Saturday, August 14, 2010

Dare to Dream

I started dreaming of seeing my stories published after attending my first conference, Fun in the Sun, organized by my local chapter, Florida Romance Writers, in 2004. I had one story written and was just starting on the other, and yet my new friends in the chapter encouraged me to pitch both. I received four requests that lead to rejections but you should have seen the boost of energy the requests gave me. I wrote daily while imagining myself signing books, attending interviews, becoming the next Nora Robert. I dreamed and dreamed ...


I attended more conferences, workshops, seminars, chats and learned to network with fellow writers who shared my dreams. Here with Carolyn Hughey and Marlene Urso at RWA 2004 in Dallas.

Carla Capshow from the FTHRW chapter won her first Golden Heart. She won a second in 2007. We congratulated her and dreamed of Golden Heart awards.


I met Nora Robert at the 2004 RWA Conference in Dallas and ogled her TWO little statuettes. She let me hold them.

The dream materialized at a FRW conference. I pitched TO LOVE A HERO to Raelene Gorlinski from Cerridwen Press, received a request and later my first contract. I was ecstatic.





My friends surprised me with a party at Olive Gardens to celebrate the release of my first book as ebook. I signed the cover for them.

The dream continued for me and my critique partner. Helen Scott-Taylor won the Romantic Time American Title and was honored at the 2008 RT conference in Pittsburg.






In 2008 I sold my medical romance BABIES IN THE BARGAIN to The Wild Rose Press.



My friend Terri Gary from FTHRW won the RITA.


And my critique partners Joan Leacott (from Toronto) and Helen Scott-Taylor (From England) came to attend the conference.


In 2009 TWRP published my second book, Rx FOR TRUST.



BABIES IN THE BARGAIN won the 2009 Best Romance Novel of the Year at Preditors & Editors Readers Poll and the 2009 Best Contemporary Romance at Readers Favorites.



The 2010 RWA in Orlando was a blast.



Here is a picture of my Playground loop. Most are FTHRW members. And another picture with Terry Spears at the fantastic cocktail organized by our dear Prez Carolyn. Terry told us about her successful career.




I had my first National signing. Imagine Stephanie Laurens, the Regency bestselling author was sitting a few tables from me. Clarissa Southwick from our own Voices blog was a finalist in the Golden Heart.





Angi Plat from my Playground loop won the Golden Heart and Beth Andrews won the Rita.



And the dream continued. Beth allowed me to daydream in front of her Rita.
Maybe... Who knows...


Dream and work hard.
Dream and persevere.
Dreams do come true.
They did for my friends.

26 comments:

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

I loved all your pictures, Mona, but especially the one with you at the end and the coveted Rita. Someday, that'll be yours truly! :)

Sheila Tenold said...

I, too, loved your post and pics, Mona. Your ending words speak to those of us still seeking the title "Published author."

Mona Risk said...

Terry, you deserve that little statue. We all dream about it.

Mona Risk said...

Sheila,

It was so nice meeting you at the cocktail. You amy be very close to being published. Good things happen at the moment we expect the least.

Kathleen Long said...

Mona -- what a lovely post! I was looking through photos last night, thinking about the journey we've all taken together. How blessed we are! I'm so glad to be a witness to you and your dreams. ;o) That lovely gold statue will be yours someday. I have no doubt.

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

I enjoyed reading about your journey, Mona. "Dare to Dream" has always been my motto. May tomorrow bring the fulfillment of yesterday's dreams and the birth of new dreams.

Mary Ricksen said...

One of these days it will be yours!

Scarlet Pumpernickel said...

Mona thanks for sharing your photos and for telling you friends at pinkfuzzyslipperwriters.blogspot.com
they were up! Wonderful incentive to keep on keeping on!

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

You revived some great memories, Mona. How pretty you look in the photos and how perfect next to Beth's RITA! Maybe one of these days - yes, we must all dare to dream and believe. I am trying to keep these thoughts close because I do believe!

Jill James said...

Mona, it is nice to dream, isn't it? And really nice when our dreams and the dreams of our friends come true. I still have my chocolate Rita from Reno National. I'm keeping the chocolate one until I get a real one....someday.

Mary Marvella said...

Go for it, Mona! You can grab that brass ring!

Clarissa Southwick said...

Mona, It was such fun to meet you at the Literacy Signing. Thanks for posting these wonderful pictures.

Beth said...

Mona, what a great post and what great pictures! You and RITA make a lovely couple :-)

I love seeing how far we've all come but the best part about this journey for me are all the wonderful friends I've made. I'm so glad to have you and the rest of the Playground in my life! Never stop dreaming because you're right, dreams can come true *g*

Joanne said...

Mona,
I've followed your successful writing career since our early crit days on FTH. I am so proud of your accomplishments and all you do! Hurray for you!

Mona Risk said...

Kath, I love your books and I hope next year is your Rita year. Thanks for stopping by.

Mona Risk said...

Dawn, who knows! Opportunity knocks at the least expected moment. So dream, work and persevere. It's a nice motto.

Mona Risk said...

Wow Mary. Seeing all these finalists on the screen made me think for a second: why not? Maybe..

Mona Risk said...

Scarlett, I am glad my pictures are an encouragement to persevere. Helping each other achieve her goal is part of our success. That alone is worth the trouble of posting.

Mona Risk said...

Paisley, look at my top picture. When we first met we were limping through the writing rules of POV and hooks. I pray you have good news soon. Dreams do come true at the right time.

Mona Risk said...

Jill my friend, do I love your positive attitude.

Mona Risk said...

Mary, that brass ring is good for dreams. I have many friends who deserve it. I will be happy to take pictures next to THEIR Rita.

Mona Risk said...

Clarissa, I hope that by next RWA conference you will be a rita finalist after being a GH finalist.

Mona Risk said...

Beth, thank you for stopping by this blog. I will never forget the article you wrote in the FTHRW newsletter where you talked about your ups and downs and how your dreams finally came true. Your are an inspiration for many of us. Congratulations on winning the Rita and thank you for letting me pause with your trophee.

Mona Risk said...

Thank you Joanne. Your turn is next because your writing is so good. The right time will come soon.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I saw that top photo, Mona. I remember that night very well. We had a great birthday party for our Sheila, didn't we!!!

Angi Morgan said...

Way to BELIEVE, Mona...not just dream. YOU DID IT !!

~~Angi