I’ve been considering joining a writers’ organization. I have looked around at several that have chapters in Florida. Now that I have gotten fairly comfortable with the crime fiction genre, I am looking seriously at one in particular that has a stellar reputation for providing both support and assistance to both seasoned and newbie authors. Anyone interested can click here for the Sisters in Crime website.
Sisters in Crime formal mission statement:
“Sisters in Crime (SinC) is committed to helping women who write, review, buy, or sell crime fiction. Our ultimate goal is to become a service organization to address issues of concern to everyone involved in the mystery field.”
What they offer:
- Our inSinC, the Sisters in Crime Quarterly
- Our monthly SinC Links— a digest of “news you can use” about the mystery business
- An interactive map to find our authors — Find a SinC Author
- Sisters in Crime listserv, including special guests on “Mentor Mondays”
- Regional chapters, including The Guppies, a support and critique group for unpublished writers
- Discounts for Members – Gotham Writing Workshops and Writers’ Police Academy currently — Special Offers
- A link on our website link to titles by Sisters in Crime authors via WorldCat, a global catalog of library collections
- An institutional presence at national and regional book events, mystery conferences and festivals with opportunities for individual author participation and/or distribution of promotional materials
- An on-going mystery review project that monitors media coverage of female and male authors, the Monitoring Project
- Our blog written by board members and other distinguished SinC members
- Reports from our annual publishers summit
- Networking, mentoring, and fun!
I’ve looked around their website and I am impressed with the hands-on support they offer: there are clinics and workshops, seminars and conventions all over the country. Open to men and women, members can meet various law enforcement and public service officers, try on fire-fighter attire, meet and practice with forensics experts, study and learn together from a variety of resources.
They are huge and very well established representing authors and writers in everything from gritty, hard-boiled crime fiction to cozy, humorous, mysteries. You don’t have to be published yet to be a member. And the dues are reasonable.
I was recently tagged by a member, Sue Coletta, to participate in the SinC blog hop. Sue has written three novels, short stories, and long ago, children’s books. Her biggest passion has always been crime fiction. She gravitates toward longer works like thrillers, suspense, and mysteries rather than flash fiction or short fiction. However, she has penned a few short stories that might interest you.
You can find her Murder Blog here. In her crime writer blog, you can expect to find musings on life, novel excerpts, short stories, writing tips, research, and anything and everything in between.
Sue is a proud member of Sisters In Crime. She also is co-administrator and contributor to Prose & Cons on Blogger, an authors blog with twenty-four (and counting) traditionally published authors.
The blog hop runs through September. Here’s how it works. Pick one or more of the following and answer to the best of your ability. I picked three.
There are seven questions offered in the blog hop:
- Which authors have inspired you?
- Which male authors write great women characters? Which female authors write great male characters?
- If someone said “Nothing against women writers, but all of my favorite crime fiction authors happen to be men,” how would you respond?
- What’s the best part of the writing process for you? What’s the most challenging?
- Do you listen to music while writing? What’s on your playlist?
- What books are on your nightstand right now?
- If you were to mentor a new writer, what would you tell her about the writing business?
I chose three:
Which authors have inspired you?
I have been inspired by so many. Faye Kellerman and Sue Grafton are two female crime writers I admire. They truly have made a mark in the male dominated field. Kellerman’s husband, John, and Michael Connelly are also favorites.
I am particularly fond of regional Florida authors Tim Dorsey and Carl Hiaasen. Dorsey writes some of the most clever, comedic crime fiction I’ve ever read. I’m crazy about Serge and Coleman. Hiaasen has a knack for both adult and YA, with crazy characters like Skink. I also like how he works conservation efforts into his books.
Another fairly new indie author who writes Florida regional fiction I admire is Tim Baker and his character Ike. I’m impressed with his work and think he deserves a following to rival that of Dorsey and Hiaasen. Randy Wayne White is not so amusing but I love the Florida history and sense of place he writes into his crime fiction.
What’s the best part of the writing process for you? What’s the most challenging?
As a process, I love when the story gels in my head, when details start coming together and the characters begin to talk to me.
The most challenging thing for me is that I don’t type. Yes, I have written two novels and hundreds of thousands of words one key at a time. Unbelievable, I know, but I wasn’t of the keyboard generation. I don’t even text and can’t understand the attraction when you can actually speak to someone.
If you were to mentor a new writer, what would you tell her about the writing business?
Never give up on yourself. You have to be your biggest fan and believe in yourself. Write, rewrite, revise and then write some more. READ EVERYTHING. Sift through all of the so-called rules and see what applies to you and what doesn’t. Then surround yourself with wonderful, supportive people in the book business and share. Get beta readers and mentors, lend a hand. It’s truly a wonderful experience. Yes, it is work, but it is filled with reward and promise, if you never give up on yourself.
The Sinc blog hop requires that I pass the torch and I have tapped the lovely Marie Ann Bailey, another Florida writer who has her own brand of crime fiction in the works with three merry, or not so merry, widows. Marie is a writer, living with three cats, more yarn than she can knit up in a lifetime, with a dear husband who doubles as her best friend.
KNOCK ‘EM DEAD MARIE!