Partners on the Journey

Happy New Year to my loyal blog readers. I wish each of you the very best in 2009.

Keli Reflects

chapter 1When I began writing with a goal of publication in January 2006, I knew next to nothing about craft or the publishing world. My work screamed newbie. When I showed my my first chapter to a dear friend, she had a hard time reading it. Why? Because I didn’t even know enough to enclose dialogue in quotation marks. I had so much to learn.

The Value of Friends

One of the things I’ve learned is how important it is to have writer friends who are partners on the journey. Only those who are traveling this sometimes bumpy road to publication can fully understand the ups and downs we experience.

For two years I wrote in isolation. I knew not one other romance writer. But all that changed in March 2008 when I finaled in the Golden Heart®. I discovered a whole new world filled with wonderful people who share my passion for writing romance.

Making Connections

Fast KeyboarderI went from friend-starved to friend-rich as I explored that exciting place where writers connect: Cyberspace. The learning curve was steep as I shifted from impulse to warp drive. When I compare who I was—a lonely writer who thought she was doing well to answer email from a handful of friends—to who I am today, I’m amazed.

In the span of a few short months, I started two blogs, set up my Web site, joined several online writers groups, began attending my local Romance Writers of America® chapter meetings and attended my first RWA® Nationals.

All that was fun as well as stretching, but the best part by far was meeting so many wonderful women (and a few brave men—Hi, Walt). I’m doing my best to enjoy the journey. Sharing it with you is one of the highlights.

Sharing in Your Journey

I’d love to hear what you’ve accomplished. Have you completed a manuscript? Did you sign with an agent? And if you get or have gotten The Call, leave a comment to let me know so I can whoop and holler along with you. I do a rousing happy dance that sends my two orange cats running, and I’d be delighted to do a few turns around the house in your honor.

Here’s to a new year filled with good friends, good fun and plenty of good news.

About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
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9 Responses to Partners on the Journey

  1. Anne Barton says:

    Cheers, Keli–I’ll toast to that! 🙂

    Congrats on a great year–like the ad says, “you’ve come a long way, baby!” This was a year of firsts for me too: first writing conference, first time pitching to an agent and editor . . . basically, the first time leaving the safety of my computer.

    I’m going to try and wrench myself away from the keyboard even more this year and attend my first chapter meeting. Hold me to it! 🙂

  2. Keli Gwyn says:


    Yay for you on taking all those steps. I didn’t realize you hadn’t pitched to an agent or editor before. You seem so poised and prepared to me.

    I relate to what you said about wrenching yourself away from the keyboard. For those writers who are introverts (I hear we’re in good company), prying our fingers from the keyboard and interacting with people can be a bit daunting.

    I look forward to hearing about your first chapter meeting. I got brave and found out there are lots of way cool writers at mine. I enjoy my time with others who are as in love with the romance genre as I am.

  3. LOL I know what you mean about meeting people, as opposed to being safe behind the computer screen.
    I had no clue you just started writing! Congrats on the GH! And two years without knowing any other writers? Amazing. YOu’ve definitely accomplished so much.
    I attended a conference in 2006, before my first manuscript was finished. I’m about to finish my third right now (yay) and I’ve learned so much in the three years I’ve been writing.
    Thanks for sharing Keli!

  4. Keli Gwyn says:


    How exciting that you’re nearing the end of your third manuscript. I love the thrill of writing those final pages when we finally get to let the hero and heroine enjoy the HEA they’ve worked so hard to reach.

    I’m looking forward to having you as my guest in February–and to welcoming you back as a debut author who has landed that long-awaited first contract. Here’s hoping that first sale happens in 2009.

  5. Sue Mason says:

    Hi Keli,

    Happy New Year. May this year be just as exciting for you. How’s the writing going?

    I’m trying to get going on a sequel to my last ms. Hope Lady Muse strikes me soon!



  6. Keli Gwyn says:


    Thanks for the well wishes. I’m looking forward to seeing what the Lord has in store for all my wonderful writer pals this year. I’ve been having a blast working on my first contemporary inspirational romance. Love the characters.

    Kudos to you for starting on your sequel. Hope the creativity washes over you in huge waves.

  7. Caroline says:

    Hi Kelly — Happy New Year!! U’r a wonderful friend, writer, interviewer and blog mistress. And, I’m sure a lot more things, too.

    Thanks for all your help and support in 2008! Here’s to 2009 and all the dreams and excitment it can hold!



  8. Caroline says:

    Keli –I’m sorry I spelled your name wrong!!!!

    I just wasn’t thinking. Forgive me please….

  9. Keli Gwyn says:


    Thanks for the kind words and well wishes.

    I love looking back at 2008 and seeing all the great things that happened for you. I get excited all over again remembering how that contest win led to your first contract and to landing your agent.

    And 2009 is the year of your first release. What fun that will be. I look forward to having you back as my guest when your “firstborn” is on the shelves.

    Congrats again on your many successes.

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