Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Personal Connections by Guest Blogger, Renee Knowles

Welcome to our Wednesday guest blogger, and my fellow Siren author, Renee Knowles. Renee and I were newbies together. And, boy, am I glad. Her warmth and intelligence on our author loop was helpful and inspiring to me. Not to mention she guided me through an editing snafu I was clueless about.
Renee’s first e-novel with Siren Publishing, Going Topless, will be in print soon, and has earned three 5-Star reviews. Currently, she has a new erotic romance contemporary series called, Pleasure, Inc., contracted with Siren and a regency historical contracted with the Wild Rose Press.
Kinda impressive, isn’t it?!
Okay, I stole this bio from her website. But, why re-invent the writing wheel?
Renee lives in Northern Colorado with her husband and a view of the Rocky Mountains out of her window. (How cool is that?) Renee has traveled all over the world, living in both Europe and Asia. She has also visited Amsterdam twice, the setting for her debut book, Going Topless. Her favorite place to travel to is Italy, and her dream is to own a vacation home there.


Personal Connections by Renee Knowles

I just returned from a fabulous writer’s conference. Aren’t conferences the best? The entire weekend was rejuvenating, fun, and full of great information. I totally enjoy these events. Everybody seems to "get" you there. There’s so much positive energy in the room, and everyone loves to talk about my favorite subject: writing. Although, by the time you’re done, you are tired, have sore feet, and are mentally exhausted. Then it’s time to unwind and take a day or two for yourself.
One thing I found interesting is all the talk from agents and editors at this conference was about personal connections and networking. They were touting the benefits of meeting someone and making that real connection. According to one agent, the majority of her clients came through networking. And to all the agents and editors, this made a difference when it came to taking on projects. Of course, our writing is always the main priority and what will sell us in the end. But finding a way to get noticed is important as well.
This was great news for me as I was teaching a workshop on networking, and after all that editor talk about it, my class was full. Coming from a small business background, I’ve always been a fan of connecting. I’ve met some of my best friends and best business partners this way.
I do think this is a subject writers need to consider. Networking is key to getting your foot in the door. This can be at a writer’s conference, or at your local bookstore, or even at the dry cleaner’s. Everywhere you go there is potential to meet a reader, a bookstore manager, or just a new friend.
I often hear from writers, when I teach my networking class, that they might be shy or just not comfortable in crowds. That is true of a lot of us, I think. As writers, we tend to want to sit home in our sweats and write. (I know I do!) But, forcing ourselves out of our comfort zone actually helps us to renew our writing energy. It gives us a new purpose, and a new zing to our prose.
I know I certainly met some great new friends at this conference, as well as a possible professional connection. So, I guess it’s time to get back to writing. If I don’t have anything to submit, I guess it won’t matter how much I network. But at least now, I’m going back to my writing with a renewed frame of mind and a newfound energy.

Hugs to all,
Renee

Sensual, Sassy and Slightly Sinful
Going Topless--"A must read."--5 Flags--Euro-Reviews Siren Publishing
Guilty Pleasures--coming summer 08 Siren Publishing
Courting Trouble--Regency Historical--coming soon! Wild Rose Press

p.s. Happy Aries Birthday to Mai, Lexie and Anitra

17 comments:

Evonne Wareham said...

Renee Hi

A great post. The support you get from other writers and people in the business is so important - they 'get' you, when others don't. Have to admit that it is a little weird, wandering around with stories running constantly in your head.

Renee Knowles said...

LOL! I always have stories running around in my head. My husband has gotten used to it. He'll talk to me, and I'll not answer--because I'm still working, still thinking of my plot, but he just can't tell :))

Thanks for commenting!

Renee

Zinnia said...

Nice blog, Renee! Wanted to stop by and show my support. You know I've already bought Going Topless, lol.

Renee Knowles said...

Thanks, Zinnia! I appreciate your stopping by :)

Zinnia has a very active and fun Yahoo group. Check it out at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/zinniahope/

Renee

Savanna Kougar said...

Renee, it is kinda strange in a way, always forming stories in your head as you're grocery shopping, etc. and trying to keep aware enough while paying, so you don't end up losing a credit card.
Thanks for joining us today. I so luv that your career is taking off!

Renee Knowles said...

Thanks, Savanna! Us writers are odd creatures, I think. But, I suppose, that is what allows us to make up stories. Thanks for inviting me to blog today!

Renee

Susan Macatee said...

Great post, Renee!

I network online with other writers, but find people who don't write don't always get what I'm saying. I do have fans, though, in my family, who are eagerly waiting my long overdue new release.
I do wish I could spend more time on the actual writing, though, and less on promo and networking.

Lynnsplanet said...

Hi, Renee.

How have you managed to write and handle the promo end of things as well as take care of your non-writing life? Do you schedule time and stick to it?

Bekki

Renee Knowles said...

Hi Susan!

That is the crux, isn't it? We all want to write and not have to spend as much time promoting.

I think it's about balance, and always making sure your writing comes first.

Thanks for posting!

Renee

Renee Knowles said...

Hi Bekki!

Thanks for joining us :) I have found that I spend too much time working and not enough on my non-writing life, unfortunately. But with a baby coming, I needed to make some big choices, so I had to drop some of the extra work I was doing. I guess it's all about prioritizing. I wish I had some great answers!

Renee

Georgie Lee said...

I enjoyed your blog. As a writer, I know what it's like to find people who "get" you. Congrats on the book!

Lynnsplanet said...

Renee,

Since you enjoy conferences, do you have any tips for those who haven't attended one as yet?

Like you said, some of us prefer the solitude of our writing spots.

I have my first small conference coming up and part of me really wants to back out, while the other is wanting to conquer that hurdle.

Bekki

Renee Knowles said...

H1 Georgie Lee--

Thanks for the comments!

Renee

Renee Knowles said...

Bekki, first of all, don't cancel! You will have a great time.

I actually teach a class on networking for writers, and one of the first things I teach is to do a little prep. For instance, write down your conference goals--maybe you want to meet a specific agent, or find a new critique partner. Focusing on those goals will help you accomplish them.

Also, visualize successful networking, and make sure to find a little down time so that you are not overwhelmed.

I'm actually in the process of writing a guide to savvy business skills for writers. I think it's one of the hardest things for us creative types to manage :)

Thanks for the questions!

Renee

Lynnsplanet said...

Thanks, Renee.

I'm sure I'll do fine once I arrive and acclimate.

I'm looking forward to reading your guide.

Bekki

Anitra Lynn McLeod said...

Thanks for the birthday wishes! :)

Also thank you so much, Renee, for posting about the importance of networking. I've developed life-long friendships from contests, conferences, blogging, myspace, and local library events.

As they say it's not what you know but who you know, and that is true to a certain degree--but you still have to have some solid writing too! :)

I also understand what Susan posted about trying to balance writing with promotion. I am going to have to face that very soon and I hope I can do it half as well as some of my friends have, Susan included.

I just got back from a long weekend vacation and it was wonderful but now I've got to get back to writing, and hopefully (very soon) some serious promotion.

Thanks again for sharing with us on Title Magic.

Renee Knowles said...

Anitra,

Thanks for commenting! And I totally agree, solid writing is, of course, the highest priority. Just helps to have a few connections too lol.

Good luck with your writing and future promotion!

Renee