I'm off on a new adventure, this time into the YA world. Once again, the setting is a place very close to my heart.
I was brilliantly fortunate in this first year of joining Romance Writer's of America (RWA) and my local chapter of Colorado Romance Writers that the national conference was held just 20 miles from my home. Was it worth it? 100%. Would I have gotten myself to go if it was in any other state? Probably not. Let's face it, conferences are expensive, and many authors are not known for their outgoing nature! With those thoughts in mind, I thought I would start a series on this blog to share the wealth of knowledge I came away with. While this conference was hosted by the RWA, it should be noted that the majority of what I learned is applicable to any genre.
Authors. We are a incredibly diverse bunch! The ribbons that people proudly displayed on their badges highlighted that. #RWA18 celebrated that. Diversity was the key word, and from what I gleaned, they want to celebrate it even more! From authors and characters of color to a much wider embrace of #HEAforAll and the LGBT movement, romance is no longer one size fits all. One of my favorite quotes of the week came from author and speaker Alisha Rei, "Every book that can't sell CAN sell." And there you have it. Lesson number one? I like to compare it to Tom Petty, Amazing performer, non traditional voice. What made him so popular? He made an impact on someone. Lesson number one: GO MAKE AN IMPACT ON SOMEONE.
This is one of my favorite songs for when my nerves get high. Which is right now knowing I will be at #RWA18 this week. It makes me breathe and realize I'm not alone. Thanks @JasonMraz for being "that guy".
This line from The Greatest Showman has been going through my head all morning. I think many authors struggle with this concept, that we need all of our readers to love us. It just isn't going to happen. Often I love the books that many reviewers pan. On the flip side, often I read books that people are raving about and think, "WHAT?????" That is the beauty of humanity. We aren't a one size fits all creature. What is beautiful to one person may be hideous for another. In the end we are all beautiful. And whether everyone believes that or not, it does not matter. Just a few good people will. And that is enough!
Learned about the loss of a dear friend to cancer yesterday. Haven't seen her in years, yet it hurts just the same. It reminds me, once again, that life is short and precious no matter how much pain there seems to be. It is also why I write (and read) romance themed happily ever afters. I can immerse myself in other topics, but they don't make me feel good, so I don't. I am wishing you a beautiful day today no matter what you are facing. If just for this very moment, breathe in life and gratitude for all that it brings, it is truly a gift after all.
A handful of people, who truly know me, know what an extreme introvert I am, and that I struggle horribly with self doubt. For the rest of the people in my life, they don't believe that. They see the Aries born, Chinese Zodiac Ram leader who is willing to try anything and who fights for what is right in the world. They see the acting major who has learned how to put on the face of the role they are playing and stand on stage and act out the part. So I asked a dear friend this morning what to say to my doubt when it pops in and threatens to make me throw up my hands and quit everything, She said to tell it, "Fuck off - Not today!"
That moment when your grandson comes upstairs and suggests you make cookies together, and you drop everything and do.............PRICELESS!
I recently heard the quote that publishing novels is a long distance race. My response was that I am more of a sprinter myself. I finished Change of Heart almost a year ago, and here I am yet to have it ready to deliver to my readers. For that I am truly very sorry. On the upside, I am excited about the edits it is going through and the lessons it is teaching me.
I always share my reviews on my Twitter account. Check it out!
So excited to be a part of the team at the amazing LoveBooksGroup blog lovebooksgroup.blog/
As I struggled to find a cover that truly fit the heart behind Change of Heart, it dawned on me that I have always been more interested in publishing through the traditional route. When I contacted publishers for In the Eyes of an Angel, I received incredibly positive feedback. Unfortunately, it was in 2009 - during the worst part of the recession. Self-publishing and e-books were up and coming. With the increasingly tough publishing market, agencies were taking on very few selective new authors. I never even considered going that route again. I now am ready to take the leap of faith and put my efforts into sharing my work with publishing agencies again. Wish me good fortune and the fortitude I know it takes!
Had a "change of heart" about my title and am going with this one for my new book. Working on the cover as we speak so look for it soon!!!!