Monday, June 20, 2005

With a Little Help from My Friends

I had a revelation of sorts at my booklaunch party, one that made me glad to be a part of this business.

Among the 100+ guests were many published writers, including Jay Bonansinga, Libby Fischer Hellmann, David Ellis, Robert W. Walker, Raymond Benson, Thomas Keevers, Brian Pinkerton, Tim Broderick, and several others.

Though it's possible they'd been lured there by the free beer, each of them was congratulatory and bought books. Some bought several. Some even brought champagne.

While other jobs inspire intense competition, jealousy, political maneuvering, and back-biting, I've never felt that from the professional writers I've known. Quite the opposite---almost every pro I've met has been gracious, generous, and truly happy for the success of their fellow novelists.

Though I know writers who are bitter, the bitterness is directed at their publishers, their agents, or themselves, never at other writers.

In a field this crowded and this competitive, that's a pretty amazing thing.

But it doesn't end with just a booklaunch party. The few times I've been nominated for an award, my email overflowed with well-wishes from authors. When I get reviewed, fellow writers will give me a 'atta boy' if the review was good, or a 'that reviewer is an idiot' if the review wasn't so good.

I'm new to the blogosphere (so new I don't know how to change my template and link to other blog sites) but that hasn't prevented many blogging novelists from linking to me and sending traffic my way.

For WHISKEY SOUR and BLOODY MARY I've gotten more than thirty blurbs, many from NYT bestsellers.

When I considered editing a thriller anthology, almost everyone I contacted sent me a story, knowing full well that the money would be trivial.

And while I'd love to think that the behavior of these writers is directly linked to the undeniable charisma that I ooze, I know for a fact that I'm not the only recipient of this ongoing kindness.

I belong to an online writing forum called Backspace (www.bksp.org) and the membership there is so overwhelmingly supportive that entire threads are dedicated to congratulations.

I attended the ITW Cocktail Party in NY (www.internationalthrillerwriters.org) and some of the biggest names in the thriller world were drinking and eating and schmoozing with newbie writers like we were equals.

Whenever a group of writers get together, they share tips and tricks and wisdom and experience that would get folks in other professions fired for revealing trade secrets.

Writers support, promote, and help each other. This appears to be the norm.

What a cool profession I'm in. Now can someone please tell me how I can link to other blogs?