This month’s theme is community, what a perfect theme for both writers and the fast approaching holiday season. They say it takes a village to raise a child. Let me tell you, as a writer, it takes a pond to publish a book.
A POND! Really, how does that work?
Many years ago, when the earth was young and I had aspirations of becoming a writer, I joined Sisters in Crime. Definitely not a pond. In fact, with members like Sarah Paretesky, Betty Francis, Nancy Picard, and Margaret Maron (all my idols) it was a pretty danged intimidating group. I knew I wasn’t ready for that crowd. But, As I read further into the literature, I discovered Guppies. Guppies not for the fish that eat their young, quite the opposite, but for the Great Unpublished. Exactly what I was looking for. YEA!
Guppies became my incubator. I learned from their classes, from their posts, from the generosity of the published writers who stayed on with the group even after they had become published (to wit: Hank Phillippi Ryan, Krista Davis, Sandra Parshall, and a host of others). I learned my craft, I worked at it, I beat up the Yahoo boards, eventually, I even rose to president of the Guppies. That’s where I met Diane Vallere (hey, Diane) she was a member at large at the time I was President. Gradually, through all the assistance and patience of these caring and sharing people, I achieved my goal of publishing. I took all my courage in my hands and self-published my first two novels, Zoned for Murder and Murder in the Multiples featuring my very flawed sleuth, Catherine Swope.
It was through Guppies that I learned of Henery Press, founded by Guppy, Kendel Lynn. Henery was the first traditional publisher I had the courage to submit to and guess what, they bought my book, Death by Blue Water. My second book, Death By Sunken Treasure is scheduled to release from Henery in March of 2016. Both books feature Hayden Kent, the sleuth of my heart, a scuba diving paralegal living in the Florida Keys.
Is publication all that I thought it would be? Yes, and no. Publication is a business, and one that Guppies is the perfect place to learn. So, in the acknowledgement of all of my books you will see the words, “It takes a pond to be published.” And I thank the Guppies, each and every one of them for their patience, encouragement, prodding and advice, and most of all for their joy at my accomplishments. It takes a pond to be published, Be a guppy and join the pond!
What about you? Do you have a group that has or is helping you to realize your dreams?