Monday, August 22, 2011

Georgia Romance Writers: Haywood Smith

A friend is one who believes in you when you have ceased to believe in yourself.
~ Unknown

New York Times Bestseller Haywood Smith has long been one of my favorite authors. Heck, I read The Red Hat Club and Queen Bee of Mimosa Branch back before I seriously considered writing fiction of my own. So I was delighted when a friend who knew I was taking an online writing class emailed me to let me know that Haywood would be speaking at a local indie bookstore back in the summer of 2009. The next thing I knew, I was seated in the coffee shop at Books For Less in Buford, Georgia, soaking up every word this wise, witty woman had to say about her personal journey as well as what it takes to tell a great story. She shared resources she had developed for writing workshops she teaches and told us about a group called Georgia Romance Writers that had provided her with invaluable support back when she was first starting out. I went to my first GRW meeting just a few weeks later, on my 50th birthday. The rest, as they say, is history.

Flash forward to this past Saturday, when I attended GRW's monthly meeting in Decatur, Georgia featuring none other than Haywood Smith. My critique partner, Lindy; my Petit Fours and Hot Tamales blog sisters; friends from Twitter and Facebook; even a few people I had never met before - lined up to give me a hug and a few words of advice and encouragement on the heels of my disappointing critique results. I have never felt so much love in one room before. Sandy Elzie gave me a Hostess cupcake with a bright red candle for my birthday; Bee Snow gave me a couple of pocketbook-sized notepads and pens tied in bright ribbon, party favors from a writing event I had to miss. And then Haywood shared her thoughts on How To Take Your Book From Flat To Fabulous. She made it sound so simple. I thought, "I can do this."

In her introduction, she mentioned that GRW is the most supportive professional organization she has ever been a part of. I have to agree. If it weren't for GRW, I would have given up on this crazy notion of writing a book long ago - most recently a week ago. But look at all I would have missed out on.

Thank you, Haywood. Thank you, GRW pals. Thank you, loyal readers. Thank you all for believing in me.


Christine said...

I'm so glad you had a great meeting. Haywood Smith is fabulous. GRW is one of the best as well. I love you all over in GA.

May all your writing become NYT best selling books!!


Pam Asberry said...

Sounds good to me, Christine! Thank you for stopping by and commenting. All of us here in GA love you, too. Counting the days until M & M!

S.M. Carrière said...

Another giant, warm, fuzzy internet hug! You're awesome, and don't forget it!

Pam Asberry said...

Thanks, S.M.! I never turn down a hug, even a cyber one! :-)

Julee J. Adams said...

Fabulous! Glad you had such a great time with such supportive folks. Now, get back to work and eat those frogs!

LOL! {{{{hugs}}}}

Anju Gattani said...

Hi Pam,
It was good to see you after so long and I'm glad you enjoyed the workshop.. it was so inspiring! Howz the writing going?

Pam Asberry said...

I'm eating frogs like they're candy, Julee - LOL! Hugs right back atcha!

Pam Asberry said...

Anju, it was great to see you, too. Just wish I hadn't had to hurry off - I really wanted to see your new book cover! I am taking a break from fiction writing, to clear my head following a bad critique and to try to get some freelance work lined up, but I will get back to work after M&M, probably on a new project, hoping to follow in your footsteps! :-)

Tami Brothers said...

Hey Pam! This was a great meeting (I always have a great time when Haywood is speaking) and I'm glad we got to chat. I do look forward to your blog posts and can't wait to one day read one of your books. It will happen.