A blog I read today got me to thinking about all the amazing women I’ve met along my romance writing journey. I thought I’d do a series of blog posts introducing you to some.
I started this journey to becoming an author, a journey I’m still on, by the way, back around 1984 or 5. I had graduated from college after three years in the Army and at 25 years old, I found myself unemployed, literally living in my parents’ basement. (I was actually the one who asked if I could move my bedroom down there because it was a big room and I would have some privacy from the rest of my family).
My sister, who had, through an interesting set of circumstances, graduated with me from college with the same degree even though she was 3.5 years younger, had bought a copy of How to Write a Romance and Get It Published by Kathryn Falk. I don’t know why Dotti bought that, but when she moved out of the house for her first “big girl job,” she gave it to me.
I read it through, actually wrote to Ms. Falk hoping for the “fill in the blanks” way to write a book, kinda like it was outlined, and joined Romance Writers of America.
My husband and I attended a conference in New Jersey about 1987. It cost us $50 a piece, which is amazingly low for an NJRW conference, I know now, and it was a buffet lunch!
The first person to ever encourage me was at the conference and I didn’t even meet her. I met Nora Roberts, Roberta Gellis, and Lavyrle Spencer there, but at the time, I was a big fan of Constance O’Day Flannery’s time travel romances.
I saw her sitting at a table across the room, and she looked so glamorous in cape, I just couldn’t approach her. Who was I but this 20-something wannabe who hadn’t even finished a book, let alone submit anything?
Later when I got home, I wrote her a fan letter and told her that I was too intimidated to talk to her.
She wrote back! She told me next time to just say hi and that I had no reason to be intimidated.
That lesson has held me in good stead over the years and I’ve actually made friends with wonderful women who have appeared on best sellers lists and whose names you would certainly recognize!
That was my first glimpse that romance writers are wonderful, warm people, and I hope to share some of those fabulous stories with you!