I’ve finally done it. I’m now an official Supporting Member of the Horror Writers Association. It took me long enough and my delays had absolutely nothing to do with the organization itself. I’ve been an avid horror reader since childhood and read new releases more than I write my own stuff. And though I’ve written horror for quite a few years now, I’ve only recently completely embraced that fun loving but darker side of my writing personas. So why join now?
Some of the foot dragging was because I wanted to wait until I could come in as an Affiliate or Active member. That was taking longer than I thought to achieve. But as I waited patiently for the decisions to come from several editors who have my stories in hand right now, the whole Random House electronic imprint contract issue came up. I was transfixed as I watched the exchanges between authors, writer’s organizations and Random House.
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and Horror Writers Association were involved in the discussion and advocated for treating writers fairly. The fact that members from these groups stood so staunchly as a group that wanted to see change made to the contracts that were poor for writers made an impression on me.
As a writer who has been around for quite a while, I would know better than to sign a contract like the first one that was offered by those imprints. Not only have I had my finger on the pulse of writing and publishing for this time but I’ve also been lucky to be a member of a group of writers who are not only super awesome but who also talk and share experiences (I’m looking at you folks, Writing Popular Fiction-ers from Seton Hill University). I’ve also been a member of RWA off and on through the years.
But what about writers who don’t have the same resources? So many writers just don’t know what lurks out there for someone when they’re anxious to get their words out into the universe and someone approaches them with what seems like an offer they can’t refuse if they want to make their writing and publishing dreams come true.
Seeing that groups of writers were willing to stand up for all writers made me realize that I could be involved and help affect change from within a group, no matter what type of member I came in as. Instead of waiting on the sidelines, I could play the game, even if only as a water girl first. There’s room for growth and I’m ready to do that.
So I’m all in and going balls to the wall. Can’t wait to see what wonderful adventures this will open up.