Today I had the pleasure of giving a workshop at my local chapter of the Romance Writers of America (huzzah, Capital Region RWA!) on the craft and the market. I called it "Overnight Success in Sixteen Quick Years," and (apparently) it went over very well. Maybe it was because of the swag I gave out at the end (wonderful tote bags from Cathy Clamp and Cie Adams), or maybe it was because of all the yummy doughnuts at the meeting. Maybe the stars aligned. At the end of the program, a number of people told me that they got a lot out of it, and that I should consider taking it on the road. (Woot! Road trip!)
The thrust of the program? To paraphrase author Cindy Procter-King (Head Over Heels), to get sold, three things need to converge: talent, persistence, and timing. My program talked about these three elements, followed by some viewpoints from the marketplace (in the form of popular reviewers) and finally what resources are available when that manuscript is done and you're ready to look for an agent. I gave away five copies of Jenna Glatzer's (Absolute Write founder) book, The Street-Smart Writer. And then we had an open discussion about various writing-related things, from how to write through a scene, how to deal with writer's block, and how to deal with relatives who call your writing "a nice habit."
I also mentioned Backspace as if I were getting a kickback every time I said the name. Hell, if not for the amazing people of Backspace, I wouldn't have written Hell's Belles. Backspace gave me my crit partner, a number of trusted beta readers, more insider knowledge about the industry than I ever could have gotten elsewhere, and a support system that's the absolute best. (Thank you, Backspace!)
All in all, it was a lot of fun for me -- and a few people told me after that they learned a lot.
That makes it all worth it. (That, and selling out of the copies of Hell's Belles after the program!)
Thanks again, CR/RWA!