Friday, May 20, 2016

Ready, Set, Publish

Last evening at the Mount Pleasant Writers Group, we had a surprise speaker, Mrs. Heidi Ruby Miller. She is an adjunct professor at Seton Hill College as well as an author and editor. Fred Adams, also a retired professor and musician invited her to speak to our group. Heidi spoke to us and described her journey into writing and collaborating on books. Each book is a labor of love and dedication to bring it into fruition. She shared that if it is a labor of love and something that is enjoyable, writing becomes less of a labor and more fun.
From the first book on camping in Pennsylvania, to a text book on genre writing, to her passion for writing science fiction of other worlds, she shared the time necessary to create then. She also shared many of the pitfalls of publishing, agents, and having her work accepted.
As a professor, she described students who entered her classes with the expectation of writing a best seller and becoming wealthy. These things do happen to some, but she shares the reality check of the writing profession without dampening their zeal and passion to write. She emphasized the need for good editing and finding a good agent to represent the work to publishing firms. Self publishing is becoming much more acceptable, but it is just as difficult to get a publishing company to choose the works and to market it.
Money isn’t the only thing spent in creating a book or novel, there is the time, creativity, and energy in the writing as well as the time and energy that is spent in marketing that creation.
I am a novice in many of the areas of writing that she shared. Much of her expertise was learned by trial and error. I was glad to have her share that knowledge with the group. Our group meets at the Mt. Pleasant Public Library every first and third Thursday of the month. Heidi was a guest speaker. Dr. Fred Adams is our usual group leader and presents a short educational help at the beginning, then we share things that have been written for critique.

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