Power of a Writer

Last month, I, along with my Diamond State Romance Author Ladies, had the privilege of sharing a meal and conversation with Sylvia Day. Of course, I puzzled over what to wear. What to say. What questions to ask. Aside from being an International and New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen novels, she is President of the Romance Writers of America and a former Russian linguist for the U.S. Army Military Intelligence. Awesome, right?

Sylvia-Day1-med

Sylvia did not disappoint. With my attention so enthralled in the wealth of knowledge flowing from her mouth, my meal got cold and only half eaten. I love to eat. Portabella burger with sweet potato fries. My mouth waters thinking of it. However, the message I gleaned from listening to Sylvia answer questions filled me more than the burger ever could.

Here are her wise words in a nutshell:

Educate yourself. Write the best you possibly can. Make it a point to know what is happening in the publishing industry. The relationship between writer and publisher should be MUTUALLY beneficial. In contract negotiations, ask for what you believe your work deserves. Most importantly, think about how this contract will affect your next contract and your career. Be willing to say, “No.”

Writers mold words to form worlds. With these words and in these worlds we evoke the full spectrum of emotion. Words and emotions are powerful. Ergo, writers can wield great power.

So, write well. Use your power for good. Believe in your worth!

A million thanks, Sylvia Day, for taking the time to eat and talk with me and my wild writer friends! You fit right in!

A Million Things to Learn

Have you ever felt like you don’t know Jack? I mean, he climbed a bean stalk, he’s responsible for the frigid winters, he tumbled down the hill with Jill, he writes awesomely chill music, he serial killed many in London, there was even a little ditty about him, but you still don’t know Jack.

As a writer, you not only have to have a firm grasp of the mechanics of the English language (which is a daunting feat in itself), but must also have a working knowledge of the publication industry and all its avenues, marketing know how, and be (just a bit) tech savvy. Are you overwhelmed yet?

They say, “Ignorance is bliss.” And, “Knowledge is power.”

We’re past ignorance, if we’ve chosen writing as a career. On to knowledge. I’ve gathered a multitude of knowledge from guide books on literary agents, editors, and publishers from my local library. Some of these books may be slightly outdated, but the base information is the same. I have joined my local author’s group, Diamond State Romance Authors, which is a branch of the Romance Writers of America. There are many other genre based authors groups, if romance isn’t your thing like International Thriller Writers. I have also pursued several writer’s blogs. One of my favorites is Nathan Bransford. His posts are always informative and entertaining.

Here’s hoping we all get to know Jack a little better!