The People We Meet

In continuing with my year-end review, I can’t go another day without mentioning the people. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the romance writer’s community seethes with wonderful people. If you’re lucky, you “click” with several of them.

This happened to me this year. 2009 saw me going through the writing process alone. Sure, I’d started emerging from my shell (because Danica pushed me out), but I still hadn’t developed friendships. I think it started with my first critique partner. To be quite honest, I’d forgotten I signed up to the Romance Writer’s Community (a place to help critique partners find each other).

Then one day, this lady named Daisy Harris sent me an e-mail asking if I’d like to partner up. I was scared because up until then, I hadn’t really had anyone other than agents read my stuff. It felt…weird. Then I got my first critique. This woman made me crack up laughing at her comments. I wish I could lie and say she found no problems with my manuscripts, but she did. And she made me laugh at my goofiness. Yeah, there were a lot of “you know there’s a line between troubled and crazy…” kind of comments throughout that particular manuscript and I had to agree with her.

Daisy is one of those people who’ll make you laugh and then tear into your manuscript withΒ a vengeance. She points out things you don’t see and doesn’t make you feel dumb for missing them in the first place. I adore Daisy because she’s managed to make me a better writer and helped me see that humor can be a part of the critiquing process.

A month or two after I met Daisy, I met Avril Ashton. Avril is sassy and stylish (she gave me inspiration to move my characters out of leathers and into high fashion) and she loves a strong heroine. I love a strong heroine as well, but up until we started working together, I think my leading ladies were wishy-washy. By critiquing her, I saw what a heroine could be and applied the theory to my own work.

Where Daisy points out the ridiculous and makes me laugh, Avril will point out that though the hero and heroine had sex, they hadn’t even kissed yet. Horror of horrors! She’ll also tell me flat out if she likes my heroine, if my dark moment is gripping enough and not melodramatic. She’s been a rock for me.

But it doesn’t end there. Oh, no. The critique partners aside, I’ve met so many wonderful people online and in real life. At Nationals, I finally got a chance to meet two of my favorite online personalities, Jillian Chantal and Sayde Grace. Southern ladies with sass, they made me feel like one of their own. I love these ladies and can’t wait to meet up with them again.

Then there were my “clicks”. Nora Roberts mentioned that sometimes you meet someone you click with and end up friends forever and ever and ever. I made a click at the conference. A spunky lady named Silvia Arada. She and I spent a lot of time together going to workshops, hanging out at the book signings, and huddling with the Smoker’s Club. We decided at the conference that when we’re both published, we’re going to sit near each other at the literacy signing. It will happen. We know these things.

There are so many people I’ve become close to in 2010. I’ve made so many new friends I wish I could mention them all, but that would take a much longer post. As much as I love to ramble on, I wouldn’t want to bore anyone into drooling all over their keyboard, so I’ll stop here.

The people we meet through our writing journey are people we’ll work with. They’ll become colleagues, they’ll become staunch supporters, and rivals on the NYT Bestseller’s List (We hope!), but most of all, they’ll become friends. They’re people you go to for advice, for moral and emotional support. They’re the people who flat out tell you your characters sound crazy and unbalanced and that is not attractive in a heroine. They’re people who will tell you that you have to take a leap of faith and not to let past problems burden you. They’re the people you’ll want with you for a very long time and if you’re lucky, you’ll have them forever.

16 Comments

Filed under Writing

16 responses to “The People We Meet

  1. Great post! The writing community ROCKS. It’s so supportive and challenging all rolled up with some freaking awesome personalities!

    I’m glad I’ve met you online, Danica. Hope to meet you in real time at Nationals someday πŸ™‚

  2. Thanks for the shout out, Danica. I adore you and I still can’t believe your real personality isn’t like Danica. You are awesome and fun and I love you a ton! (like that rhyme there?) Jillian

  3. Aww! Thanks lady. You know I was really like you in the beginning, all my myself, scared to step out there and make friends. Got over it pretty quick, because the writing community embraces you like nothing else. Sure I’m allergic to being embraced but y’all people don’t seem to care.

    This year was an amazing one for all of us. I’m glad we connected, and here’s to kicking the hell out of 2011! πŸ˜‰

    • That was it exactly! It kind of felt like high school until I realized it was more like a never-ending slumber party! LOL Watch out 2011! We’re gonna set the world on fire! (not literally because that wouldn’t be good for the books we plan to write)

  4. Oh, I like that. “a never-ending slumber party!” πŸ™‚ That explains nationals!! Hehehe. I so wish I would’ve met you before Nationals. I was a lost pup that glued to my roomie. She was awesome to say the least, but still, we would’ve loved to have met even more writers. Although, I felt like I had whiplash by the end of the conference. SOOOO much to do and learn there. Are you going to New York this year?

  5. Fantastic post and it’s so sweet that you share your deepest respects about these gals. We have to lift each other up when we can and know that no matter what we’re all looking for someone we can count on. Here’s to many more great relationships in 2011.!

    • I think a lot of people outside the writing community see us as jealous hermits who don’t have friends among other writers, but I am so glad that isn’t the case. These ladies, as well as so many others I haven’t named, are the ones who give me the strength to continue writing when things seem grim. And the best part is, I haven’t met everyone out there yet! There are so many new people to meet!

  6. There is nothing better than a great critique partner and you have TWO! Yay.
    The writing communities are amazing. I cannot believe how helpful everyone is and how much I learned in 2010.

    May 2011 find you successful.

  7. Aw! I almost cried when I read this. So sweet! You know I love you too, lady! And is there a problem w with hero and heroine having sex before they kiss? I do that all the time. (Hehe.)

    But yeah, this has been a great year. I look forward to more reading of yours in the next year!

    Daisy

  8. Wonderful post! I think the writing community is my big family!

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