This has been a terrific month for me and my books as number three in the Loyalist trilogy has made its way into the limelight. Last Sunday the last of four book launches took place right here in my home city with lots of people sharing readings and cake with me and my wonderful team. It made me think of all the help I’ve had over this almost 10-year journey and of the kindness shown by so many.
Here’s the cake we ordered for this final event. Dee at the local Dee-Lights Bake Shop went out of her way to design this large facsimile of the new book cover. Fabulous! Both in the rendering of my book cover and in the taste of the cake. Everyone loved it.
A number of people attending were strangers who came out to buy books and meet me. Wasn’t that a surprise! And they came on the day of the first snowfall here. London had too much snow for some to venture out but luckily our town just had a sprinkling.
This all made me think of the people I’ve met over this almost ten-year journey and how kind and helpful they have been. In the early days of writing the first book in the trilogy I was mostly on my own but, after a year, I had the first draft researched and written and started moving ahead on the journey to publication.
Here are some of the steps along the way:
–Some local writers joined a small group here and four of us continued critiquing each other’s work for about a year. They helped me move to the next step where I attended several writing workshops led by the well-known Brian Henry here in Southern Ontario.
–For about 8 weeks I drove an hour and a half to Oakville for an extreme editing course full of about 20 writers like myself in Brian’s course. We listened to each other’s work, we commented, we rewrote, we agreed, we disagreed and along the way we learned. Several of us are still supportive writing friends today about seven years later.
–A conference I went to in Niagara Falls, Ontario, brought me more writing friends, two or three of whom are moving along their journey as am I. We haven’t necessarily gone the same way but we’ve supported each other the whole time. Tomorrow The Loyalist Legacy and I will be on Sally Moore’s blog and though Sally is in a particularly busy work time just now, she is helping me out. I long for the day when her amazing, well-honed, and extremely interesting books find their way out into the fresh air of the publishing world.
–Another conference I went to was in Vancouver a few years ago and its focus was on using social media and other methods to get our writing out in the world. I loved that conference and starting a new writing blog as soon as I came home, highlighting the lessons I’d learned and those who had taught me. On Becoming a Wordsmith still has loads of helpful articles.
–Through Sally again, I joined WCDR and drove for two or three years once a month for meetings of this forward-thinking and very helpful writing group of around 250 members or so. Their speakers are fabulous. They also have associate memberships for people to join and be on their mailing list to receive loads of helpful information: workshops, book selling events, reading sessions at bars, visiting writers and many more things are part of this organization. The cheaper memberships give a lot of information to people who can’t possibly make the journey to Ajax once a month. They just finished hosting Bookapalooza.
–I joined the London Writers’ Society and spend quite a lot of time with them these days. Having received so much help through critique groups and guest speakers in the past, now I try to help writers who are not as far along in their journey. It’s a pleasure to have answers won over years of searching and moving ahead on the journey. Our current president has raised the level of the group so high that every meeting we have new meetings and will have to find a larger room one of these days. Another group there has stepped up the learning about marketing, specifically getting our names out in the media.
Writing is a pastime, a hobby, a job, a passion, a soul-searching and gut-wrenching activity for most of us in differing levels depending on who we are. One thing is for certain, though. If we want to succeed, we must keep searching, keep learning, and keep writing. Thanks so much to all of those who have helped me along the way!
Now, back to the job!