Bob just published his first novel! Yay!
And I had the pleasure of taking that journey with him, from the minute he sat in my Advanced Creative Writing class with at least one completed manuscript and a whole lot of determination.
To be a writer you need those three things: determination, some pages with words you wrote upon them, and a tribe. That’s my tribe, above: I’m sitting next to Bob, next to Tom, next to Vernie.
That writing class was Bob’s tribe for the moment. We writers move around. I don’t even teach college anymore; I write full time now. Neither Bob nor I were published when we met.
How Bob Baker became a friend of mine is pretty straightforward. I recognized his talent. I encouraged him. I was apparently nice enough so that he felt okay emailing me after our school semester was over. I was confident enough in his talent to invite him into my writing group, and he was confident enough to accept. Thus, a tribe was formed.
My writing group–it’s a small group, just four of us–came about through many offers for participants on my part and much comings and goings on the part of others until we settled into a fine quartet. We’ve been meeting there or four years now once a month with 10-20 pages each. We spend five hours
tearing each other’s work apart giving each other constructive criticism and talking about writing in general. Publishing, too.
When the group began, we had two published writers and two unpublished. Bob has rounded it out so that now with the advent of Hiding Tom Hawk we are all published, all quite pleased with ourselves. And my best advice to any writer is to find your tribe. There’s no mystery to getting published. Practice and show your work to a few trusted souls and follow the well worn path that the internet is very happy to set out.
I’ve got a book about it. I wish I could give every one of you a copy but it sold out in print although there’s a newer edition of Your Words, Your Story anyway with the whole scoop on indie publishing, and whether you are published by a traditional press or as an indie, (and I’v been both) nothing will ever feel better than holding your first book in your hands.
To help say congrats to Bob, I will send free copies of both e-books, mine and his, to the first three people who comment today. And thanks for reading about my lovely band of merry writers.