First, I must say a huge thank you to Debs and Grumps for welcoming me to The Plotting Shed. It’s wonderful to be here!
Debs and I are both members of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and I can’t tell you how many times someone has said to me “But you write crime novels. Why are you a member of the RNA?”. That question always takes me by surprise.
I became a member of the RNA in the early nineties when I was writing romances. Since then, I’ve made countless friends, enjoyed parties and conferences and learned so much. One of the highlights of my month is the Northern Chapter meetings. What can be better than talking shop with good friends over a tasty lunch?
By definition, writers spend long hours shut away from the world with only a keyboard or pen and paper for company. They slog away for months on end on something that may never be published. They go through the pain of rejections or bad reviews. They experience the joy of a new contract, a wonderful book cover or a great review. And I believe that the only people who understand a writer’s lot are other writers.
I also believe that writers, and it matters not a jot whether they give us crime, romance, sci-fi or steampunk, are the friendliest, most generous people on the planet. They’re always there to offer advice and sympathy when a bad review spoils your day (week). They’ll punch the air with delight when you share the good news. They willingly share hints and tips when it comes to publishers requirements, marketing or writing software. In short, they’re the best.
Where would I be without the RNA? It’s difficult to say. I was already published when I joined so was unable to make use of the wonderful New Writers’ Scheme, but I’ve learned so much from fellow writers about the whole publishing business. It sounds strange but I don’t think I’d be shouting about the release of my seventh mystery novel without the help and support I’ve received from the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
Thank you for having me, Debs and Grumps. You’re very gracious hosts! Thank you so much for visiting us here Shirley.
Having had several hundred short stories, ten serials and ten novels published, Shirley Wells is finally getting the hang of this writing lark. She’s lived in Orkney, Cyprus and the Cotswolds, and now lives in Lancashire where the Pennines, with their abundance of great places to hide bodies, provide the inspiration for her popular mystery novels. She shares her home with her husband, two dogs, two cats and any other stray animals that fancy being pampered. You can connect with Shirley via her website, Twitter or Facebook.
Her latest Dylan Scott mystery, DEAD SILENT, is available from Carina Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all good e-book retailers.