I’m a little surprised. Okay, very surprised. I’ve been dog-sick (a reaction to a med) so I’ve been pretty low-key for the past few days and slow to respond to your questions, but I’ll try to answer them here.
The number one question I’ve been asked all over the place is why the group of USA Today bestselling authors and veteran authors included a new author in the Risky Brides collection.
I’ve worked with new authors for decades, including being honored as the first RWA PRO Mentor. I’ve answered thousands of questions, shared insights with thousands of writers on Aids4Writers, in the Writers’ Zone, and through workshops, seminars, online chats, articles–you name it. From Kindergarten to College students, Career Days to Adult Education. I help where I can, being clear that I don’t know it all but what I do, I’ll share.
All of the Risky Brides bestsellers and veteran authors have done the same. We began writing at a time when there was no Internet. When attending a conference meant saving for months and sacrificing other things–some not luxuries but essentials–to write. When you had to have an agent to submit, and before ebooks were a gleam in anyone’s eye. Networking was difficult. Getting support to assist and share information with you meant spending eons of time at the library and taking a lot of risks in asking other writers what this-or-that meant, and how-to questions. Many were gracious enough to respond. Many gave freely to help other writers.
When you’ve spent days trying to figure out how to do anything, or the protocol for doing something that someone with experience could have answered in five minutes or less, you don’t forget it. When it came time to put together Risky Brides, we didn’t forget what that was like.
Once, an editor told me that the only thing riskier than publishing a new author was making o-rings for the space shuttle. This was right after the Challenger crash. It was hard then, and it’s hard now. Many more books are being published, ebooks have made everyone authors (not writers, but authors), and the new writer struggles to be “discovered” by readers. Just writing the best possible book isn’t enough. Unless readers can find the book…
We, the authors included in RISKY BRIDES, remembered and we wanted to help readers find this dynamic new team of writers. So we brought them into the collection. And they wrote a great story.
If we don’t do what we can, that’s arrogance. That’s forgetting our roots. Ignoring the struggles of new writers and their struggles and sacrifices as well as our own.
Writing never gets easy. Selling what you write doesn’t either. No matter what level you’re at on the career ladder, there are always challenges, always struggles, always questions to be asked and prayers for the right answers. Others helped us. We help others. That’s what writers do. They grip the hand of those climbing above them reaching back to lift them up, and they extend a hand to those on lower rungs to lift them. Writers help writers.
That’s part of the long answer. We remember the struggles and sacrifices and the effort. We remember the discouragement, disappointments, the discipline required when no one but you cares whether or not you write. We face different challenges now, but we remember all the challenges.
The short answer is simply this: Because we can.