Last week I wrote about my Amherst Writers and Artists group. This week I’d like to write about another group I belong to—Sisters in Crime—an international organization that promotes the development and advancement of women writing crime fiction.
I have been a member of Sisters in Crime (SinC) International and both the Sacramento Chapter, Capitol Crimes and the Orange County Chapter for five years. This organization is made up of authors, readers, publishers, agents, booksellers, librarians, and others who love mysteries.
It’s where I go once a month to learn from authors who write in the “mystery” genre: cozy, hardboiled, noir, historical, sci-fi, paranormal, romance, thrillers, suspense, literary, and so on. Most recently, an author who writes the steamier romance mysteries set her story in Pelican Bay prison. That was an eye opener.
Our speakers are not always authors. They are often experts in peripheral fields such as law enforcement, victim advocates, forensics, or the medical profession to name just a few.
We are a community
We all help each other along in this organization. Experienced authors advise new writers, and some of us meet in writing and critique groups. Yesterday morning I met for breakfast with one of my Sisters in Crime to exchange suggestions on our works in progress. I can’t wait to dive in today and use her invaluable insight on my mystery. Writing is solitary work, but groups like SinC and the friendships we make help us to feel connected.
Between meetings, I visit the SinC online community where I can learn about the changing publishing scene and navigating the latest advances in social media, in addition to the craft of writing. So far, I have been a lurker. I’ll write more about that another time.
But what most often stays with me, especially at our monthly meetings, are the inspirational words the speakers leave with us, what has helped them to survive doubt and rejection.
At our last meeting, the speaker offered this:
“Believe. You will never get anywhere in this business if you don’t start with that.”
One of the reasons I started this blog was in hopes that writers attracted to this site will find something useful that might help with their own journeys. I do know one thing for sure, when one of us thrives, we all benefit.
Capitol Crimes, The Sacramento Chapter of Sisters in Crime