Our Guest of the Day- August 28, 2010-Katie Reus

SFCATTY: Please welcome to our blog one of the Gulf Coast Chapter Romance Writers of America newest members.  She recently relocated to our area and we’re happy to have her join our group.  We’re all looking forward to getting to know her better.

Welcome, Katie.

KATIE REUS:  Happy Anniversary Southern Sizzlers! Thanks so much for letting me hang at your blog! All month I’ve been reading all these fabulous posts and wondering how the heck I’m going to come up with something just as interesting to chat about.

This past year (and it’s only August) brought forth a lot of changes for me. I moved to a new state and left all my family behind. Yes, I love my in-laws but I’m sorry, no one can replace my mom or sister. The move was thankfully very smooth though. Relocating also brought forth more changes. I went from a relatively large city to a small coastal town where things just seem to move slower. Not that I mind that. I only have to drive half an hour east or west and I’m immersed in a bigger ‘civilization’. The really big change in my life was when I made the move into writing full time. At first it was scary but it was also easy to embrace it.

So far one of the best things about the move is my new local RWA chapter. No, I’m not saying that because one of the fabulous GCC ladies asked if I wanted to guest blog this month. The vibe I got the second I stepped into my first meeting was friendly and welcoming. Way beyond what I expected. It takes me almost an hour to drive to the meetings but now that I’ve met this group, it’s not even a question of whether I’m going. Which brings me to the point of this post. I bet you thought it was about change. But it’s not. Well, not completely.

Unlike so many writers who knew what they wanted to do from practically the time they could hold a pen, I didn’t always know I wanted to write. I started writing in 2006 but I didn’t start seriously writing (with intent to publish) until the next year. Even though writers often have fragile egos and are constantly striving to develop thicker skin (I know I am), we’re still brave enough to send our work out into the world because we think we have a story worth telling.

My first year of writing I didn’t reach out to anyone in the writing community. The only thing I did was join RWA but I didn’t search out a local chapter for another eleven months. I could say it was a mistake but at the time I wasn’t ready to meet other writers. The thought of telling anyone I wanted to be a writer was terrifying. Once I finally reached out, a whole new world opened up to me. I don’t want to embarrass anyone by naming names but in the last three years that I’ve undertaken this journey to publication I’ve met so many amazing women who have helped me in ways that went above and beyond anything I ever expected. In addition to finding two amazing critique partners, one friend totally revamped both my websites for free when I had issues with my old designer, then a new designer I hired after that. Apparently I never learn. She also helped straighten out a mess I’d gotten into including losing one of my domain names. Another friend took time out of her crazy busy schedule to read some of my work and give a quote for a proposal my agent and I sent out this month. There are so many other things I could list but these two are fresh on my mind and besides, if I listed everything else it would be too long for this blog. My point is, romance writers as a whole are incredibly nice, giving people. I could be mistaken but I don’t think the online atmosphere is quite the same for writers of other genres. I hope I’m wrong. All I know is I’m happy to write romance and this community of strong, giving ladies makes it that much better.

My next release isn’t until February 2011 (with Carina Press), but my alter ego just had a release from Ellora’s Cave. Since the ladies here have been cool enough to host me I’d like to give away a copy of Tempting Alibi (digital copy) to one commenter. All you have to do is leave a comment. If you’re a writer, what’s your best experience with other writers? How have they helped you along your publishing journey? If you’re not a writer, what’s the nicest thing a friend ever did for you?

If you’re interested in learning more about me, I write romantic suspense and paranormal romance as Katie Reus. I also have a few erotic titles under that name but for the last couple years all my erotic romance has been written under the name Savannah Stuart. Both my websites are updated regularly if you’d like to check them out. www.katiereus.com and www.savannahstuartauthor.com. I’m also on twitter and facebook.

Thanks again to the ladies at Southern Sizzle Romance!

SFCATTY: Thanks again for being with us today, Katie.  Great cover, by the way.  Please leave your comments for Katie and Savannah and they’ll answer them and one lucky commenter will win a digital book.  Join us tomorrow, 8/29/10  for Patience Smith, Editor, Harlequin Romantic Suspense.

28 Responses

  1. Hi Katie! You’re so lucky to be with such a fantastic group of writers on the Gulf Coast – and it seems like you’ll fit right in! 🙂 I agree about the amazing people involved in the writing community and what wonderful friends you can find. (Like many of the Sizzlers!)

