The Midnight Effect
June 1, 2010
Available: June 1, 2010
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Pamela Fryer

In June 1998 I joined Romance Writers of America and attended my first local meeting with the Sacramento Valley Rose chapter. At that very first meeting I picked up a flyer about "the hook" and was instantly called by my second novel, Emerald Fire, a twelfth-century medieval. I attended the Valley Rose's next meeting a month later; their famous "3 page read." I mustered my courage and sent in the first three pages of Emerald Fire to be read aloud to a round table of writer-critiquers. It was hard, but I did it, and I'm glad I did. Someone called it "a fairy tale." Someone else said, "Hmm, we sure learn a lot about the hero in the first chapter..." (one of the problems I still have today: tipping the hat too early) It was my first taste of Romance Writer Support. Both encouraging and critical feedback, I have come to realize, are crucial to a writer's career.

A few months later I entered the Golden Heart, my first contest ever. I don't know if it was a fluke, but I finaled in the Long Historical category with a second medieval (3rd completed manuscript) entitled A King's Ransom. (No, it probably wasn't FINISHED-finished, but at that time they only randomly selected from the finalists to send in finished manuscripts. Today, the rules state the finished manuscript goes in at entry time.)This first final was the greatest experience of my writing career, but it was only a taste of the amazing things to come. I flew to Chicago for the RWA National convention and attended the glamorous awards ceremony.

10 years later and upon my fourth nomination, I won the Golden Heart award for the Best Series Contemporary Adventure/Suspense manuscript.

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