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!
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.
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!