rolling, and these twenty-plus years later, it still is a top-notch source of information for authors of popular fiction. I don't know what I'd do without them!

NINC (Novelists, Inc.) also gave my husband his publisher, since a fellow member of the group, Fran Baker, was stretching her wings in publishing some of her own work as well as good work from her writing friends. Roger's second book, SENIOR SHOWERS, is available this summer.

So today I praise writers' groups and give thanks to the groups from which I learn and upon which I lean. I hope I don't lean too hard!

On whom do you lean? Share?

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