Saturday, July 26, 2014

Won't let go at any price

Today is the last day of the 2014 Romance Writers of America conference. Several of my romance-writing colleagues are in San Antonio, Texas, attending workshops, signings, parties and otherwise professionally commiserating. Wish I was there.

Kind of.

I've been thinking about re-joining RWA for the past couple of years. While my book was in limbo I didn't see the sense of it. I have my local critique group to keep me moving forward on my WIP and I didn't want to invest in a membership I didn't feel qualified to utilize. But how can I move my writing career forward if I'm not on top of industry changes and connected to the writers who are making a go at romance? It was one of those catch 22 situations for me.

You see, RWA's express purpose is "to advance the professional interests of career-focused romance writers through networking and advocacy. RWA works to support the efforts of its members to earn a living, to make a full-time career out of writing romance—or a part-time one that generously supplements his/her main income."

So, in a perfect storm of events -- a week that I wrote 12 pages pulling all-nighters after the day job, turning a significant plot corner in my story, and watching the RWA conference posts start to flow through my online feeds -- I traipsed over to the RWA, filled out the doggone form and just joined.

Sheesh, Stefanie.

I can't tell you how good it feels though. So, re-joining the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal (FF&P) chapter was the next stop along with the Greater Detroit Romance Writers of America (GDRWA). I am really excited -- ecstatic -- about taking these next steps to move my journey forward.

Next year's RWA conference is in New York from July 22-25. I'm already planning to take the time off from work. I might drive. I might fly. But I do want to be there.

In between, my WIP will be finished and published and I'll be on book two of what I plan to make a series. Gotta set goals. Gotta go for them. Otherwise, what's the purpose of having a dream?

As I started writing this post, "If You Leave" by The Cure was blaring from the radio. The lyrics, "...touch you once, I touch you twice, I won't let go at any price," seemed meant just for me today. Re-committing to my writing career is both easier and harder because I've touched it once or twice: I've been published. I know what it takes and I know how that feels. I'm back in and I won't let go at any price.

"I always knew we'd meet again...someday."

Keep believing!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The feeling never gets old

Where Souls Collide by Stefanie WorthToday I peeked into Amazon to find that Where Souls Collide has eased back into the Top 100:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #223,655 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store) #94 in Kindle Store; Kindle eBooks; Literature & Fiction; African American; Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

It's just the inspiration I need as I'm facing an unmet word count goal and the need to go to sleep because I have to work in the morning. So, forgive me if I set my sights on the prize and get back to writing.

Where Souls Collide on Amazon

Book trailer, excerpt and reviews for Where Souls Collide

Friday, May 16, 2014

Being Back

In the weeks since my last post, my brother was diagnosed with cancer and I stopped writing. Some people can charge through life's curves by setting their keyboards afire. Not me. I admit. This kind of thing brings me to a screeching halt.

In the early weeks I actually felt guilty about even wanting to put my God-given talents to use on fiction. Surely I had better things to do with my time and talent. I guilted myself into a few fits and starts; days when I'd say, "Your WIP is calling..." or "Your characters miss you..." or "You're not waiting on some magical checkered flag to rev your engine are you?..." But really, my family and I needed each other desperately for those first 21 days or so.

Then I began to see glimmers of a new normal: I slept through the night and actually felt rested the next morning. I went a whole day without bursting into tears. (Though my heart still trembles out of nowhere several times a day...) My brother met a fellow cancer warrior who lifted his spirits and quieted ours. And then I knew that I could return to my back-burnered pages.

Can I admit that I had no idea where I was in my story when I went back? It's like leaving any book midway through and picking it up after a month. I had to backtrack, refresh, re-introduce myself to the people in those pages. Once I'd forgiven myself for attending to my life, the words began to flow.

This book itself has had more than its share of ups and downs. Originally slated for publication in 2011 (then re-scheduled a time or two), I wrote the bulk of the first draft while I was going through my divorce. I should have brought the manuscript to a screeching halt while I gathered my wits, but I didn't. I forged ahead.

When the edits came from my wonderful editor Monica Harris (God rest her soul), Dorchester went into bankruptcy and the rights to my unpublished book went into limbo. It would be two years before the company and my contract found a new home when Amazon bought my former publisher and I became a Montlake Romance author.

During that time, I reluctantly started another book. Monica passed away, my oldest son went off to grad school, I settled into singledom, and realized my original story now belonged to an author with a new mindset. My beautiful cover deserves to sandwich some pages. So late in 2013, I started that story -- The Wicked and the Wonderful -- again, in earnest. And then the cancer curve came.

Yesterday, I re-read the scene I left off on six weeks ago. After some editing (which I usually don't do while I'm writing), I even scribbled the first few paragraphs of the next scene on the back of a marked-up page. And today, I'm writing this post.

I feel okay. I'm doing okay.

I won't bother typing in yesterday's changes. I'll put those pages into the draft binder with the rest of the manuscript's pages and move on to the next square in my plot chart. I'm looking forward to the villain and the heroine meeting up ahead. I hear their words and I have found my smile.

Being back is good.

Stefanie's Book Trailers