Sunday, March 14, 2010

My Journey to the Call---Part II

Welcome back to my journey to the call! If you haven't read last week's Part I of my journey then click here to read from the beginning. Journey to the Call...Part1.

I'll pick up where I left off...in a sea of rejections...

After enough rejections to create my own personalized roll of toilet paper, I decided that I needed more education on both the publication market itself and on the craft of writing in general.

So, I started taking classes on how to break into the industry. That was when I discovered an amazing and startling factoid. I learned that romance book sales make up around 70% of all book sales!

This little tid bit of information changed my views entirely. I had planned to be a legal thriller/mystery author but when I read this statistic I immediately considered a genre change. Perhaps I could incorporate my love of the law into a romance book?

I'd always been a fan of romance books but I'd never considered writing one. I decided then to not only start writing a new book but I started searching for classes to attend both live and online.

I cannot stress to you enough how important it is to educate yourself. The craft of writing is much more complex that just putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). I recommend the following resources (although there are way too many to list here--these were extremely helpful to me, personally):

*Click the titles for direct links to purchase these resources!*

In addition to that, I started attending book signings for my fave authors so that I could chat with romance fans and find out what they liked to read. I attended several reader luncheons in the area hosted by local RWA chapters. Of course, I didn’t know what RWA was back then but I soon found out.

For those of you who don't know...RWA (Romance Writers of America) is the national organization that helps educate and support romance authors. I highly recommend joining as it opens up a whole new world of resources, eduction, and contacts that would not otherwise be available to you.

I didn't join right away but once I joined I learned about chapters and their contests. I have a lot of experience with contests and I'll delve into that in my Journey Part III (next Monday). Be sure to come back for my exciting conclusion!

Today I’m adding to the "Journey to the Call" prize pack which already includes the following prizes:
  • A book entitled: How to Write Attention Grabbing Query & Cover Letters;
  • (1) free critique of your query letter; and
  • (1) free copy of my first published book entitled Miss Taken
The second set of prizes to be added to the bundle are as follows:
  • (1) free online writer workshop (details to be provided);
  • (1) free critique of the first 3 chapters of your manuscript; and
  • (1) free copy of my award winning romance novella entitled The Saucy Celt

In order to be eligible to win the prize pack, you must follow my 3 part blog post journey (every Monday for 3 weeks) here at the Book Boost Blog. You’ll gain entry to the prize pack drawing only if you post a comment or question each week for each week of the post. If you missed week one, there is still time to comment!

The entire prize pack bundle is designed to help “pre-published” authors who are still seeking that elusive “call”.

Next week, I’ll wrap up my journey and announce the third and final set of prizes to be added to the prize pack bundle.

In the meantime, share with me questions about writer education or tell me about writing classes you've taken in the past! I look forward to hearing from you!

31 comments:

mpeters5 said...

Your story is very informative and inspirational to those of us who are awaiting "the call." Congrats to you.

Monica

Boone Brux said...

I wish more new writer's would read your about your journey. It would save them months or years of trial and error. Thanks so much for providing great insight to the journey and all the resources.

Eliza Knight said...

Great post Kerri! I've read Janet Evanovich's book and Stephen King's they are great! I think another excellent thing to attend is RWA Nationals. Last year was my first year, and it was an awesome experience. You get to talk for days with other romance writers, learn about the craft, here from editor and agents on what they look for, how to write, etc... plus the editor/agent pitches are really helpful to get your work out there.

Congrats again!

kerribookwriter said...

Hey again Monica!

Looks like you're in the running for the prize pack. Hope you'll make it back for Part III and the spine tingling conclusion.

Well, my spine was tingling anyway! LOL

--Kerri

kerribookwriter said...

Hello my buddy Boone!

Thrilled that you stopped by and thank you for the lovely words. You are so very welcome and it is my pleasure to share my journey with others.

I'm here to help aspiring authors as so many before me offered help to me. It is the absolute least I can do.

See you around the loops!

Hugs,
Kerri

kerribookwriter said...

Eliza Knight is here! What an honor!

So glad my dear friend Eliza stopped by to offer words of wisdom. Thanks, honey!

I'd love to go to nationals and that is terrific advice. I wish/hope that I could make it this year. I'm trying to figure out a way to do so but it is not looking good at the moment.

It is literally 4 hours from my house this year. Zoiks!

Biggest hugs,
Kerri

Diane said...

Another great post Kerri!

It's good to know I'm on the right path - Janet Evanovich and Stephen King's books, plus joining RWA.
I've also joined their affiliates:Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Chapter, the Mystery and Romantic Suspense Chapter and the Low Country Romance Writers.

I've also taken Online Workshops. Recent ones include - Mythic Elements by Marcy Weydemuller through the FF and P group. Beyond Fangs by Deborah Blake through the Low Country group and Paranormal Forensics by Katharine Ramsland through the Murder One section of the Mystery and Romantic Suspense Chapter.

I look forward to next weeks post.
Thanks again

lynnrush said...

Awesome. Yea, it is a SEA of rejections, isn't it? LOL.

When I joined RWA things started happening for me. It's a great organization. Helpful to writers and educating them to give them a chance in this crazy ride toward publication.

Great post.

Kathleen Bittner Roth said...

Hi Kerri, Two of my favorite on-line teachers today, you blogging (your elevator pitch class is THE best) and Eliza knight left a comment (Edit Your Manuscript in 30 Days). I also took an online class on pov (needed that!). Have read Stephen King's book - must get Janet Evanovich's. Hey, another great book on writing is Bird By Bird, by Anne Lamott. She has such a great voice and really inspires you to keep your voice and how to do it. Thanks for a great blog

Ciara said...

