Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Writer's World - Who Do You Call? Annie West:

Thanks so much to the Pink Heart Society reader who suggested this topic. She asked me who my 'go to' people are - the ones I seek advice from. I've widened the theme to include the wide network of people I've met through romance writing and reading who provide friendship and support in one form or another. There are lots of them, believe me.

The romance writing industry is huge but I've found it to be full of the most marvellous people. Ones who'll smile and understand what you're going through when your book isn't coming together as you'd hoped it would, or who are ready to celebrate grand occasions like books appearing on shelves or the completion of a manuscript.

I do think celebrating the good things along the way are just as important as having friends who'll stand by you when times are tough, or who are simply ready to lend advice or a listening ear when you want it.

So here are some of those special people, in no particular order. I could have included a lot more photos but as I'm having computer troubles at the moment, loading any here today is a bonus, believe me. So my apologies to the many I haven't included. Actually, the post isn't so much about individual friends, but the vast variety of friends and helpers I've met and continue to meet along the way.

Obviously there's my editor. Though she's in England and I'm in Australia, she's there when I need her and it's great being able to tap into her skills and knowledge, not to mention her wider network within Harlequin Mills and Boon.

Of course there are lots and lots of other writers. For instance there are the wonderful women who, like me, wirte for Modern/Presents/Sexy. Many of them have years' more experience than me and are quite happy to share their wisdom and experiences. It's lovely belonging to such a fantastic group. Then there are other writers, both in Australia and elsewhere, who I know via the net or via romance writing conferences and workshops. There's nothing quite like getting together with other people sharing the same writerly experiences as you, especially since we writers spend much of our time isloated in our little writing spaces and our own imaginations.

There are people I've met through contests or promotions who've been so friendly and helpful and who pop up now and again. There are people who write about and review and promote books in a way that makes me feel so good about the effort that goes into writing.

There are the wonderful readers, many of whom I've only 'met' via email or Facebook. There's nothing quite so wonderful as hearing from a reader that my book touched them or possibly even helped them through a tough patch when they needed a good romance to take their mind off their problems.

I belong to a local writers' group called 'The Valley Girls' which is always good for a laugh, a hug and some help when I come to a plot problem.

There are friends and acquaintances who help me with story information, like my friends Josie and Serena below, whose detailed knowledge of Italy are a huge help with my current story. There's my old friend Anna Campbell - we've been mates since before we sold our first books and still support each other all the time. In fact, there are so many people I get support and help from, I can't mention them all.

Who do you go to for support or advice, or perhaps to celebrate good news?

To celebrate the release of UNDONE BY HIS TOUCH, I'll give away a signed book to someone who comments here. If you want to read more about my book just head on over to http://www.annie-west.com/ for an excerpt or links to buy. In the meantime, here are just a few of those wonderful people I've mentioned.

Serena Tatti and Josie Caporetto

Sharon Archer and Michelle Douglas

Anna Campbell, my critique partner
With some other Presents authors and an editor, Melbourne
Annie's latest release (June US)


  1. Awww, Annie, you're one of my go-to gals too. Especially when I want to drink champagne, LOL! Lovely post. We're so lucky with the friends we make in this business, aren't we? I've met so many wonderful people through my writing and they're people I wouldn't have met in any other context. Good luck with UNDONE BY HIS TOUCH. It's a doozy of a story! Good luck to everyone in the draw today. You'll be so glad you won this wonderful story!

  2. Hi Anna, I should have known you'd be here before me! You're everywhere on the web.

    Seriously, the friends I've made through romance writing have changed my life. It's amazing, isn't it.

    Thanks for the good wishes for UNDONE BY HIS TOUCH. I'm hoping readers fall for Declan as I did.

  3. Hi Annie!

    You've got an awesome list of go to people and friends. Thanks for sharing!

    If I have some good news, I just ring my daughter to share!

    UNDONE BY HIS TOUCH is a fantastic story and I loved Declan!

    All the best with everyone in the contest!

  4. Hi Nas,

    Isn't it great to have people to go to when you need them? and people to celebrate with? How terrific you share so much with your daughter. I love celebrating with my family too.

    Thanks for the feedback on UNDONE.

