by Chrysa Smith
Where to begin? Well, among the best things that have happened to me lately are the success of my self-published children’s fiction series: The Adventures of the Poodle Posse, and some of the new friends that it has brought to me. I love the kids I meet at school visits and book signings. They say the uncanniest things. But beyond my chattery, giggly and bouncy reading audience, when I return home and to my computer, two adult women have not only been the strength, the support and the sounding board for a solitary writing career—they have become genuine friends and now associates. Carmen, MaryFran and I are all authors, all with different genres, all published in different ways, who met through different networks. But now, we’ve all congregated together in mutual support and editorial professionalism, to help each other navigate our ways through the murky world of authorship. Based on mutual experiences, we all realized that when we’re out talking to people, there are innumerous varieties of other wordsmiths; waiting with manuscripts in drawers, on desks and in the recesses of minds, waiting to be discovered. Yet, they go nowhere, because, as the three of us discovered, figuring out what to do next, how to do it, who to talk to, how does it work translates into hours of internet research, meetings with published authors, piecing together a whole lot of loose information and loose ends and weaving it all into a finished product that the world can finally see. It takes patience. It takes time. It takes creative thinking. It takes creative research. And after all is said and done, it finally takes guts.
So, three women with solitary writing careers decided to have some fun and solve some dilemnas. We now travel around with a seminar entitled “Three Women. Three Authors. Three Different Approaches.” We speak in educational institutions, to community groups and would-be authors, telling our tales of getting published via traditional, print-on-demand and self-publishing methods. As the saying goes, we all came here on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.