No, I’m not talking about the TV show Community (which I love, BTW).
I’m talking about the community that is romance.
Let me give you a tidbit about my background. I didn’t always write, at least not with the aim of being published. I spent many years studying and working as a classical soprano, and did a stint with a professional Toronto chamber ensemble. I guess you could say I’ve always been obsessed with the arts in some way. When I passed my audition for this choir, it was a dream come true for me. The choir is well-known, still is, and does concerts all over the world. After devoting years of my time to the art of singing, I was about to become a professional singer.
I think I hated it in my first week.
Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t hate the music or the hard work. In fact, if there’s anything I still miss about that world, it’s being part of that gorgeous sound.
It was the people who shocked and disappointed me. Although the choir was comprised of professional adults, in a way they were exactly what you would expect of a group of singers: catty, petty and backstabbing. I saw things in that choir that changed me as a person, that saddened me. The environment was oppressive and after a while, I had to leave. My singing dream ended there, but I have no regrets.
When I joined the community of romance writers, I must confess, I expected the same behavior. The same insecurities.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Every day I am shocked and amazed at the support in the romance community. Not even just among the authors, but among the artists and bloggers and readers. People love sharing. What a novel idea.
These wonderful folks tweet for each other, post for each other, promote each other. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard expressions of support, and you know it’s genuine, or else why would anyone bother? You can easily hide online, but romance folks step forward and cheer each other daily.
It has restored my faith in humanity, and I’m not exaggerating. Of course, that doesn’t mean every singer is an insecure mess, waiting to take down the next singer. That was just my experience. However, I am glad I took a leap and joined the community of talented, exceptional beings that is those who love romance books.
For the first time in my professional life, I feel as if I’ve come home. And I thank you for your support. 🙂