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Today is Day 6 of Collette Cameron’s Blog Hop and Giveaway, which I’m participating in with 23 other authors. There will be lots of giveaways, including a basket of chocolates, gift cards, digital and print books, and a Kindle Paperwhite, and a print copy of my book The Nun and the Narc. To enter the giveaway drawing and see a list of the participants and the prizes click on the Collette Cameron blog hop button at the top of the page. This is a super opportunity to get some great prizes and discover some new authors.

The theme of the blog hop is Thanking and Appreciating All those Who Supported Authors. During the hop, I’ll be posting pieces about the various people and organizations that have helped me on my road to publication. I only hope I don’t forget anyone, because a lot of people have been on this journey with me.

My journey story as a fiction writer wouldn’t be complete without thanking the former president of Ohio Valley Romance Writers of America (OVRWA) Robin Wiete (forgive me, Robin, if I spelled your name wrong)and Romance Writers of America (RWA).

About four years into my stringer career, I read a book by Robin and saw a contact address for the author in the back of the book. I decided to write a note letting her know how much I enjoyed the book, and tell her I was working on something set in the same location where her book had been set. On a whim, I included my phone number in the letter.

Imagine my surprise, when Robin called me. She told me about the Ohio Valley Romance Writers and that they were having a conference nearby where I lived. She invited me to come. By that time I had learned to smell a newspaper story, so I took the idea to my editor and she approved the story.  I wrote several stories about the local OVRWA conferences the next couple of years, and eventually decided that I needed to become a part of this organization.

Because of Robin’s call to a perfectly unknown fan, I became involved in OVRWA, met three of my four critique partners, and formed associations and friendships that have lasted for 20 years.

Writing can be a lonely job. When writers start writing, we often don’t know much about the industry or how things work. I know I didn’t. I just knew I loved to write and wanted to write. I encourage all new writers to find an organization that specializes in the genre in which they want to write. Make friends. Find critique partners. Start that network of author supporters. Knowledge is power, and networking is very important, no matter what genre you write.

To Robin, and all the past presidents and current president of OVRWA and the other officers (forgive me for not naming you all because I don’t want to leave anyone out), I want to say, “Thanks. Without you helping to keep this local organization going, the romance writers of Ohio would be much poorer. Your dedication and support of aspiring authors and those who have made their dreams of authorship come true cannot be lauded enough. It’s a hard, time-consuming job and I am grateful you all have stepped in and volunteered.”

Is there an author who has touched your life? Perhaps there is someone who has given you advice or reached out. If so, tell them thanks.

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