What this is for
The title of this post is confusing, most likely. I’ve given this topic a lot of thought because recently I’ve had to say versions of this to people, and even with practice I’m not sure if a post summarizing all the thoughts will adequately explain it. So I’m putting it here on my blog, instead of an official explanation on the romanceclass website.
“How do I become a #romanceclass author?” someone will ask.
Attend the class is the easiest answer, but we don’t always have an ongoing class. (There is a textbook of sorts, available on Gumroad, with guidelines and a writing schedule, but some people want a teacher teaching them and this year I don’t have the energy for it. It won’t be me.) Read the books has been the other thing I say, but that isn’t detailed enough an instruction, right? Sometimes I say that and people come back expecting to be personally mentored, now that they’ve read the minimum number I’d said. Okay, no.
Here’s an attempt at being clearer about it. Because, I’m going to assume people want not just to write a romance book, but have access to the things that authors in the #romanceclass community have access to. These things are, but not limited to: critique partners, editorial support, designer recs, photo shoots, launch opportunities, learning opportunities, group selling inclusion, performers reading their work for an audience, readers actually reading. This has a lot of value, we know now. (We often think we’re just having fun and it is. But also valuable.)
So, here. To become a romanceclass author, here’s a suggested path:
Enjoy reading contemporary romance in English.
Read 5 or more contemporary romances in English by Filipino authors. And the more #romanceclass books the better.
Consider romanceclass readers and fellow authors as critique partners, and be ready to actually revise based on comments you might get, even if they fundamentally change your manuscript. (Tip: It’s okay to consider us as customers only. We buy and read all kinds of books! But if we’re not part of your writing process before the marketing and selling then we’re not your writing community.)
I’m looking at the list above and depending on how tired I am, may see it as too much work or not enough. As I’ve had to say a few times over the years, all of this is not meant to make things difficult. If you love the genre and like the way we’ve been writing it and appreciate how the books look and find the things we do to boost readership fun, then this will not seem impossible. It will, I’m hoping, seem like you finally located people who appreciate the things you do and worked together to make certain things easier.
Over the years I’ve had to reply to a thing in my email and say in various different ways that I know what they want, but that’s not what this community is for. That’s not fun, and those words get stuck in my head for days.
I don’t know if writing any of this down will help. But I feel like I should say it, in case it actually saves me from having to get on your replies. (I can be a lot more, um, frank about this in private replies.) When you say you want to be part of this, are you thinking in terms of what you’re going to get, or what you’re going to give? (And does it make sense when I say that it’s both, together?)