07-20 – Small Town Romance Author – Kathy Coatney

Friday, December 1, 2017

It Takes a Village and Then Some

Judith is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual practices that nourish the soul and celebrates the journey from relationship to romance.

It takes a village and then some to do what?

In my case write novels. Perhaps not the actual writing. Now that I know my writing process, I can get that first draft written in about 6 weeks. But that is only the beginning of the writing and publishing process.

But my title here is “It Takes a Village and Then Some” not “My Writing Process.”

My Village consists of Rose City Romance Writers (RCRW) my local Romance Writers of America chapter as well as two others where I’ve maintained a long distance membership. In the past I served on the RCRW Board as PRO Liaison and in that position started the #ftb forum.

Since its inception in August several years ago, encouraging, inspiring messages and our goals for the day are posted. We’ve a group of regulars along with some lurkers. Most days Barbara Robinson, Delsora Lowe, Sue Ward Drake and Diana McCollum share their ideas, goals and energy as do I.

But back to creating my village. An integral person in my village is Sarah Raplee. Sarah and I founded Romancing The Genres and she has been a source of information, support and inspiration from the beginning when we met up at Borders in Beaverton in the winter of 2013 and hatched up the idea of RTG.

To move forward, I knew I had to grow my village to the size of a town or more likely a city!

November 2013 I purchased Maggie Lynch’s DIY Publishing during an event at Jan’s Paperbacks, Aloha, OR with Kobo’s Writing Life. It was my publishing bible as I worked my way through to the finale.

In 2014 as I was preparing to publish the first three books in TheSacred Women’s Circle series Maggie Lynch became my hero or shero or maybe just my heroine? She came to my house to coach me through the process of uploading my manuscript to a software program (Jutoh). It was winter. The snow began falling but Maggie remained until I’d made a good start and gained some confidence to carry on before heading home across town. Normally a 30 – 40 minute drive, if my memory serves, it was several hours!

Maggie also invited to join Windtree Press an author cooperative around the same time and I had the support of other WP authors, especially Paty Jager who talked me through a time so fraught with frustration I was ready to give up and never publish anything.

As a Windtree Press author, I can ask questions on any aspect of indie publishing on the Windtree Press closed FB page and get answers. The other supportive group (also started by Maggie) is Goal Reporters. We set our annual word count/books published goals and report our progress. We cheer each other on and share tips as we craft new stories, publish new books and set new goals.

DIY Publishing is still next to my computer and I’ve never published a book without referencing it at some point. However, the publishing industry changes rapidly. And Maggie has adapted to those changes.

Maggie’s Career Author Secrets series has replaced DIY Publishing so she is able to keep sharing her prodigious knowledge base with indie authors. Each book tackles an aspect of the publishing process.

And, last but not least, for the past several years Maggie has been a guest at Romancing The Genres during December when we celebrate “What’s New In Publishing”. When I invited her this year I asked her to consider writing about why she write author guides.

For the latest in"What's New In Publishing" Maggie's 2018 predictions will be posted right here tomorrow.

Check out Maggie's website, sign up for her blog so you get the latest news about Career Author Secrets. You can purchase the Secrets books through her website and at all major on-line retailers.

If you are inspired to create your own village, I highly recommend you include Maggie Lynch.

The first two Mondays in December I’ll be posting excerpts from Lily and Elizabeth on my Judith Ashley blog.

12/04: One of my favorite scenes from Lily.

12/11: Another favorite scene but this one from Elizabeth.

12/18: The Turn of The Wheel a blog post celebrating Winter Solstice

12/25: Check in to see what I come up with!!!

Your free copy of Lily: The Dragon and The Great Horned Owl is waiting for you.

Go to JudithAshleyRomance.com and sign up for my occasional newsletter “Connections.”

Follow the prompts to download your own digital copy of the first book in The Sacred Women’s Circle series.

Learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series at JudithAshleyRomance.com

Follow Judith on Twitter: JudithAshley19

Check out Judith’s Windtree Press author page.

You can also find Judith on FB! 


Sarah Raplee said...

I am honored to be a part of your writing "village", Judith! You are a cornerstone of mine.

"Together, we rise!" is the wonderful attitude of most authors - because it is the Truth!!!

Diana McCollum said...

Thank you for including me in your writing "Village"! You are definitely a member of mine. You have always been inspirational and helpful in this ever changing path to publication and beyond! Thank you my friend!

Judith Ashley said...

You re both welcome. I totally agree with "Together we rise!" being a rallying cry for romance and Windtree Press authors in particular!

Barbara Rae Robinson said...

Thanks for including me in your village, Judith. What we give we also receive back. The #ftb group has been a true inspiration for me. And also the goal reporters loop. I'm going to make my goal this year. It does take a village. We can't work in isolation. May we all prosper in the new year.

Maggie Lynch said...

I LOVE this post, Judith! It does take a village for writer's to be successful. My Village is one that has been created from a variety of people around the world. It started with the wonderful Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch more than 30 years ago (before they were even married). They encouraged my short story writing. When I decided to start writing novels, they helped steer me in the right direction. In fact, it was Dean who suggested I write romance novels rather than SF because that was where the money was. He and Kris were also the first ones to read more first SF novel, and it had romance as a subplot. :)

Then it was RCRW, which Dean and Kris encouraged me to become a member of RWA. RWA was the only professional organization then that accepted members who were not published in romance. RCRW, in Portland, embraced me and cheered me on through first draft, first publication, and later with self-publishing. At the same time, I joined Romance Divas during the first year they had their blog going. They were setting up critique groups and I was able to get in one with Kristen Painter (Florida), Babe King (Tasmania), Sela Carson (midwest U.S.), Gina Wellborn (Oklahoma) and Gemma Halliday (California). Again, every one of them had gifts to share with me about craft, about balancing life and work outside of writing, and Kristen especially helped me to network with other writers who were also very kind and supportive. We still keep in contact (though no more as critique partners) even after more than a decade.

Then it was Windtree Press folks. Of the three of us who started Windtree Press in 2011, only Melissa Yuan-Innes (in Canada) and me remain. But we've gained so many wonderful people in the meantime. EVERY member of Windtree Press has been an inspiration to me in some way. So, I get back as much as I give and then some.

In the past two years, Jessa Slade (Elsa Jade) has been a great writing friend to me. She is always willing to go on retreat and just write--no talking except maybe at dinner. She is a role model for setting goals each day and not going to bed until you've made or surpassed them. And she is analytical like me and down-to-earth about the realities of work this profession requires.

And my readers are a huge part of my village. Without them, I may have quit. Every time a fan sends me an email about a book I've written, I absolutely melt and promise to write the next book. I feel really blessed in this career. It has its ups and downs like any career, but how can I ever get despondent when my one requirement is to make stuff up every day. :)

Judith Ashley said...

Barb, one of the best things about #ftb is that we have a daily cheering section. So happy you are making your goal this year. I won't but I'm 50% of the way and may make it to 60%!!!

Judith Ashley said...

Maggie, I can totally relate to gift of an email from readers or a review. As I'm at a point where I'm catching up on so many things that got lost this past year, I can easily remember the awe and wonder of an unexpected review that really captured the essence of "Lily." Now to move forward writing more books and learning the marketing and promotional skills needed to introduce The Sacred Women's Circle books to the world!