Lara Santiago, Kristen Painter, Pat Dengate, Roxanne St. Claire, Leigh Duncan, Sandy Moffet, Maria Geraci at Dinner
You have no idea how thrilled I was to be asked to do a workshop for the Spacecoast Romance Writers in Orlando…in January. I’m from Wisconsin for crying out loud and this is a dream come true. Blue skies, brilliant sunshine, 80 degree weather. I left cold, gray Wisconsin to land in cool, gray Orlando. I didn’t care. I left my 50 pound winter coat at home and felt free. The sun would come out soon.
What I discovered was that I didn’t need the sun. This tremendous group of writers radiate the warmth I was seeking. The board took me out to dinner and we spent hours laughing and talking books, business, family and fun. Turned out the waitress was a huge romance fan (I had to ask her what she read, after all). Taking a page from my books on being prepared, author Leigh Duncan had two of her books handy to sign. The waitress was ecstatic promising to share with her sisters and daughter while she ran off to brag to her fellow workers about her good fortune.
Just as a side note, I did get a pedicure with Kristen Painter. The woman taking care of me said in broken English, “Wax eyebrows.” I said no because you can’t even see my eyebrows, they are so light. But she said, “Too bushy!” Now I did state on my birthday blog that this would be the year I try new things, so I had my eyebrows waxed for the first and last times. After she was done she had nerve enough to say, “Now we do hair on lip.” I told her I liked my hairy lip. Can you tell any difference? Eyebrows were never a big thing with me.
Saturday’s workshop was amazing. The large group meets in a library (so appropriate) and starts off with good news of new sales, new status (PRO and PAN), new agents and new members. The support system is delightful to watch as everyone rallies to help each other through tough times while cheering on the successes. I have found this a constant in the RWA chapters I have visited.
When it got to be my turn to speak, I was so energized by the group that the time just flew by. We tackled the tough questions surrounding social media, dispelling the fears, making Facebook and Twitter a safe and fun place for authors and their readers to connect. Staying positive was the mantra of the day and several promised to jump into the deep end and give them a try. I’m happy to report that I’ve seen many members communicating on Facebook and Twitter since.
My best advice is to be yourself and do what you’re comfortable doing. If you are unsure or nervous in anyway, it will show and for all that is holy, do not just keep repeating, “BUY MY BOOK!” You will alienate more than you can imagine.
After a lovely lunch, I’m happy to say that I won’t be returning to the frozen tundra for another week. I’m now in Ft. Myers, Florida, just soaking up the rays.
Bottom Line: Really authors, carry one (or more) of your books. You never know when you’ll meet a potential reader.
From Kristen Painter: My “advice for writers” post is live and I’m giving away a copy of Blood Rights. The giveaway runs through the end of the week.