Disproving all those "cat-fight" rumors...
When I first became involved in the writing community, I was a member of a multi-genre group and I attended multi-genre conferences. Whenever I used to hear about romance writers and their groups, words like "catty," "nasty," and "cutthroat" would come up. So I was a little leery when my writing edged into that territory.
And surprised as all get-out to find the opposite was true. For one thing, romance writers train and support their competition by offering free or low-cost workshops, judging contests (again, for free, though it's quite time-consuming), and blurbing debut authors. When friend writers fall on hard times, they organize benefits (such as the one Deborah MacGillivray has put together for author Dawn Thompson, who's had some tough health problems).
To celebrate their fifth years of publication, two other authors from my publishing house, Jennifer Ashley and Bonnie Vanak, have put together an "Oldies for Newbies" contest to promote debut authors on Dorchester's November and December romance list. I thought this was such a nice, supportive gesture, that I've also donated a free book to the cause. Though if Ashley and Vanak are "oldies" with five years in the biz, I'm thinking that makes my nearly ten years ancient.
So let's have a round of cyber-applause for all those gracious enough to offer helping hands!