Maureen Child - Romance Author Maureen Child - Romance Author

 

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Friday, September 08, 2006

Orange County RWA


So, I've got an RWA meeting tomorrow. For those of you who don't know...RWA is the short hand version of Romance Writers of America.

The national organization is huge, with nearly ten thousand members. And I do belong to National. But it's the Orange County chapter I call home.

When I was first starting my quest to be published, my first agent suggested that I join RWA and the Orange County chapter in particular. She assured me that I'd meet great people and learn everything I would ever need to know about surviving in the publishing industry. Well, I was never big on joining clubs. Give me a book and some time to myself and I'm a happy camper.

But I did join, because I was determined to sell and needed all the help I could get. I walked into that first meeting...back in the day, the chapter meetings were held at a Sizzler restaurant in Fullerton, CA....I didn't know a soul. Now everyone who knows me will laugh at this, but I was sooo intimidated. A whole room full of women who were laughing and talking and sharing war stories about books and plots and agents and editors. It was mind boggling!

But I was hooked. I took a seat in the back of the room and listened to everything I could. I took notes. I considered bringing a tape recorder so I wouldn't miss anything, then I found out the chapter tapes their meetings, so hey. Covered.

The next month, I talked to a few people and within a few months, I'd made some great friends, learned so much more than I could have on my own and I realized that there were lots of people like me--you know...the ones with stories and people and dialogue running through their brains all the time!

Since joining OCC, I've sold more than ninety books in several different genres. I've had a few agents, many editors and I've worn out four keyboards. But I'm still at OCC. I still look forward to the meetings and getting a chance to talk to my friends. I still learn something every time I go there. And I know that for me, OCC will always be my writing home.

4 Comments:

  • At 8:45 AM, Anonymous kate said…

    Sweet! I couldn't agree more. OCC is the best! And hey, I still sit in the back and hide.

    But...you didn't say anything about the minion program. It's just one of the many perks that OCC provides its members. LOL

    Kate

     
  • At 9:21 AM, Blogger Jennifer said…

    Maureen, I'd laugh about you being intimidated but I remember my first meeting too. Totally overwhelming. And since I am shy (I am!) it was hard to walk in the room. But OCC immediately made me feel welcome and I've been there ever since.

    But dang, I'm not anywhere near as accomplished as you!

    Kate, Shhhhhhh!!!!! We must get that Minion Union up and running before word gets out :-)

     
  • At 9:57 AM, Blogger Maureen Child said…

    NO MINION UNIONS!! Honestly, you have to stay on top of everything!! LOL.....

    Hey, it was really intimidating, walking into that first meeting. But like I said, back in the day, when we met at Sizzler, we could get WINE with lunch!!

     
  • At 7:37 AM, Blogger Christine Rimmer said…

    Oh, I so remember the Sizzler meetings. And I'm still a member of OCC, though I live far, far away now....

     

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