Sunday, July 2, 2017
Happy blogiversary, Novel Spaces!
When this blog went live on July 1, 2009 we never guessed that we'd still be here in 2017, starting our 9th year! Today we're looking back at the beginning, the journey, and how we managed this feat. We've seen many blogs, individual and group, fall by the wayside over the years, yet here we are almost a decade later. We must be doing something right.
Some time in early 2009 three debut authors with Dorchester Publishing's African-American romance line--Stefanie Worth, Phyllis Bourne and I, Liane Spicer--decided to start a group blog. It was Stefanie who first suggested it, but we discovered that both Phyllis and I had been thinking along the same lines. At first we intended to restrict members to authors of romance, multicultural romance specifically, so we found Dorchester's other AA romance writers, Farrah Rochon and Jewel Amethyst, and invited them aboard.
That's when we hit the first hurdle: we wanted some of our author friends to come along for the ride, but many of them did not write romance. We asked them anyway and to our delight, they came on board. Kevin Killiany wrote sci-fi; Marissa Monteilh wrote mainstream and erotica; Terrence Taylor wrote horror; Kaz Augustin wrote SFF and romance; Shauna Roberts wrote SFF and historical fiction... We were a motley crew, from places as widely strewn as the Caribbean, the US, Malaysia and the UK, with diverse backgrounds. So how did we make this venture work? It was actually quite simple: we all shared a passion for writing stories and we focused on the business of writing, on writing craft, and on our lives as writers.
At least half of the original members have gone. Over the years we have had 31 members, each contributing a different and valuable perspective on this business that we love. Our newest member is Mollie Blake, a mystery writer from the UK who joins us this month. We're a democratic, drama-free, mutually respectful group, and our dozens of guest authors, agents, editors and publicists have all honored the ethos of the Novel Spaces blog.
How long will Novel Spaces be around? No one knows. Every year we take a vote and so far there have been no 'nays' when we ask if the blog should continue for another year.
Here's to our 9th! Thank you to all our members, founding, past, and present. And thank you too to our guests and loyal readers without whom we would have no reason to exist. All the very best to the Novel Spaces family as we take another whirl around the sun.