by 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.
Then 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.
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)