At the Romantic Times convention, BookBaby spoke with Jade Lee, author of exotic erotic romances (she also writes light, funny romance titles under the name of Kathy Lyons).
We asked her which was a greater help to her in developing her career: her schooling, or going to writes conferences such as the convention at which we interviewed her.
She said that school and writers conferences served two different purposes. She went to USC for screenwriting, which taught her the craft of writing, and she found these skills in timing, plotting, and action to be highly applicable in writing romance.
But breaking into the business was another story. She began writing romance for two reasons: she loved to read it, and she had the notion that it would be more difficult for her to break into other mediums such as film or other genres such as sci-fi and fantasy.
Writers conferences and workshops helped her break into the business. Jade joined Romance Writers of America and attended their annual conference, and she went to the Romantic Times convention. She notes that every genre has least one major organization, such as Mystery Writers of America or Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. The role of these organizations is to flow people through the process and help authors with the “business part of the business.” Jade recommends that authors go to conferences to attend panels and meet editors, as it helps to put a name and face to the book.
In the end, though, while it’s crucial to network to find the right potential buyers and audience for your work, the product is what matters – as she puts it, “it’s all about the words and manuscript.”
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