As you know, I’ve waxed lyrical, poetical and every other “al” you can think of about the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and I can’t wait for our retreat in New Mexico at the end of September. But one of the greatest things about our little (well now over 600 strong member) group – and we’re barely two years old – is that we’re an online entity and the retreat is going to be a wonderful opportunity to meet everyone IN PERSON.
If you’re a writer, you understand how important this is. Some of my greatest supporters, cheerleaders and now friends have been made over the Internet via WFWA and our workshops and chatty Facebook page discussions. If it weren’t for WFWA I’d never have met (online) the wonderful Barbara Claypole White, chatted to her over the telephone and received my first acknowledgement in her latest book The Perfect Son. I wouldn’t have met the best critique partner ever – Brenda Linskey – were it not for WFWA’s find a critique partner programme. And I wouldn’t have met my roommate for the upcoming retreat – Beth Havey. And of course, I wouldn’t have found the perfect planner to keep track of my writing progress if it weren’t for WFWA’s Jamie Raintree.
However, last week I actually got to meet – in person – three fellow authors, thanks to Scott Wilbanks. Scott – one of the few men in WFWA lives in New Zealand, but thanks to a great Donald Maass online workshop through WFWA, I fell in love with Scott’s writing.
Last week, Scott flew back to the US for his debut book tour thanks to his publisher, Sourcebooks. His debut novel? The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster. It’s as delicious and quirky and funny and wonderful as it sounds. It’s women’s fiction! It’s magical realism, it’s time travel, it’s adorable. I read it in a weekend. And then I got to meet its magical, quirky, plane travelling creator (and his Kiwi husband) at a reading at the wonderful indie bookstore Book Soup here in Los Angeles.
What a wonderful evening and how fantastic to meet my fellow writers. To show you just how fantastic it was here’s some photos (no idea why my bloody eyes are shut) and two wonderful videos. One is of Scott reading from his book and the other is of Scott sharing an email exchange with WFWA’s President Orly Konig-Lopez, which shows you why WFWA is such a cool organization.
On my “For Writers” page on my website, I talk a lot about writing being solitary and how it can be lonely and the importance of finding writing buddies either in person or online. This post shows how wonderful that can be!
Why you should buy Scott’s book. Listen to him reading from it….