by Linda O. Johnston

Linda O Johnston

Everyone’s careers, everyone’s lives, can change.  And does change.

Once upon a time I was a practicing real estate attorney.  I loved what I did, working in-house for a major oil company… that eventually had to sell off its assets, so that job ultimately ended.  My last work for that company consisted of doing project work for the law department’s remaining real estate group for a while, and I used that to continue my practice by doing real estate project work for other attorneys.

Till the economy tanked and I was unable to grab onto any other projects, or even full-time jobs.

I’d already been published by then, in paranormal romance, romantic suspense and cozy mysteries.  Writing then became my main career, and it remains that way today–although which genre I’m writing in does… change.  You guessed it.  I’m currently concentrating on Harlequin Romantic Suspense, which I love, but I’d also love to do some cozy mysteries as well and still remain traditionally published.

Then there are other things that change, like how to connect with other authors and readers, and how to promote my work.  Last year, I attended four conferences, two focusing on romance and two focusing on mystery: Romance Writers of America National Conference,  California Dreamin’, Malice Domestic, and California Crime Writers.  Loved them all.  But two of them, California Dreamin’  and  California Crime Writers, are held by local organizations, and they’re both held every other year, the same year.  Therefore, this is the off year.

I won’t be attending Malice Domestic this year even though I enjoy it, but its focus is cozy mysteries and I don’t have any new ones currently pending.

rwalogoThen there’s Romance Writers of America.  It’s in San Francisco this year, and I’d certainly planned to go there, only…  Well, things have changed in the entire organization.  It’s been rocked by a scandal involving discrimination issues.  I haven’t entirely followed all the changes and nuances, but a lot of people in charge have been ousted from their positions or resigned, and even a lot of members have decided not to renew their membership, even though the discrimination issues will hopefully all be addressed–and eliminated.

I’ve been a member for a long time, and I’m hopeful it will survive–including the local chapters I belong to–so I did renew.  I’d hoped also to still attend the national conference.  But even if it’s held this year, a lot of major traditional publishers have said they won’t participate, and that includes my romance publisher, Harlequin.

Colton First Resp So, instead of four conferences this year, I doubt I’ll attend any.

But will I keep on writing, and possibly in different genres?  Oh, yeah.   That’s who I am.

And by the way, my next published book will be available in about a week. It’s COLTON FIRST RESPONDER, a Harlequin Romantic Suspense novel that’s a February release.





This article was posted for Linda O. Johnston by Jackie Houchin (Photojaq)




Author: Jackie Houchin

First, I am a believer in Jesus Christ, so my views and opinions are filtered through what God's Word says and I believe. I'm a wife, a mom, a grandma and now a great grandma. I write articles and reviews, and I dabble in short fiction. I enjoy living near the ocean, doing gardening (for beauty and food) and traveling - in other countries, if possible. My heart is for Christian missions, and I'm compiling a collections of Missionary Kids' stories to publish. (I also like kittens and cats and reading mysteries.)

8 thoughts on “Changes”

  1. So agree, Linda, “things” change, and it sounds like you have the awareness and ability to change with circumstances. Used to attend conferences all the time–love the camaraderie–but the last two years stayed home. Who knows, might change down the road. Glad though you’ll continue writing no matter what…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love to go to the mystery conferences. I love meeting successful (or struggling) authors as they always encourage me. I like to study craft. I love perusing all the new books on the tables (and usually buying some). The atmosphere is invigorating!
    What I don’t like is the cost. Even if I can drive there and back each day, it is still not cheap. (Yes, I understand why.)
    The best thing – I think – for a non-book-published person like me, it to get to know other authors whom I can write blogs about….. and possibly entice to write on THIS blog. 😉


    1. I empathize, Jackie. Seeing books and talking to people are always fun, but can be really expensive. But I do enjoy going to local meetings, too, to meet and see other writers.


  3. After attending a number of conferences, big and small, I’ve concluded that I prefer the small ones. Some times, it’s good to take a rest from all the activity and focus on writing—that’s where it all begins. Best of luck, Linda.


  4. Your ‘change’ makes sense as it’s based on your understanding of the marketplace.
    We all seek to balance the business of writing with just writing. It’s important to stay on top of current news, trends and forecasts in our field, including networking, but you’ve shown it can be accomplished in ways other than attending conferences.


  5. Linda, you make such good observations. The market-place and our lives change so much, it’s sometimes tough to keep on top of it. I agree that the conferences are very expensive, unless you have a new book out and something to sell. Even then – they’re costly. Thanks for leading the way with your adaptability! Great post.


  6. What is so good about your reaction to all the changes in your career as well as your life is that you moved on and kept writing and living and didn’t let anything really throw you. If anything those changes made you an ever better writer. Great inspiration to all of us. Thanks.


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