Monday, March 19, 2018

The Sisterhood* of Romance Authors

* Apologies up front to the many, many talented gentlemen who also write romance. When I speak of Sisterhood for the purposes of this post, I'm speaking about any and all of the dedicated authors of this feel-good, heart pounding genre. So fellows, welcome to the fold!

When I first began writing romance in the early 1990s my first thought was ... writing is a fairly solitaire existence. Then, I discovered Romance Writers of America and, more specifically, my local chapter, Greater Detroit RWA. And, just like that, I was a member of the pack!

Despite years of working in a large corporate environment where I developed many friendships, I'd never felt as welcome as I did at that first chapter meeting. It was like I'd found three dozen soulmates all at one time!

I attended my first national conference in 1993 and upped that soulmate count into the hundreds. What struck me most as a relative newbie was the willingness to help another writer, the instant friends ... not something I was used to in a business environment.

Over the course of the years following that first conference, many things have changed. The romance market has evolved drastically, the outlets for publication multiplied, the avenues for promotion limited only by the author's imagination.

Despite all the friendships, the support, and the advances, the romance industry ... like any other big business ... has had its bad moments, its dark sides.

Book piracy has become a huge business with unscrupulous thieves selling off an author's hard work for bargain prices.

Plagiarism is a serious issue with entire books stolen and reissued in another author's name.

Review sites are filled with angry, mean-spirited people who spend a good portion of their day bad mouthing books they've not even read.

As if all of these issues weren't enough to taint a profession we all know and love, we've now become a home to bullies. A recent incident has brought to light a horrific case of multi-author bullying of another romance professional/cover artist. Although names have not yet been released, I trust that they will eventually come out into the open.

These bullies do not deserve a career in romance.

I encourage all readers to get to know the authors you like to read. Support them with positive reviews, follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for their newsletters. Let's keep this genre the positive, loving environment it has always been.

Authors are hard-working and dedicated to their craft and to the support of other authors and industry professionals. They deserve the same happy ending they give their characters but without the angst!

Peace and love to all!


  1. I've been blessed by knowing the part of the sisterhood I do. I admit to being startled that now that I'm a "certain age," I don't fit into my old spot anymore, but there are other places that are okay. A good post. I'm waiting to hear about the cover artist thing--I've seen hints. Good post.

    1. Thankfully, the young woman is recovering. I want these bullies exposed. I too am of that "certain age" where I find less and less to participate in when I go to conferences. I usually stick with my "old" friends because it's hard to get comfortable with this younger generation of authors.

  2. Count me in as blessed as well. I've been away for quite some time and missed the furor over this situation, thank goodness. I much prefer to keep my mind on my writing these days.Some days are harder than others.

  3. First I've heard of an author/cover artist being bullied. For goodness sake, why? This business is hard enough without our peers attacking for any reason at all.

    Gosh, I remember growing up in a time when it was okay to have a dissenting opinion about anything and that was okay. I was taught that each person was entitled to his/her own opinion. More than that, we had the RIGHT to our own opinion.

    Not in today's world. Now if you disagree with anyone, you get scourged--or worse.


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