Writing community means so much more to me than fellow writers. It means being part of a group so that even though writing is a solitary profession—you are not alone. Other writers understand your journey because they walk the same road. You join in this commonality of interest, but for me, the community of writers has led to something far greater—true friendship. The year that JANE IN BLOOM was released, I joined a group of fellow middle grade and young adult authors who were also debuting that same year called the Class of 2k9. The idea of the group was to band together for marketing and publicity purposes. We all contributed to a website and cross-marketing tools. Some of us joined together for book signings and school visits. And we shared the excitement of being published for the first time. But the true value to me was in the friendships I discovered in that group. Through emails and phone calls, we encouraged one another when we received wonderful news about a second or third book sale, and we consoled each other when we received bad reviews or had to part with an agent. Through these ups and downs in our lives as writers, we forged bonds that are as permanent as the words we have set down in print. These are the kind of deep friendships that last longer than the current trends in the market. The amazing thing about building friendships in the writing community is that they grow exponentially. My 2k9 friends have introduced me to other writers, editors, agents—they even led me here to Smack Dab. They are my sounding boards and my favorite critique partners. I have learned so much from all of them, and I admire them so much for their talent, their work, but mostly for who they are inside. So thank you Rosanne, Kathryn, Suzy, J.T., Sydney, Ellen, Cheryl, Susannah, Susan, Albert, Danielle, Donna, Lisa, Fran, Lauren, Edith, Beverly, Lauren, Megan, Joy and Ann (my Smack Dab buddy!) for all the conversations, advice, inspiration and friendship.
For those of you who are writers, a writing friend is your secret weapon for success. Writer friends can change your life. I know they changed mine.
|Lauren, Suzy, Me, Ann and Kathryn at SCBWI L.A.|