Today the Femmes welcome our dear friend, DEBORAH ADAMS, one of the founders of the Femmes Fatales! Let's take a look back with Deb on the
early days ......
What Was and Is and Will Be
by Deborah Adams
If I had a blue box that was bigger on the inside and could travel through space and time, I’d pop back to the first Femmes Fatales planning session in the late 1990s, and eavesdrop on the conversation. I wouldn’t tell them/us what’s in their/our futures, of course, because they’d think I was just a crazy lady.
No, I’d simply sit in the corner and listen.
For one thing, I’m curious; did it happen the way I remember? And for another, I’d want to ask them/us what they envision this collaboration producing, because I’m fairly certain they/we had no idea the Femmes would still be around in 2016.
Twenty years ago, authors were just beginning to recognize the need for book promotion. Most of us went into this lifestyle assuming that our job was to write, and that the publisher would make sure the world knew about our books. We quickly learned that writers who want to be read must let the world know that their work exists. (Have you ever bought a book you’ve never heard of? Didn’t think so.)
Some of the better-known authors had newsletters, but in those days before social media --before cell phones! before email!— the cost of printing and mailing newsletters was an expense that few of us could afford. And so eight mid-list mystery writers – Charlaine Harris, Marlys Milhiser, Mignon Ballard, D. R. Meredith, Toni L. P. Kelner, Teri Holbrook, Elizabeth Daniels Squire, and Yours Truly—teamed up to share our contacts, news, and enthusiasm, as well as to provide each other with supportive words and the occasional shoulder to cry on.
Writers are lucky in that we don’t have to view each other as competition. No one has ever walked into a bookstore with the intention of buying a book by either Author A or Author B – and so we can work together, which makes the whole process of marketing, touring, and generally surviving the writing life so much more fun.
We had no ‘platform’ – after all, we weren’t politicians; we were just writers trying to sell enough books so that we could justify doing what we love. We had one simple goal: to share news of our books with those who might enjoy reading them.
And we certainly didn’t make marketing and publicity a priority. In fact, it was all editor Megan Bladen-Blinkoff could do to get us to turn in our two-sentence updates. No, we definitely didn’t take this notion of self-promotion seriously. And yet, despite our happy-go-lucky attitude, the Femmes Fatales collaboration picked up steam and carried us along.
Time passed. Life changed, as did the members of the Femmes Fatales. But the Femmes, regardless of individuals, worked together and created a synergy. Twenty years on, the Femmes are still a strong team, with even more success to come.
How can I be sure of that, you ask? Well, if I had a blue box that was bigger on the inside and could travel through space and time, I would already have visited 2036.
And I would be able to tell the Femmes that they/we have more books and awards and wonderful non-writing-related joys in their lives, and that one of us becomes the Supreme… oh, but I’m probably just a crazy lady. Don’t mind me.
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Ha-Ha!! Thanks so much, Deb! Actually, you are something of a Supreme Being since you've always helped and encouraged new writers in this crazy business. Thank you! And thanks for being with us today.
Also, readers, Deb's first book, ALL THE GREAT PRETENDERS, has just been re-released as an e-book. I loved it, and the rest of the series, so much when they first came out. So happy I can have it on my iPad now!!