What I Learned about Romance Writers

Please give a warm welcome to Julie Lindsey!

I should begin by saying, “I’m not a romance writer.” It’s true. When my scenes breach PG 13, I get all blushy and adolescent. It’s terribly awkward and I don’t like to talk about it.  Romance is simply not my strong-suit and I tend stick to YA and women’s fiction, as a result, though I did wrestle a paranormal romance for a little over a year once.

Whatever I’m writing, I love to write it. I’m a writer at heart and obsessively so. In fact, the moment I found a writers conference in my great state, I was punching “Send Payment” faster than my husband could try to intervene. I was headed to Columbus, Ohio to meet agents and editors and writers, oh my! My sitters were booked, my bags were packed and I was doing cartwheels. Imagine my surprise when I discovered the COFW (Central Ohio Fiction Writers) was actually a division of RWA?

Right.

Um.

……

Hunh.

Well, I did have that one pararom I could dust off, and I did. Then, I set a pitch session with the fabulous and endearing Cori Deyoe of Three Seas Literary, and off I went, blushing and giggling, into the mix of around 200 romance writers.  This is what I learned:

I learned that y’all are crazy.

I’ve never had so much fun in all my days. I heard the sexiest, and sometimes dirtiest things come out of women twice my age who, to look at them, could easily have traded places with the preacher’s wife or local librarian. I was astounded to see the sweet, gentile women unleash their inner vixens openly and with pride and gusto too! We laughed, we cried (mostly as a result of the laughter).

I learned that romance writers have it on lock. You get to be whomever you are, wherever you are. You are strong, proud, happy women. I’m taking a wild guess as to where all that joy is coming from. There were definitely no sexually frustrated fuddy-duddies to be found.  No one even cared that I didn’t write or read romance. They just pulled me in, offered me a drink and told me all about their on goings. It was an incredible time and a fabulous experience. I really think that all aspiring writers should attend an RWA conference at some point of their career. It was one for the memory books, for sure.

I should mention that learned a ton about writing that weekend, but my biggest discovery was how much I love romance writers.

I cannot wait to go back next year!


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9 Responses

  1. hi Julie! welcome to the blog today.

    Those Ohio Romance writers–they’re an awesome group. The romance writing community is one special group of women. I’m amazed nearly everyday.

  2. Thank you SO much for letting me ramble 🙂 You know, you were one of the first ppl I followed on twitter? I was listening to you talk about the country and your kidlet long before I got the nerve to say “Hello.” and I’m SO glad I did! Excited for you Keri!! (I sound a little stalky. ;/ )

  3. Very funny and true, Julie. For the most part, we romance writers are free spirits who dress and say what’s on our minds. We do have a lot of information to impart, because by the nature of the beast, writing romance teaches you a lot about characters, how they act and react and learning how to evoke emotion, drawing in your reader. Dean Koontz, who started in romance under a pseudonym says he learned all the basics of writing from writing romance.

    Daryn Cross

  4. Daryn,
    Absolutely! The conference was such an eye opener and I realized romance is in everything. Romance writers write real life, historical, fantasy, pararom, westerns, thrillers, suspense…I mean you write it all and the love makes it all more intensified. I have much respect for you ladies!

  5. Great to have you join us, Julie! 🙂 The first time I ever stepped into the room of my local RWA chapter meeting, I was shocked. Not at all what I expected. They were so friendly and encouraging and I loved every minute. Still do. Just had our local conference last weekend and I never wanted to leave. I think it’s because we all like to write those happy endings. LOL

  6. Melissa,
    I know exactly what you mean! I was there for less than 48 hours and I left with a ton or blog and email addresses, and new facebook friends too! It was so much fun to chat and laugh and learn with them. I’m serious about going again next year! I use what I learned there everyday. 🙂

  7. Hi Julie and welcome!!!

    I don’t write, don’t claim to write (except my reviews) but I so admire all the wonderful people that do write. They keep me entertained for hours on end. I have met several of our local writers and I agree, they are crazy and not what you would expect.

    It also amazes me when I read the bio on a writer and she’s 60 or 70 writing very HOT erotic fiction.

  8. Oh THAT was one of my biggest lessons. It was one of those lessons like “Don’t judge a book by its cover” one you think you know and then you attend a romance writers conference and ShaBAM! I’m smiling and saying, “I guess appearances can be very very deceiving!”

  9. Heather, oh yes! I think THAT was one of my lightbulb moments 🙂 I was looking and listening and realizing how true it is that appearances can be really really deceiving! LOL

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