It Takes a Pond

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 Guppies not for the fish that eat their young, quite the opposite, but for the Great Unpublished.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!-Guppy logo

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?


Author: kaitcarson

I write mysteries set in South Florida. The Hayden Kent series is set in the Florida Keys. Hayden is a SCUBA diving paralegal who keeps finding bodies. Underwater, no one can hear you scream! Catherine Swope is a Miami Realtor with a penchant for finding bodies in the darndest places. I live in an airpark in Fort Denaud, FL with my husband, five cats, and a flock of conures. And oh yes, a Piper Cherokee 6 in the hangar!

16 thoughts on “It Takes a Pond”

  1. I’ve done a bit of swimming with the Guppies. Not that much – all the email can get overwhelming. But I have my local SinC chapter and my critique group. Much more manageable ponds. And Mysteristas of course!


  2. Love this post. I’ve found the writing community to be so supportive as well. Henery seems to have carried that feeling into publishing. I love it!


  3. Hi Mary, yes, the e-mail can get overwhelming, digests help a lot. I’ve never been fortunate enough to live in a place with a local SinC chapter so although I belong to my closest, I’ve never made it to a meeting. There is so much energy in a group and writers are all so generous, I’ve never been to a writing event that I haven’t emerged energized, and exhausted!


  4. Hi Sam, The writing community is so supportive. When I first started I was surprised by that. Without exception, every writer I have met has been kind and generous. It is a special community. Henery is a special publisher, I’m proud to have my books with them and be a part of the Hen House. It’s a business, but it is based in friendship. A wonderful, warm, supportive, publishing company.


  5. I’d like to give a shout out to Diane Vallere for designing the Guppy logo. She did an amazing job capturing the spirit of the pond. Diane is a hugely creative writer AND artist.


  6. Kait, this is so lovely! Yes to all. Waving a fin and a boa. < Guppy joke

    Completely agree that Diane is incredibly talented, too…

    And I can't wait for your next book to come out–really enjoyed Death by Blue Water (and the second in the series has treasure? so cool!).


    1. Thanks Cynthia! The best testimony for Guppies is how many have stayed on after they became…dare I say it…Puppies! Thanks for your kind words about DBBW. Treasure in the second, it’s a very Keys mystery.


  7. I am a reader, not a writer. I have attended many, many talks, signings, promotional stops, meet-and-greets, and other assorted occasions where writers speak to readers and would-be readers. Every author, without exception, mentions the support and encouragement that she or he receives from fellow writers along the way, and I really do mean everyone: the first-book writers; the ones introducing their forty-first book; and everyone in between.

    There is, of course, competition among writers for publication, sales, awards, and the list goes on, but it never seems to overpower the compelling support that the community of writers has for each other. I have worked in sales, and believe me there was not a supportive community there. Even in education (my other career) there is support but not to the extent that I see in you all as writers. I wish I could write just so I could be part of such a wonderful, caring, supportive community.

    The person who said “The pen is mightier than the sword” understood that the pen is held by the hand of a writer whose hand is held by other writers.

    And you are all happy! Write On!


  8. 3 No 7, Your comment that the hand of a writer is held by other writers is so true, and what a wonderful way to phrase that. You are exactly correct, and I think you may be more of a writer than you realize.

    I cannot think of another profession as caring and giving as the writing world. I am still in awe every time I encounter it.


  9. Hi Writer, thank you for the kind words and the good wishes. I am glad that you have found the group, never be afraid to ask a question, or offer an opinion. It is a wonderfully supportive environment. Thank you for commenting.


  10. Fantastic! I’m a Guppy (although I’m still learning how to navigate the waters), and it’s such fun to connect to other Guppies. We even started a Guppy Cabin for Camp NaNoWriMo two years ago, which was neat. Like Kait, my local chapter is too far away for me to participate in much (only the regional conference), but I do love what they offer. Diane, the logo is fabulous! I didn’t realize you’d created that. Wow.


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