Thursday, November 01, 2007

Guest Blogger: Pat White

We welcome Pat White back into the convertible on this All Saint's Day. Pat's current release, SAVING DESTINY is book #4 in the Dark Enchantments series, and let me tell you, it features one sexy demon hero you don't want to miss! So here's Pat...

First, let me say how honored I am to be blogging at RWTTD. I’ve been a regular “lurker” of this blog for years!

I spent this past weekend surrounded by 250 wonderful romance writers at the Emerald City Writers’ Conference in Seattle. It was great fun and I learned a ton. (Prepare yourself for Writing Philosophy 101 with Pat White.) My most interesting “lesson” of the weekend was that no matter where authors are in their writing careers, they all have one thing in common: challenges.

Sometimes we look so far up to the big names that we forget they are people with their own set of challenges. An author who makes the NYT list still worries about deadlines and sell through numbers. She still has to sit at the computer every day and stare at a blank screen, only now she has the added pressure of topping her prior success.

Another lesson: you are who you think you are. You have the choice NOT to be defined by other people, rejections, lack of contest placement, etc. No matter who you are or where you are in this wonderful writing journey, you’re going to hit speed bumps and pot holes. It’s how you navigate around, over and through them that makes you who you are.

A big plus of attending these conferences are the amazing networking opportunities. Don’t underestimate networking! If it weren’t for networking I wouldn’t have met Nina Bruhns and wouldn’t have been invited to join the online critique group with Nina, Michele Hauf and Cynthia Cooke.

I wouldn’t have been inspired to write my November book, SAVING DESTINY, (RT Top Pick) which is part of the Dark Enchantments series for Nocturne.

So, by all means be open and generous to people around you. You never know what kind of magic awaits! (The photo is of me, left, with new friend Carmine Anderson.)

Okay, philosophy class over.

Good luck and write on!

Pat White


Debra Dixon said...

Hey, Pat! Great to have you here. I totally agree that one of the most important things we can realize about this business and life in general is that challenges change but they don't go away.

So, we just have to embrace those challenges or find something else we want enough to endure the hardships that go along with success.

Helen Brenna said...

Hey, Pat, welcome aboard and congrats on your new book!

As a newly published writer I especially appreciate your post today. It was a shocker for me to realize after I'd sold my first book that I still hadn't "made it." LOL

Looks like you write across genre lines a bit. Any favorites?

Anonymous said...

Welcome, Pat! And thanks for your musings-- sounds like the Emerald City conference was a terrific learning and re-charging experience.

And yes, each and every phase of the writing life-- and life in general-- has its own unique challenges and rewards. And we have to stay alert and process the circumstances and events in order to make sense of it all.

Okay, I think we all should print out your last comment and tape it over our computers and tattoo it on our palms to help us remember what's important in life and how to live in concert with it.

Betina Krahn said...

Hey, that anonymous was ME! Betina.

My computer is going wonky this morning!

Cindy Gerard said...

Hey Pat and welcome to the convertible!
And I hear you on the benefits of attending writer's conferences. If nothing else the sisterhood is just amazing. And networking with our fellow writers does remind us that published or not, we all face the same challenges. Great reminder!

Kathleen Eagle said...

Hi Pat! Welcome, and may your new book sell like crazy this month.

What to say about the challenges after 23 published years...hmmm. Does anyone else ever find herself saying, "I'd trade mine in for so-and-so's any day." Or, "I wish I had *her* problems"?

For most of us, it's a roller coaster ride, this business. I've always felt that life is all about the challenge. Without struggle, where's the conflict? Of course, it's always easier to say that during the "wheee!" part of the ride when we're really having fun.

For me, this is not one of those times. I just finished a contract, and that's the scariest time for a writer. At times like this I long for the relative security of my teaching days. Relative, mind you. Those contracts were not struggle-free. But time adds romance to the past, they say, which only adds to the challenge of living in the present.

It sure gives us something to write about, doesn't it? ("It" being challenge, struggle, journey, etc.)

Michele Hauf said...

Hey, P!
I don't think I'll ever 'make it'. And probably I don't want to. Because wouldn't that imply that I'd done it all and have nothing left to accomplish? I hope to always meet new challenges and that those challenges don't give me as many gray hairs as the past ones have. Although, I guess another gray hair isn't going to be noticed amongst the many now. :-)

Pat White said...

About your writing across genre question, Helen...
I guess I like each genre for a different reason. Writing the Nocturne was so cool because there were no rules or boundaries -- at all! Talk about letting your imagination run wild.
I love writing intrigues because of the puzzle (you're looking at the girl who gets stuck in the Law & Order endless loops on TNT), and the comedies, well, I love to make people laugh!
What about you?

Pat White said...

And how especially cool is it that I see some of my writing heroes on this blog. I'll never forget reading Deb Dixon's Loveswept, I think it was "Bad to the Bone" and being totally blown away. Betina has been one of my heroes for a very long time, as has Kathleen Eagle. Then there's Michele Hauf... talk about talent!

I wanted to also share an experience I had last night at a sneak preview for No Country for Old Men (latest Coen Brothers movie from a Cormac McCarthy book). Josh Brolin, the lead actor in the movie, was there and said something that sounded awfully familiar: It's about the work.
Remember that, folks. It's easy to get distracted by reviews, gossip, speeches, etc. DON'T! Focus on being true to your amazing stories!
I have a suspicion that may keep you sane. Well, that and chocolate.

Lesa~Dragon said...


Hi Pat and ladies of the RWTTD.
I just added this as one of my distractions, I mean one of my favorites.

I can't wait to dig in an read more.

Thanks for the wise works, Pat - I wanna be like you when I grow up.

Debra Dixon said...

Pat-- My husband is on L&O every time I wander through the den. Some days, every time he changes the channel he lands on another L&O. I'm thinking it's on every freakin' channel in the universe 24/7 !! LOL!

And how lovely that you remember one of the Loveswepts. :) That was a nice surprise for today.

Christie Ridgway said...

Hi, Pat! Thanks for joining us. I also am a huge L&O addict...but for the life of me don't think I could write a "puzzle"-type story. Maybe it's because I enjoy them so much as a reader/viewer that I don't want to have to figure out what makes them tick. (Or maybe I'm lazy.)

I love the sisterhood we writers develop, too. It's great to have friends who get all the "whees" and "whoas" of this ride.

Cherie J said...

Hi Pat,

Just wanted you to know I am looking forward to reading Saving Destiny.

Pat White said...

Thanks! Michele Hauf is reading it right now and I think she's having fun. It's more of an adventure than I'm used to writing.

Jacquie said...

Pat, what a spot-on blog entry! The conference must have sparked something in the stars, because several of us teetered at the bar with Karen's tarot cards, and we came to the same conclusion. :)

And thanks for the cat basket that I won in the raffle. My cat-crazy sister is gonna love it!


Aura said...

Hey Pat, it was great to see you at the conference and I think the lessons you've learned were fantastic. Thanks so much for sharing them. It's really reminded me of WHY I write and helps me to focus on the important things. Fingers to the keyboard now... it's time to get back to writing. :)