I’ve had several people ask me if I’m in any writing groups. I don’t get together with someone and sit in the same room and write, usually, though it sounds like fun. My group is HCRW – Hearts of the Carolina Romance Writers in Raleigh, NC.
I’m still on the lurking side there, though I was secretary of the chapter one year. It’s the people that draw me to it. Yes, sitting in a room with women who are New York Times bestsellers is really cool. The fact that they know my name is even cooler. But that’s not it.
I do learn craft, plotting (I’m a pantser myself so that really helps), marketing, even self-publishing information. It’s all there with a lot of experience behind it. We have speakers come in – editors, publishers, other authors to give us different perspectives and ideas. This month we had Laura Stone, Editor at Entangled Publishing and she was fabulous. Last month was New York Times Best Selling Author Virginia Kantra, author of the Dare Island Series. And it doesn’t stop. But the big thing—
It’s the energy in the room. That’s the only way I know to describe it. When these writers surround me it’s not unlike magic. More than once I’ve been sitting there listening and the idea for a story, or a character, appears. You should see my notes from these meetings – half on topic and half whatever occurred to me on the side. And those ideas have turned into books. These people aren’t talking about what I write about or the character that’s popped into my head, so it has to be inspiration from the sheer amount of energy they put out. And I’ll take it.
Check out some of that inspiration – my first self-pubbed book – Alien Embrace