I have been a member of Romance Writers of America since 2003, and I stay a member because I love my local South Florida chapter. I remember being at an RWA lunch and Nora Roberts told us to look around the room, and at that table, because these were the people who would be on this crazy writing journey with us.
She was right. These folks, not all of them women, have become some of my dearest friends in the fourteen years since that lunch. The cruise this year was smaller than normal in turnout but despite that, it was an amazing round of workshops and discussions on the ever-changing industry, and how other writers, both indie and published, are making a living in it.
Our keynote speaker was Jennifer Ashley, chosen because she is a successful hybrid author. It is my personal opinion that having a foot in both worlds is the way to go–get your traditional pubbed readers, and hopefully introduce them to your indie pubbed series. Everyone always wants to know how to reach more readers, and this is one of many ways. Victoria Pinder taught how to create ads that work without breaking the bank, and she highly recommends utilizing your author newsletter. Barbara Vey was there, and she offered pearls of wisdom on always being prepared to meet a reader. Embarrassingly enough, I was one of many who didn’t have our business cards with us during her talk. She is very pro-author, and is now offering a critique service on your author brand. I met wonderful indie author Jess Michaels, and her partner and husband, Michael Peterson. Tara September and her BFF Mandy talked with us at dinner about Instagram. 17 hashtags people. At least. We had editor Allison Carroll from HQN there, and she was interested in small town romance–check out the Harlequin website if you are interested–and Deb Werksman was very generous with her time and valuable advice. Melissa Jeglinski from the Knight Agency was there with her mom–who is just as cool as Melissa.
Christopher and I did our workshop, Champagne and Chocolate, and the language of love. We had a blast with the quiz from Gary Chapman’s Love Languages book. Turns out that we are compatible 🙂
In these days of most of our social interaction being online, it is so important to remember face-to-face too. We sang at the piano bar, ate two desserts, drank at Senor Froggy’s in Cozumel, and cemented old friendships as well as made new. You can’t give a cyber friend a hug like you can the person next to you after a fabulous workshop. That said, I hand out cyber hugs and kisses like crazy. The ladies at Authors Billboard are an integral part of my indie writing journey, and we are true friends. I’m just saying that if you have the chance to join a physical critique group or writer’s group, it has some benefits.
Three weeks ago, In the Dog House was released, and if you haven’t had your chance to read it yet, you can grab it here: https://www.amazon.com/Dog-House-Traci-Hall-ebook/dp/B07MYX7596/
Don’t forget to enter March’s contest: https://authorsbillboard.com/
Best of luck–and happy reading,
With an impressive bibliography in an array of genres, USA Today bestselling author Traci Hall has garnered a notable fan base. She pens stories guaranteed to touch the heart while transporting the reader to another time and place. Her belief in happily ever after shines through, whether it’s a romantic glimpse into history or a love affair for today.