“The Firebirds” is the name we chose for our class of Golden Heart finalists, the class of 2012.
There are about 60 of us in about 10 different writing categories (YA romance, Regency romance, romantic suspense, contemporary, etc.) — all different ages, all different steps of the publishing journey, all different states, and even some from different countries. (One woman is coming from Budapest, one is an ex-pat in India, at least two are coming from Australia, and at least one from Canada.)
We’ve already become close on our email loop, emailing each other every day since we finaled.
We’ve shared stories of what we said or did when we got “the call” that we’d finaled (I especially liked the story of the finalist who answered the phone naked!), where we live, who are kids are, how long we’ve been writing, and where we got the idea for our GH manuscript.
We’ve written every day about agents we’ve talked to, editors who’ve approached us, leanings toward self-publishing, and fears of giving pitches in person. …
We’ve celebrated the successes of many finalists who’ve already sold, or gotten agents, or gotten requests for partial manuscripts or full manuscripts.
We’ve celebrated new babies (already!), more contest wins, new websites, new release dates, multi-book deals, and even a new horse, who was purchased under the promise that if she sold a three-book deal she’d buy her daughters a horse — and she sold! (Loved the picture of that horse and the smiles on the faces of her daughters!)
We’ve shared pictures of what dresses we’re wearing to the ceremony, videoes of how to pack everything in a carry-on, tips for how to get your bundle of books back home, and advice for how to navigate the multitude of workshops (and thousands of fellow writers) at Nationals.
We’ve heard personal stories that have nothing to do with writing but everything to do with perseverance, and we’ve cheered each other on through some bad times already.
That’s why we chose the name “The Firebirds” — a firebird is the female equivalent of the Phoenix, rising through the ashes to shine with bright, vibrant, firey colors. And these are tough women, many of whom have battled personal challenges, professional challenges, and all of whom have never given up on their rise to the top.
I’m so proud to be a part of them. And so excited to meet them, I can hardly stand it!
I’m watching on Facebook and the email loops as they all arrive, one by one, to my home-county. (I’m so proud to show off OC — they’re going to love the weather here [high 70s, low 80s], and one has already headed out to Disneyland. Another is driving down PCH from the San Francisco area, and she’s going to love that drive.) Since I’m the only local, I’m gathering others’ pre-mailed packages, bringing anything they forget to pack, and bringing the wine! About 30 of us are getting together for dinner tomorrow night.
We already have a Firebirds Facebook Fan page here, if you want to follow along the wonderful stories of these lovely ladies on the road to publication (and all this week, the chatter about Nationals): http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Firebirds-2012/316084865151527?ref=ts
And we’re launching a blog in August, where we’ll write about writing, answer questions, and offer “Fiction Fridays,” where you can read some of these talented women’s writing. I’ll put the link up here when we’re ready.
The Firebirds are landing in OC! And I couldn’t be more thrilled!
P.S. The photo at the top of this post is the pin we had made up for our group — we’ll wear them on our badges at Nationals. The pin was drawn by a 13-year-old girl, the daughter and niece, respectively, of a sister-duo who both finaled together this year. (How cool is that?)