by Keri Stevens
Once upon a time I was not a romance writer. I knew no romance writers. I lived, in fact, in a romance-novel-less world. How sad is that?
Now I’m a debut author, and romance writers have become some of my closest life-friends. I read mostly romance novels (and the IRS even lets me deduct them). When I tell people I’m a romance author, they look at me in surprise. And I’m surprised by their surprise: Doesn’t everyone write romance?
Well, no. But many more people than I ever suspected have books in them. It may take them a couple hours or a couple months, but sooner or later, the math professor, the garden supply sales manager, the TV producer and the insurance actuary tell me (usually sotto voce) that they’ve been thinking of writing a book.
Sooner or later, some of us decide to let that story out. Because I’m a guest here, I won’t take up Marie-Claude’s space on my book-writing highs and lows, drama and trauma. But I will say that if it weren’t for Jenny Crusie, I wouldn’t have finished Stone Kissed. At my Ohio Valley RWA chapter meeting two years ago, she said something that has become my mantra, my prayer and…
Article of Faith #2: The story is complete within your subconscious.
I’ve taken some great classes online and in-person over the last few years, including Bob Mayer’s Warrior Writer class, Todd Stone’s Novelist’s Boot Camp, and a couple workshops with Virginia Kantra. I’ve made great friends at conferences, workshops and online. But at the end of the day, everything you need to know about writing a book is in Helen Oxenbury’s We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. Its chorus is my
Article of Faith #3: “We can’t go over it. We can’t go under it. We can’t go around it. Oh, no! We have to go through it.”
Stumble-trip, my friends! And surround yourself with writers to help you get back up and go on to the next page.