  5. Great article, Annie! It's so wonderful to recognise those who have helped you along the way.

  6. Hi Cheryl, I'm glad you liked it. Actually, there wasn't room to name everyone, even if my computer hadn't been freezing every minute or so. The thing is that there are so many who help, even just with an encouraging word or a comment about appreciating a book. It all helps! I really do feel that the romance fiction industry is a very generous and warm place.

  7. Hi Annie,
    Aw Josie and I love (make that LOVE) helping out with anything Italian. Or anything really. You always make me think - which reminds me, I see an email from you in my inbox...

    Good luck with UNDONE BY HIS TOUCH! I love the title and I know I will love the book!

  8. Annie, I'm astounded by the value and richness of the friendships I've made in the writing world. I can't begin to count all the ways they add to my life. The advice, the sharing of writing trials and tribulations, and, yes, definitely the celebrating!

    I treasure our coffee, caramel doughnut and Black Russian sessions! Hey, speaking of which...what are you up to next week? ;-)

  9. I love reading your posts Annie, you're so positive and sharing! I dont need to go in the draw; I just wanted to stop by and tell everyone what a fantastic book it is :)))

  10. Hi Serena,

    Thanks so much for dropping by. I love looking at that pic of the three of us as it reminds me of a terrific day. Thanks for the help on my current Italian hero - it's fun learning just what he'd say in certain situations!

    Thanks for the good wishes. I hope you have fun with Chloe and Declan when you get the book.

  11. Michelle, why do our get togethers focus on food? Always fun, aren't they? More than that, getting together with another writer is so inspiring and refreshing. I always feel more able to tackle some of the difficult aspects of my writing after a chat. Next week - sounds great to me.

  12. Hi Tash, thank you! I'm happy for you to say nice things about Declan and Chloe's story wherever you are. It's great to hear you enjoyed it so much. Hey, I'm so glad you liked the blog - that makes me feel good.

  13. Annie I go to YOU! Thanks for all the wonderful advice and chats along the way :) xx Abby

  14. Hi Abby, how lovely to see you here. I should be thanking you for the chats and support and advice. What a treat they are. Such a shame you're so far away. A face to face catch up would be tremendous. I'm sure we're due one.

  15. Annie, I love your gallery of friends - I count them all as special people that I've met on my writing journey too! Friendships to treasure!



  16. Oh and I meant to say, I'm reading Declan and Chloe's fabulous story right now so don't put me in the draw! The winner is in for a treat!

  17. great pic Annie, i believed you'd enjoy the moment :)

    sometimes i'll go to my sister or my friend for support or advise =D

  18. I guess it depends on what the news is. It's usually my husband first, and then it could be my daughter ... sister ... high-school chums ... kindergarten pal ... partner(s) on the badminton courts ... neighbour ... etc., etc. Could be one person or could be all of the above too!
    I just know I am blessed to have so many good friends/family members in life.

  19. Hi Annie,

    I love the pic ! The one I love to share my good news with and also get advise from is my dad,he always is happy for me no matter the news even it is something like me telling him I won a signed book from a fabulous author. And he always has the best advice, even when I have a special event to attend and I am not sure if I look right I stop by him for his opinion ! Thank you for the lovely giveaway and for the chance to win the book ,it really does sound fabulous !!

  20. Hi Sharon. I thought you were without computer right now! Lovely to hear from you and to hear that you're liking Declan and Chloe's story. Happy to know it's hitting the spot!

  21. Hi Eli, thanks for dropping by. Isn't it great to have a relative or friend to go to?

  22. Laney, I'm sure you've used the right word. A 'blessing' seems so right to describe the people around us that help us so much. Thanks.

  23. Hi Desere,

    Your dad must be so proud and pleased to be your special confidante! That's wonderful. And he must get a lot out of your relationship too. Your post made me smile because of the love I felt you share.

  24. Well, it's getting late and the next post will be up here soon so I've done a quick random draw. Thanks everyone, who's popped in and had a chat about their special people. And don't forget if there's anything you're curious about and would like me to cover in a future Writer's World post, just drop me a line at annie(at)annie-west(dot)com

    The winner of the draw for a copy of UNDONE BY HIS TOUCH is Eli Yanti. CONGRATULATIONS, ELI! If you write to me at the email address with your postal address I'll be able to send the book to you.