Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending my very first writing event. Ever. I was warmly welcomed at the Colorado Romance Writer’s annual Romance Lover’s Tea. Never have I been in a room with so many writers, let alone romance writers, and I have to say, it felt amazing. The thing I love most about writers–and this was further proven on last Saturday–is that we are a unique group of people who set life goals and work our asses of to chase them, no matter the cost. What an energy to surround myself with!
The other thing that floored me was that people knew what I was talking about. Oh, yes. I walked up to a complete stranger and when she asked me what I wrote, I said, “You know, sort of, Romantic Women’s Fiction.” My hesitation stemmed from the fact that I’ve been trying to pin down my genre for years, as I tend to walk the tight rope between Romance and Women’s Fiction. This other writer said, “Oh yeah, Women Fiction with romantic elements,” and nodded enthusiastically. I refrained from embracing her and crying into her hair, “Yes! You get me!” It was a very fulfilling moment in my writing life.
A very sad moment in my writing life was when I spoke with another member about the Golden Heart and found out, indeed, I would need to have a completely polished manuscript to submit. Highly unlikely given how far I am from the end. I hadn’t completely given up hope, though, so I did some more research about the contest and as I read over the genre definitions yet again, I had to face the fact–in light of my previous conversation–that I just don’t write contemporary romance no matter how I hard I want to squeeze myself in there. I write Women’s Fiction. I love Women’s Fiction. And while I also love to drench it in romance, my stories still aren’t about boy meets girl, and may not always have the most wrapped up endings. And so I’ve nixed that goal in the hopes of fully embracing my label.
But I do have a new goal and it’s probably the goal I should have started off with anyway. Now that I don’t have a contest deadline to keep me motivated, I’m back to a self-imposed one and it may or may not start with a big, fat Q.
Agents, be prepared.