    I love the cover of Tempting Alibi – can’t wait to read it!

    • Thanks Rebecca! I’ve quickly come to love the GCC ladies. They made relocating that much better 🙂 And thanks for the cover love. I got so lucky with this one!

  2. Thanks for visiting with us, Katie. Our RWA chapter and the Sizzlers are great motivators. Look forward to visiting with you next week!! RitaVF

  3. we do have an incredible support system in our chapter, Katie. Our published writers are very generous with their advice and recommendations. They have been a joy to get to know and I’ve been helped by several- encouraged in my journey.

  4. Nice post, Katie! I know you must be missing your family, and I hope the GCC can make it easier for you to adjust to new surroundings. They made me feel so welcome, and have been a great source of encouragement.

    Looking forward to the next meeting! Congratulations on several wonderful advances in your career! (Keeping my “Congratulations Katie on your _________ ” (fill in the blank as appropriate) template handy! One is needed for all your good news!)

  5. I agree about the romance writers community. I know the move was a big decision and although I miss you terribly, I know it was the right thing for you. All good things are within your reach.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Wynter! I miss you too! You were one of the first writers I ever met who gave me encouragement and support I definitely needed. Man, it seems like yesterday! Can’t believe it’s been what, 3 years I think? 🙂

  6. And all of us in GCC love you too!!!
    The book looks scrumptious — and that cover! Can’t wait to see what’s next for you! I see major things coming your way!!!

    • Ha ha, I know! When I got that cover, I just stared at it in awe. So yummy! And it fits my hero perfectly. He’s an ex-Marine with all sorts of hot tattoos 🙂

  7. Hey Katie – glad to hear you found a good group, although we miss you! I’m constantly amazed at how supportive & welcoming romance writers are, but I’m also completely thankful, too!

  8. Exactly, KC. Who would we vent to about dreaded edits? 😉

  9. Great blog Katie and we are so excited to have you in the GCC chapter!

    • Thanks Casey! I actually have something for you. I saved a copy of the RWR (the one w/ your article) I brought it to the last mtg but you weren’t there 😦 But, I’ll bring to the next one! It’s still safely tucked in my planner.

  10. One of the nicest things a friend did for me was to take my cat to the vet when she had to be put to sleep…I was very distraught, called my friend and just said her name and she said I’ll be right out…she took my cat to the vet for me….I couldn’t handle that. She was a true friend.

  11. Thanks Katie for sharing your writing story with us.

    The absolute nicest thing a friend ever did was offer to watch my twin boys so I could escape, okay meditate,lol, for a whole day. My boys were 2 and my hubby had been working a 72 hour shift, and I was running on empty and a bit numb. She scheduled a massage, mani and pedi for me at a local spa, then scooped up the boys and took them to her house for the whole afternoon. God bless her, she is still my boy’s favorite auntie and I adore her.

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

  12. Hi Katie,

    There is no substitute for friends I have to say and some of my friends support me even if they are on the other part of the world. Hope things work out great for you 🙂

  13. Hi Katie! Thanks so much for stopping by the blog! While we are talking about wonderful things other writers I have to tell everyone that not even a week after I met Katie I emailed her asking questions about different publishers, and she answered almost instantly! And she gave me a ton of great info too! Thanks so much for all of that and I can’t wait to see you again at the next meeting!

    • Aww, you’re gonna make me blush 🙂 So many wonderful ladies have given back to me so I always try to give back any way I can! I can’t wait to see u at the next meeting.

  14. I love my local writing group. While I belong to CFRW and SWFRW, Florida Romance Writers in Fort Lauderdale is my home chapter. I’ve been a member since 1988 and know I would not have gotten published without them. I am especially indebted to my long term critique partners whose friendship I value as much as the critiques. I agree with you that romance writers are a friendly and generous group.

    • Thanks for stopping by Nancy. I agree, joining a local chapter and subsequently finding a critique partner was definitely instrumental in my getting published 🙂

  15. Thank you everyone who stopped by! Using random.org, the winner is Nancy Cohen, our last commenter! Congrats on winning! Please email me at katiereus (@) yahoo . com

    Thanks again to everyone who came by yesterday and today! 🙂

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