I love romance writers. The first time I went to a Toronto Romance Writers' meeting I was greeted with so much enthusiasm it was almost overwhelming. I'd never been in a room full of such supportive women before, so willing to offer advice and cheer for your accomplishments and sympathize with your ... well, I don't want to call them failures, but let's call them those less-than-successful ventures.
Newbie writers like me were greeted by successful multi-published authors like Margaret Moore, Eve Silver, Molly O'Keefe, Michelle Rowen, Kate Bridges, Juliana Stone, and so many others--I feel like I'm insulting them by not naming them all. Beginning authors who had recently taken the steps I was about to embark on -- Wylie Kinson, Christine d'Abo, Amy Ruttan, JK Coi, Kimber Chin -- took me under their wing and freely and without reservation have cheered me up when I'm down and booted me in the rear when I needed it (which is more often than I care to admit.) What a terrific supportive group they've been.
I soon discovered that their attitude wasn't reserved just for the Toronto area authors, that support and graciousness is a trait common to romance authors all over the world, be they NY published or waiting-for-that-first-contract authors.
Let's face it, writing is a business. Authors could be very territorial. They could see another author as their 'competition' for a contract with their publisher. They could deliberately give bad advice to scare someone off, or to screw with their career. Yet authors like the ones I've named above, and others such the amazingly talented Allison Brennan and Candace Havens, and so many others over at the Romance Divas (you know who you are!) have taken time out of their busy days and emailed me to answer questions or offer career advice.
I love the romance community. They not only write about love, they live it. Thanks, ladies!