History Hoydens


Historical Romance Writers Dishing the Dirt on Research

06 August 2007

I get by with a little help

While our theme here is "research" I think it's worth mentioning another aspect of the writer's life: relationships with other writers. I've been blessed so far in my career with several opportunities to make lasting friendships with my fellow romance writers. Romance Writers of America catches a lot of flack on the web, but I can honestly say that without RWA (and the opportunities it provides for interaction with my peers) I don't know what I'd do.

Firstly there's my local chapter, The San Francisco Bay Area Chapter. This dynamic group is home to a lot of knowledge, dynamic women whose friendship and support are priceless. Last week two of the locals had books out (Monica McCarty's Highlander Untamed and Tracy Grant's Secrets of a Lady). A big group of us met up for lunch and to attend their first signing. During that lunch we brainstormed all or parts of three different books. It's the most amazing thing I've ever seen. This kind of sharing and support are something I couldn't get by without.

I also have my friends here at History Hoydens, a couple of whom are also local. Tomorrow I'll have lunch with Doreen DeSalvo, and we'll blab about out books and coo over my new cover (yes, Lord Scandal's cover has arrived!). As you can see, lunches with the ladies are a big part of my world.

If you're not lucky enough to have a big local group, the support and friendships you can form online can be just as warm and wonderful. Online chapters, like the Beau Monde or PASIC, are simply irreplaceable. And sometimes forming your own group, as the 2005 Golden Heart finalists did (we're the Wild Cards) means you always have a home, a shoulder to cry on, and a big group to yell and scream with you about both the good and the bad.

I guess what I'm trying to say, is sometimes it's not just about the writing. It's about the relationships and the lunches and the friendships.


Blogger Mary Blayney said...

Kalen, thanks for that post. I could not agree with you more.

I would not be where I am today without RWA, and the critique group that is an essential part of my creative effort. The Beau Monde is endlessly helpful and the Hoydens are an amazing group of women.

Yes, writing is a solitary occupation and I love it more than any other work I have ever done. BUT there is a reason I check email a dozen times a day. I treasure my online friendships, personal and professional, as much the friends I talk to on the phone or see in person.

It's what makes the national conference a joy for me, the chance to share the writing life face-to-face with the people who are such an essential part of it.

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Tracy Grant said...

Kalen, too funny! I started reading your post without knowing you were referring to any particular group of writers and my mind immediately went to last Wednesday and how fun lunch was and how wonderful it was of everyone to come to the signing and support Monica and me. Then I scrolled down on the screen and saw the picture of all of us. What a Monday morning treat! Thanks again for coming to the signing. Having a new book out is both wonderfully exciting and very nerve-wracking. It made the day so special to have everyone there!

I've met some of my best friends at SFA-RWA meetings. I don't know what I would do without my writer friends. I have a lot of wonderfully supportive friends and family, but I don't think anyone who isn't a writer completely understands the ups and downs, the intricacies of this crazy business, the magic and frustration of creating worlds and characters. I so look forward to writer lunches. I'm always amazed at the wonderful ideas that come out of group brainstorming. And it's so much fun to brainstorm someone else's book--you get to throw out wonderfully creative, off the wall ideas, with no responsibility for making them work :-).

Can't wait to see the cover for Lord Scandal!

11:09 AM  
Blogger Monica McCarty said...

What a lovely post! I completely agree. Sometimes I wonder how I got by before I had this wonderful group of women to draw from. Writing is such a solitary pursuit, and I think good writing friends are absolutely crucial. Thanks for the reminder!

11:11 AM  
Blogger Pam Rosenthal said...

Only a dozen times, Mary?

I so agree with your post, Kalen, especially since I'm a slow, cranky, kvetchy writer, always sure I'm on the brink of disaster. The RITA acceptance speech I didn't get to give (she said in a brave, chipper tone) included thanks to SFARWA chapter members (particularly Kate Moore) for convincing me not to ditchThe Slightest Provocation. And Doreen did a pretty great job just last Friday (at lunch) of helping me pinpoint the problems I was feeling with my current wip.

12:14 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

What a great post, Kalen. I'm fortunate enough to be serving my second term as President of RWA NYC, and I don't what I would do without my fellow chapter members. We've celebrated each other's successes, cheered each other on when dealing with rejections, and the various life changes that we've all gone through. I'm so proud to serve as their President. I also treasure the wonderful people that I've met at conferences, and the writers I've met online and through my own blog.

12:30 PM  
Blogger Keira Soleore said...

Kalen, loved that photo of you all at the signing!

Since I started haunting boards and blogs in the romance writing world, I'm continually amazed at the warm friendships, support, openess, and graciousness of everyone I've met (at RWA and online). Other than writing and research, I've benefitted tremendously personally, too.

6:18 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Web Site Counter
Kennedy Western University Online