Becoming successful as a novelist can mean many things and take you down an infinite number of paths to success. The path that has come more naturally for me is to involve myself in the writer's community. You might be wondering what that means.

To me it meant to get involved in established activities of local authors. I  joined the Atlanta Writer's Club in 2013 and I attend the meetings and conferences. When I discovered they also sponsored book critique groups that met regularly all over Atlanta, I joined the one nearest to me. This alone introduced me to many authors and fascinating people that have become friends and colleagues.

When I was chosen to be an emerging author at the Decatur Book Festival and then a regional writer at the Dahlonega Literary Festival I met more authors and festival producers. I filled an opening on the DLF steering committee as it's fundraising chairperson. This March 12-13th, at this year's event my obligations will end, but I've learned a lot, made many new interesting friends, and further immersed myself in the culture of writers.

This past year when my writing efforts bore fruit in the form of a publishing contract, my horizons expanded and so did my aspirations. My books sales are growing, and with the wind in my sails I hosted an authors event at my home to benefit the DLF and to introduce our collective fans to the other seven authors that appeared and made presentations about their books.

When one of the authors who attended my event sponsored a virtual book festival on the internet, I agreed to participate.

I have enjoyed all of these opportunities to become further immersed. It has been an enriching and rewarding experience. I have many new friends that are entertaining and delightful. I remain close with my old friends and colleagues, but this new world offers different conversations and inspirations. Variety is the spice of life.

I'm confident my skills have been elevated, and here is the crazy part, I've been inspired to write a widening variety of novels.  Smitten, for instance, is a coming of age love story with a twist - a serial killer that gets in the mix. This plot was inspired by high school friends.

In my last entry in my Disaster Trilogy you'll be introduced to a culture of people that few people know about. I ran across them thirty years ago, but a recent conversation that arose at the by-weekly Roswell Book Critique group event reminded me of them and how they would be a fascinating hitch as an enigma wrapped within the heart of a paradox in a conspiracy mystery.

Along the way I have somehow inspired some of my fans to write. I stay involved in the evolution of turning their dream into a reality. Nobody knows how their journey will progress, but I've enjoyed being of whatever assistance I can provide.

There you have it - the highlights. Who knew this would be so much fun!

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