Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Have book, will travel

When people think of writers, they usually imagine someone locked in a room with their computer, drinking endless cups of coffee, typing paragraphs and then deleting them. The sign on the door says "Go Away!" and family and friends interrupt at their peril.

I don't fit this profile, and neither do any of my writing friends. We're out and around, meeting and greeting.

In the past few weeks I've gone to Charlotte to hear Ron Rash read from his latest book "Nothing Gold Can Stay," to Book' Em North Carolina in Lumberton for the lectures and workshops. What a privilege to listen to Mary Alice Monroe talk about where she gets her ideas--by volunteering with sea turtle rehab and training baby porpoises! Does that sound like she's hiding behind her computer? No? Doesn't to me, either. And as for Mr. Rash, he's on a tour in Europe.

Every month I go to the Carolina Romance Writers to hear a morning speaker and participate in an afternoon workshop. Writers can't write unless they know their craft, and what better way to learn than with others with the same dreams and goals as you? I can read all the books on the shelf about "How to Write" and still get more from a published author who is in the same room, making eye contact, and answering my questions about something that wasn't in the book.

Writers attend conferences in droves -- half of my writing group is packing up to go to the RWA conference in Atlanta this year, hoping to find inspiration, an agent or editor, or new friends.

And, writers give talks at libraries and book clubs and book stores and just about anywhere they're invited. They love to talk about their books and to meet new readers.

There's another way to travel, and that's over the Internet. Writers love to have other writers appear on their blogs. Next week, my guest will be KJ Montgomery. She lives in New England, but will come all the way to North Carolina to tell us about her new book, "Trove."

Katie Walsh is an investigative mythologist seeking clues that could lead her into the very distant past and uncover the secrets of the mythic Norland. Alec MacGowan is an archaeologist searching for clues in the recent past in an attempt to bring a murderer to justice.

Well, she'll be visiting via my blog, but I hope you'll come back next week to say hello.

With all that said, writers do have to sit down at the computer (although I know at least one writer who still uses a yellow legal pad and ball-point pen) and write. Writing is the meat and potatoes. The rest is dessert.

And we all know you don't get dessert first.


  1. I met Sandy in our writers' critique group and what a nice person she is! And I do agree with her above comments about the picture we have in our heads about writers hunched over their writing machines (!!!) day and night, never ending the writing process. I live in a smaller town so never get to conferences though I hope to someday. Writers in my area do hold book readings and discussions and signings, however. If I had to spend all my time sitting here in front of my computer writing, I'd turn to stone!

  2. So true, Sandy, we do go out and meet other writers. I hope one day you'll be able to visit us in Greenville!

  3. Sandy...love your blog about the romance writer's group. I think all the chapters are peopled with wonderful writers!