In the summer of 2012, Colette Freedman, invited me to accompany her to “this thing” being put on by the publisher of her soon-to-be released novel, The Affair. Since I’d gladly watch paint dry if Colette was there to do it with me, I was in.
We drove from Los Angeles to Anaheim, walked into a hotel and found ourselves surrounded by women. Friendly, happy women. We tracked down the Kensington party, where I met Colette’s delightful editor and lots of other friendly, happy women. Turns out most of them were writers. Romance authors.
After drinking wine and gorging on treats at her publisher’s bash, Colette and I wandered into the bar area. I soon got involved in a lengthy conversation with another friendly, happy woman. A writer from Canada who’d come down to connect with other writers, make industry connections and participate in workshops.
I had been a screenwriter for nearly 20 years. But never in all that time had I found myself in the company of so many smiling, supportive writers. Their positive energy felt like a mug of hot cocoa in front of a toasty fire after a lonely trek through a freezing mountain pass.
Having never heard of RWA, I was attending my first RWA National Conference.
I’d been toying with adapting one of my passion-project screenplays into a novel and my experience at that conference converted me to fiction. I started my first manuscript and joined the Los Angeles chapter of RWA, where I’ve since made several friends-for-life. I’m now helping with the 2017 California Dreamin’ Writers Conference, where I hope to be a friendly, happy face for some other newbie about to embark on their own fiction adventure.
Kady Ambrose is a pre-published YA historical fantasy novelist with several published contemporary short stories. Her novels have realistic historical settings, strong female protagonists and a dollop of fantasy. Basically, the stuff she likes to read. When she’s not writing, she’s usually getting her muscles to shake at Bar Method or binging on a Shonda Rhimes series.