On the Writer's Road - We are all Heroes

Hi GLIAS friends, it's Lizbeth again--coming to you from the writer's road, and I have a question. Is meeting your favorite author something that’s on your bucket list?
My super hero: Kristan Higgins

I have a second (even more fun) question. Have you ever actually met your favorite author?

It might surprise readers to know that authors also have favorite authors, and we have fangirl dreams of meeting the people whose books we love to read.
No maybe this is my super hero: Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Have you ever wondered why authors, who are people we rarely see except as slightly unrealistic photos on the backs of their books, are elevated to the status of celebrity in some cases? So what if they pick up a pen or sit at a keyboard and type words. They aren’t movie stars or sports figures, right?

With my true tribe: hubby in the back, sis-in-law on the right and absolute super readers turned good friends Shari & Jon Bartholomew
Another thing that might surprise you, is that not only do authors want to meet other authors—we also want to meet readers. In fact, we’re almost as excited to meet them as we would be to meet, say, Nora Roberts.

Why is meeting Nora Roberts such a thrill? Why does a reader feel such satisfaction when an author recognizes her and knows her (or his) name? Why do authors like me absolutely love spending time with readers? Three words:
Networking. Support. Empowerment.
GLIAS' own Angi Morgan (first a fellow writer and now a serious BFF),  me, and the amazing Sharon Sala.
In this time of “me too,” and heightened awareness of women and women’s rights, we need more than ever the amazing circle made up of authors and readers—especially in the romance genre.

Networking is maybe most important to authors. All fellow authors understand each other, and we’ve all got experiences to share, writing processes to compare, and encouragement to give. Those of us in the middle of the pack look to the “A-listers” (think Kristan Higgans, Nora, Barbara Samuel…) for hope and inspiration.
Love this lady:  Barbara O'Neal (aka Barbara Samuel)
 Brand new authors look to people like me for the same. Without writer heroes (for me, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Eloisa James) we can’t survive thosethe times we want to quit (and they happen) and we can’t see the top of the mountain we want to climb.

Readers need to meet other readers to hear about new books and new authors. They need to compare stories and critiques and analyze good books and not-so-good books.
Smart, witty, fabulous writer Grace Burrowes
Authors and readers also need to network with each other. Readers need to know what their favorite authors’ lives are like and that they're are no different than non-writers. And authors truly hope to find readers who become friends and who’ll support not only their books but also the ups and downs of life.

Support goes hand in hand with networking. Once you’ve found your author/reader “tribe” you know you have people who’ll always need you and be there for you. For friendship, of course, but also for beta reading, for spreading the word about books, for connecting with book clubs and online groups of people who like the same thing you do. Mostly, though, we find other women (and sometimes men) who know that reading romance isn’t something to hide. That through the years, romance readers are happier, healthier, and have better self-esteem than almost any other readers. And when we forget this—we remind each other. 
My Minnesota Tribe--Fab authors Ellen Lindseth, Kathryn Kohorst and Nan Dixon. The perfect picture of support!
Finally, meeting your favorite author and readers IS empowerment. Romance has come a very very long way since the days of true bodice rippers and Fabio. Today’s heroines are strong, resourceful, bright women who overcome every kind of obstacle and bad situation. They give us the hope that any situation can be better if we work to make it so. And that true love is not just a pipe dream. Even back in the days of Fabio, romance stories were written to defy the “rules” that women were supposed to live by. They were naughty, they were scandalous. They were wonderful.

And meeting our favorite writers lets us meet strong women who write about strong women in person. That's why it doesn't matter that authors aren't sports stars or actors. They are role models and meeting role models is definitely empowering.

The point of all this is that the road to being a writer isn’t really that glamorous—just as the world of every reader is sometimes mundane, even difficult. We need each other. So—if you’re shy about meeting or writing to an author—don’t be. She’ll love hearing from you. If you’re an extrovert, please know how much you’re appreciated. If you’re a writer who doesn’t want to promote or “bother” people (ahem—of course I’m not talking about myself)—stop it. The readers want to hear from you, too.

Revel in your heroes because you’re someone’s hero, too. And we’re in a very cool tribe. We love romance!!
A true writer hero and mentor and a Minnesota "sister"- Eloisa James.
I'd love you to tell me who your favorite author is and if you've ever met her (or him)? If so, was it awesome? I'll tell you what--it always has been for me! 

See you on the road!

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