Justine: RMNCRTR and Proud of It

romance writerRMNCRTR. This is my license plate. Have you figured it out? It might take you a second, but I’m sure you’ll get it.

I’m a romance writer and proud of it.

I’ve been reflecting back on the Desert Dreams Writer’s Conference held here in AZ two weekends ago, what I learned, my experiences pitching, and the overall feelings I had while there. I’ve also been thinking about the few days I spent with Kat as she saw the sights here in Arizona and we spent hours upon hours discussing our characters, plot, backstory, GMC, and other juicy tidbits about our stories.

My biggest takeaway from all of that is that it’s a great time to be a romance writer. I don’t necessarily mean that from a sales/money/market share perspective (although I’m sure I could find the stats to support that). What I’m referring to more is the abundance of generous, helpful, and motivated people out there writing romance.

The conference was chock-full of such people. I spoke to a few NYT bestselling authors who were so generous with their experience, advice, tips, tricks, and even empathy. They’ve been exactly where I am, yet they were so positive and encouraging that I, too, could “make it” as they had so long as I had the determination to see it through.

Naturally, the Ladies here have been uber-supportive of each other, both throughout the McDaniel Writing Program, as well as our evolution into dedicated, serious writers. It’s rare to find a group of individuals who mesh as well as we do and I think we all consider ourselves fortunate.

I’m hardly the kind of person you’d call timid (just ask Jilly or Kat — they’ve spent enough time with me), but I haven’t been at all afraid to tell anyone — from the checkout girl at Target to my dentist — that I write romance. No one has ever asked me when I’m going to write “something real.” Perhaps it’s because they can see the genuine excitement on my face when I talk about my writing. Or they get caught up in my story details when I answer their questions about what historical period I focus on. Whatever the case, everyone from family members to perfect strangers have all offered words of encouragement or praise.

I’m extremely proud to be a romance writer, as my license plate shows, and I think “the time” for romance will only get better.

Do you feel the same about the genre in which you write?

9 thoughts on “Justine: RMNCRTR and Proud of It

  1. I’ve been to a couple of conventions in my genre, but SF and Fantasy tend to combine the writers with the fans, at least with the World Con — when I attended, I didn’t really know how to tap the professional side of the equation. But, there’s nothing more exciting than talking to people who are equally excited about the things you are excited about. LOL! I learned a lot, especially at a panel of four writers who talked about how they got started — they met during lunch breaks and had a write-in for 20 to 30 minutes. It was really eye-opening! I didn’t need a morning, or even an hour — I just needed to write.

    And of course, I met authors on the elevator, or walking down the hall, and even in the bathroom! So exciting to see people living the dream, just like normal folks.

    And then there’s the stuff I didn’t even know was out there. I attended a session on Regency Dance (many people came in costume) in an atrium in our hotel in Yokohama.

    I don’t think conventions are necessary to write a good book, but they sure are a lot of fun! And fun can be a great motivator . . . .

  2. I’ve heard stories about romance writers being catty about their colleagues or mean in critique groups, or back-biting to others, or whatever, but I’ve never seen that anywhere. I’ve been to a million RWAs and chapter meetings and other assemblies of romance writers, and no one’s ever been anything but helpful, funny, kind, and generous. People on the outside might sneer at the genre, but the writers are terrific people and a lot of fun to hang out with, in my experience. I met a male agent a few years at RWA, and he said that he also went to all the mystery and thriller conferences, and the male-dominated ones are a lot different than RWA—very tense and competitive. So I say, let the outsiders sneer. They don’t want to read romance, fine. They don’t know what they’re missing.

  3. Pingback: Blog of the Week – Eight Ladies Writing « Dancing with Fireflies

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