Where Would I Be Without You? Industry Love by Cheryl C. Malandrinos
I’m afraid this blog post will turn into a novella. There are so many people who have supported me and continue to support me on my writing journey.
Thanks to Long Ridge Writers Group, I met the first two people who would influence my writing: Jean Lauzier (whose last name I still need to look up every time I write it) and Tonya Stokes. It was Tonya who gave me my first writing gig after graduating from Long Ridge. Jean, invited me to join a writers forum she and Tonya had started, and our friendship blossomed from there. Over the years these ladies have provided great feedback and encouragement. Our conversations lately are just blurbs on Facebook, but I’ve never forgotten how they brought me from tentative graduate to confident writer.
Next would have to be the amazing Lea Schizas. For the life of me I can’t remember how Lea and I met. I’m not even sure who to thank for guiding me to The Muse Online Writers Conference. Lea is the main coordinator behind this fabulous, free and fun event. I’ve attended every year, and I always learn something new.
Supporting and encouraging writers is in Lea’s blood. If anyone asked who my mentor is, I would have to point in Lea’s direction. She has without a doubt had the most influence on my career. An author, editor and publisher, I’m fairly certain Lea could fly if she put her mind to it.
I met Cheryl Wright from Writer2Writer at the first Muse Con. She requested some of my articles. This led to a five year working relationship that secured my role as a time management expert. Her editorial insight made me a better writer.
Lynda Burch at Guardian Angel Publishing accepted my first children’s book for publication. I would still have the title of aspiring author if she didn’t have faith in me and my story. I am honored to be part of the GAP family. My fellow angels are a blessing. We have a tight-knit group and many have become wonderful friends (the owner of this blog among them).
My two critique groups help me mold stories and get them ready for publication. Thanks to their help, my next book, A Christmas Kindness, should be out this fall. I know I am a stronger writer thanks to them.
Kathi Macias may not know she’s been such a strong influence over my career, but she has. Kathi is a client of mine and has been a beloved friend for years. I’ve watched her ministry evolve and can’t help but be inspired. She’s the one who made me realize my children’s books are more than the sharing of faith or a source of entertainment for young people. If I listen to God and keep my heart open to him, my books can also be a way for children to get to know him. Isn’t that what God requires of us—to spread the Good News and to draw others to him?
I can’t end this post without mentioning the fabulous librarians over at Wilbraham Public Library. I have put those ladies to work. They have trudged into the basement to dig books out of storage on more than one occasion so I can perform market research. They have requested books from as far as Florida. I love the Internet, but it only takes you so far.