Telling others about my writing life was easy for me, after awhile. In the beginning, I was hesitant to tell people what I was doing because of the old saw of people looking down on the romance genre. But the more I learned about the industry, the more I saw how hard romance writers worked, the more I realized there was nothing to be ashamed of. For me, finding the local RWA chapter and networking with other aspiring and published authors helped me to see that my attitude about my writing was much ado about nothing. These writers worked hard, and they made good money.
I originally planned to publish under a pseudonym. That was back when I was writing peer-reviewed journal articles in toxicology for the Army (check me out on Medline, either as MW Toussaint or Margaret W Toussaint) and my husband managed a staff of about a hundered or so people as he worked to keep the government's nuclear sites more environmentally compliant. Since then, I've written at least one romance (or mystery) a year and gone to a lot more writer conferences. People kept telling me I had a "good" name and that I shouldn't bother with a pen name. I've taken their advice, and we'll see where this journey takes me.
I carry my writer business cards with me everywhere. Every chance I can work it into the conversation, I mention I write books, and I encourage folks to visit my website. The lesson I've learned in all of this is that respect comes from the inside. You have to respect yourself first. As for earning the respect of others, I hope to do that through the quality of my writing.
I shamelessly promote myself every chance I get. Visit my website at www.maggietoussaint.com. See, I just did it again!
Until next Monday, Maggie Toussaint