RWA is an indispensable resource. I loved Margie Lawson's "Deep EDITS" online class. My RWA chapter recently hosted a fabulous day-long workshop with Mary Buckham on "Thought to Plot." Another favorite workshop was "Save the Cat!" with Blake Snyder, one of my very first workshops after I joined RWA.

Mellanie Szereto said...

RWA is an excellent resource. I wish I'd known about it sooner. Joined national and local this past October.

Recent classes--I attended Laurie Campbell's workshop "Plotting via Motivation and The Personality Ladder" put on by the COFW chapter in January. My local chapter, IRWA, had programs in Jan. and Feb. with PAN/PRO panels on querying, formatting, etc., etc... This past Sat. Lisa Cooke guest spoke at our meeting on the Twelve Steps of Intimacy. Education is key.

Mary H. Collins said...

Hi kerri, just dropped by to say hi. Great post, very informative. congrats!!

Sarah said...

I recently blogged about my foray into the FFnP chapter of RWA--Many friendly fonts (don't see many actual faces with an online chapter...lol!) and encouraging folks.

Before I started querying, I figured I needed to network and take classes to figure out where I was headed. But that didn't stop me from pulling the following newbie card: At my first writers' conference (which I somehow got the courage to tackle alone) I got a chance to pitch to an agent in an elevator (no kidding: she ASKED me what my book was about)--ever the introvert, words eluded me. Since then, I've been tackling my manuscript revisions, practicing pitches out loud, and trying out what I like to call my "Author Sarah" on my critique group.

It's nice to see new suggestions for resources. Thank you for sharing yours--I see a trip to the library in my future!

marymccall said...

I'm so proud of you, Keri!. Every time I read your story, I just get happy that someone I know made it!
Mary
http://marymccall.wordpress.com/

Linda Andrews said...

Great post Kerri. I second the value of classes both online and off and as for RWA.. There's a lot of helpful writers willing to share their experience even when it's what not to do.

Sarah Hoss said...

I have only been a member of RWA and CHRW for about 3 months, so I have not joined any contests, though I would like to. How do you know which contest is the best ione for you? There are so many.
I have read Stephen King's book on writing. It was a really good read and informative!

Lexi said...

Kerri, you are so right about educating yourself. If a writer isn't willing to go that extra mile, then she's not going to get anywhere for very long.

kerribookwriter said...

Diane~~

Thanks for the compliments. Sure does sound like you are doing all the "write stuff" here. I know that with all that effort...it is sure to pay off in the near future.

Please do keep us posted on your journey as you go along.

Glad to see another FF&P member here! Rock on!

Hugs,
Kerri

kerribookwriter said...

Hey Lynn R.~

I know you've had an amazing journey yourself and I appreciate your compliments and participation here at the blog.

We'd love to hear more about your journey...perhaps a guest blog here at the Boost soon?

Hugs,
Kerri

kerribookwriter said...

Kathleen~

Awe...you flatter me. I'm glad my pitch class helped you and I appreciate you giving me a plug here as well. :-)

I know you'll be writing your own ticket here soon. You are amazingly talented.

I think Anne Lamott wrote a book entitled "Operating Instructions" about being a new mother as well. I really enjoyed that one. Thanks for the reference on her writing book.

Big hugs,
Kerri

kerribookwriter said...

Ciara~

Yes, those are all great classes. Thanks for giving us some more classes for reference.

I wish I had more time to take more classes. I'm currently teaching 2 classes and I'd much rather be the student...absorbing new information.

Thanks for stopping by, again!

--K.

kerribookwriter said...

Mellanie~

I wish I had more time to attend the classes offered by my local chapter. They are still quite a drive from my house and with all the little ones...I can rarely make it.

I've become addicted to online classes. So glad those are readily available!

Thanks for sharing!

kerribookwriter said...

Mary C.~

Hey hon! Thanks for stopping by to give me a shout out.

Biggest hugs, my friend.

~Kerri

kerribookwriter said...

Sarah~

How great about your blog regarding FF&P. That is one of my fave chapters. I'd love to read your post--can you send me the link?

Sometimes others can see things in our work that we just can't see. Even if comments from others are brutal...sometimes they are necessary evil.

Glad to hear that you are keeping your chin up and fingers to the keyboard.

Thanks for stopping by--come on back!

Hugs,
K.

kerribookwriter said...

Mary~

My sweet friend...thank you! I'm so proud and honored that you are my long time friend.

Congrats on your recent contract! You're one of my fave people of all time.

Biggest hugs,
K.

kerribookwriter said...

Linda A.~

Yep, with the internet, classes have never been more convenient.

My Celtic Hearts chapter offers two free workshops per year to members. This is worth twice the value of your annual membership fee. How's that for awesome?

Thanks for your comment.

kerribookwriter said...

Sarah H.~

Check out this week's post. I'm talking all about contests and CHRW too.

Great to see you at the blog!

~~K.

kerribookwriter said...

Lexi,

What's up sister?

Thanks for hanging with us at the boost.

Chat with you soon, my friend.

Hugs,
K.

Tami said...

Thank you for sharing the links with us. I have a hard time finding writer's classes that don't kill the budget - with you, I have found them! Thanks tons!

kerribookwriter said...

Tami~~

Thanks for stopping by and I'm glad my suggestions were helpful for you.

I'm teaching quite a few classes this year at various RWA online chapter workshops. You can always check the workshops page at the Book Boost to see my schedule.

Hugs,
K.

Sarah said...

Kerri: So sorry I missed your note back! I had to check on this one since you'd said you responded to us all :) Turns out, I didn't hit the "Email Followup Comments" checkbox button, so I've been missing them. The link to the blog post I was talking about is here: http://sarah-templeton.blogspot.com/2010/03/doubt-is-serial-killer-but-ive-got-this.html