FWIS: How I Got Where I Stand

2 Nov

Hi there everyone!

First off, let me tell you about this new idea I’m involved in (I know, I know. It’s always something with me, right?)

I’m doing a new series called From Where I Stand (FWIS) with @abbymumford and @jessicacorra – two of my twitter friends! If you saw my blog a few weeks ago about how the two of them had inspired me to start blogging again, you saw the beginning of our new adventure… talking about how writers see things differently at different points in their career.

So, to kick us off, we decided to do a round-up of how we got where we are today… So, Hello to all my usual readers (and again, don’t you have anything better to do than point and laugh at my foolishness) and Welcome! to anyone coming over from Abby’s and Jessica’s blogs!

ONWARD!

I was that girl always writing things down and telling stories, but it never dawned on me to want to be a writer (yup, oblivious to my own dream) — but in college, something horrible happened. We had a fire and I lost all my work… not to mention several other things that I was editing hardcopy for other writers — And I stopped writing.

Flash forward a whole bunch of years. I’d lost my job and someone handed me a Julia Quinn romance. I (being the snotty English major) said, Oh, thanks, but I don’t read romance. But the person talked me into giving it a try — and I loved it. I went in search of the next one. At the library, they didn’t have it, but the librarian said, You sound like a writer, are you part of RWA.
ME: What’s RWA?
HER: Romance Writer’s of America
ME: No. I don’t read romance.
HER: Glances at book in my hand
ME: This is my first one. Plus, I’m not a writer. *goes on my merry way*

I got to the book store and asked for the next book. We talked about it and had a conversation… just to keep things simple, read the conversation above. It’s pretty much the same one here word for word… I’m a little MORE sure I neither read romance nor write tho.

I get on the bus to go to a job interview….and sit next to a girl…who has obviously talked to both the librarian and the book store clerk.

HER: What are you reading?
ME: Shows here
HER: Oh, romance. I love romance.
ME: Really?

<Insert conversation about romance and books in generals here>

HER: You should totally write. My roommate is a writer and she’s in this group…
BOTH OF US: RWA.
HER: Yes! You should totally join!
ME: *smiles and tries to ignore the universe*

Only that night I went out with a very good girlfriend who eventual gave me a lecture about telling myself stories in my head that ended with: Would you please start writing again so that you’re with people when you’re with them.

I made a deal with myself, if this supposed RWA existed, was near-by and there was a meeting soon, I’d go. *Googles* Oh. Wow, there’s one tomorrow… 10 mins from my house. Fine Universe, fine. I”ll go.

I went. Then went almost immediately to the conference. I met some great writers, a very encouraging agent at her first conference too (Shout out to the fabulous Jenn Schober),  and really got bitten to start writing those things in my head down.

I made a deal with myself: I’d give myself 3 years to see if this was doable. Everything — free time, money, conferences, focus, learning time, etc — would go toward writing.

I wrote my first book…and made EVERY querying mistake out there… got an offer of rep by the time it was over but passed. Wrote my second book, a totally different style, voice and genre… and got five offers of representation. Had my first agent (a very nice, very smart lady) but we didn’t fit… and that’s when I luckily ended up with my gut agent… Lauren MacCleod (@bostonbookgirl) at Strothman… the agent I talked myself out of the first time around.

This year, after fighting so hard to not be a writer OR join RWA, I finaled in the Golden Heart, the most prestigious unpublished writer contest for people who write books that contain a Romance of some type (whether it’s straight romance genre or just has romantic elements). WOW!

I’ve been actively writing 3.5 years now and have 2 books with Lauren, 1 book I’m reworking for her, one in the it-needs-to-start-edits-and-revisions-stage and notes for several next things.

So, how do things From Where I Stand? Pretty darn good! I’m amazingly excited to be working with the MacLeod laird and writing books I love. I’m relearning some things right now and readjusting back to my success line. My goals got a little squishy this year, but I’m getting them firmed up for 2012. 2011 has been an amazing year and I can’t help but hope that 2012 will be even better.

And that’s how I got right here *points at spot on ground* But don’t expect me to stay standing here long. I’m looking for my next spot as we speak!

kissy-kissy,
Bria

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4 Responses to “FWIS: How I Got Where I Stand”

  1. abby mumford November 2, 2011 at 9:58 am #

    you are flying along, girlfriend, and frankly, could you slow down a little? i’m tired of eating your dust. 😉

  2. briaq November 2, 2011 at 10:25 am #

    I wish! I need to fly a little more!

  3. jessicacorra November 2, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

    That’s why my tattoo is a phoenix. :nods: I can fly. And I’m immortal. Wait, what?

  4. briaq November 2, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

    My tattoo… doesn’t exist yet. I’m a big chicken… but I can guarantee that it won’t BE a chicken.

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