Saturday, July 25, 2009

Welcome: Camy Tang

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

I’m honored to be asked to guest blog today! I’ve known Anita Mae for a couple years now, since I first “met” her online at the Steeple Hill discussion forum boards.

I wanted to talk a bit about my writing friends. Most of them I met before any of us were published, but we bonded because we had similar critiquing styles—blunt and honest.

My writing friends have helped me with my writing career immensely. I can honestly say that a lot of my success is due to them.

They encourage me when I’m discouraged.

They kick me in the pants when I need prodding.

They tell me to “get over it” when I wallow too much.

They tell me the truth about my writing, when it’s good and when it’s not so good.

They love me no matter what stupid thing I do or say or write.

They pray for me.

I fully believe that all writers need writing friends. A writer who is too much alone starts to get too big for her britches and often becomes a “know it all” type of writer, because he/she has no one to keep her accountable. This can be especially dangerous if the writer starts to believe in things that may not be true about writing craft or the writing industry.

A good time to form writing friends is before any of you are published. They know you before any success and aren’t impressed by you or want anything from you—both of which I think are key factors for any writer. You want to remain humble and you want to know your friends don’t have secret agendas.

I always suggest to beginning writers to talk to writers at conferences or online, rather than focusing on editors and agents. At my first writing conference, I met an unpublished writer who became my good friend and a sort of mentor for me in my writing, Sharon Hinck. Hers was the most valuable connection I made at that conference, rather than any of the editors and agents I talked to.

So for those of you involved in writing groups, get cozy with your online buddies! Your career will benefit from your friends.

Thanks for having me here, Anita!

DEADLY INTENT back cover blurb:


The Grant family’s exclusive Sonoma spa is a place for rest and relaxation—not murder! Then Naomi Grant finds her client Jessica Ortiz bleeding to death in her massage room, and everything falls apart. The salon’s reputation is at stake...and so is Naomi’s freedom when she discovers that she is one of the main suspects! Her only solace is found with the other suspect—Dr. Devon Knightley, the victim’s ex-husband. But Devon is hiding secrets of his own. When they come to light, where can Naomi turn...and whom can she trust?

Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. She used to be a biologist, but now she is a staff worker for her church youth group and leads a worship team for Sunday service. She also runs the Story Sensei fiction critique service.
On her blog, she gives away Christian novels every week, and she ponders frivolous things like dumb dogs (namely, hers), coffee-geek husbands (no resemblance to her own...), the writing journey, Asiana, and anything else that comes to mind.
Visit her website at for a huge website contest going on right now, giving away fourteen boxes of books and 30 copies of her latest release, DEADLY INTENT.


Ban said...

Camy, I look forward to reading one of your books ! I'm glad you chatted about this topic - until a year or so (I joined a yahoo group looking for fellow 'writers') I had NO IDEA how many people out there were just like me - had stories/characters talking to them in their sleep, as they drove their kids to school, as the prepared dinner. I didn't know people struggled with the same problems - finding time to write, head hopping, justification. And I didn't know there were people out there looking for the same thing I was - friends who had the same interests, friends they could share their stories and process with ...
I didn't find what I was looking for in the group but earlier this year I was introduced to the world of blogging and that's how I met these lovely women.
I thank you all for taking me into your fold !!!

Karyn Good said...

Hi Camy and welcome to the Prairies.

I don't know where I'd be without my writerly friends. Probabaly rewriting the same first three chapters, over and over and over again. And like Ban mentioned, it was a relief to find people who experience the same frustrations and joys, and who understand the need to write.

Great post today, Camy. I look forward to reading one of your books.

Anonymous said...

I have the book. I have the book. Just picked it up at the Englewood, CO Wal-Mart. Wooohoooo!!!

Suse said...

Hi Camy, I read an excerpt from your book on I will definitely be picking it up. Romance and suspense are one of my favourite combos.

I value the Saskatchewan Romance Writers and the Prairie Chicks for a lot of reasons. They definitely are a great support - always encouraging and willing to help. It is so nice to be able to communicate with like minded people. One of the other reasons I like being a part of these groups is because they are just a great bunch of people.

Thank you for sharing.

Anita Mae Draper said...

Hey Camy, welcome to Prairie Chicks. I think the best memory I have of you is at last year's conference when I attended Margie Lawson's Deep EDITS workshop and she kept quoting from your books...and you were sitting up there in the corner, knitting away. :)

BTW - congrats on being nominated for the ACFW's Book of the Year for Single Sashimi.

I can honestly say I'll be praying for you at the award's banquet in Denver.

Captain Hook said...

Camy, yes, friends are very important. Especially the ones who won't spare your feelings.

I've got a group like that and I am forever grateful to them. Even though we're spread all over the world, we're there for each other in writing and in life.

One of my writing group, Inkblot, went through a really hard time a couple of years ago. Her husband was declared missing after a camping trip and she was obviously frantic as the police searched for him and his buddy. Every single one of us contacted our churches and prayed our hearts out. We stayed up with her (14 hours different from the states) and celebrated when he was found unharmed.

And our writing relationship is the same.

Camy Tang said...

Ban--that's awesome! I'm always glad to hear when writers find the fellowship of other writers. To write is such a solitary thing that nowdays, the internet allows us to write and not go insane. :)

Karyn--I've done that! I think I rewrote the first chapter of one of my earlier manuscripts ten times over before I finally moved on. LOL

Tina--you rock! I hope you like the book!

Suse--I feel the same way about my local writers group--they're just a great bunch of people!

Thanks so much, Anita! I'm thrilled about the Book of the Year final. And in case you haven't figured it out, I knit EVERYWHERE. LOL

Captain Hook--WOW what an awesome story! I'm glad her husband was okay, too.


Anita Mae Draper said...

Wow, this is too quiet here today. Everyone must be out enjoying summer.

Camy before you say goodnight, I do have one question for you... those 14 boxes of books you're giving away... are you moving?

One of the Chicks, Janet, physically left us yesterday as she is moving from here on the Prairies across Canada to Nova Scotia on the Atlantic coast. She has become a dear friend to us and thank goodness for the internet, not only can we easily keep up corresponence with her, she can still be a contributing member of Prairie Chicks. I love it when technology works.

Jana Richards said...

Hi Camy,
I'm coming to the party late today. Like Anita said, summer plans keep us all busy.

I so agree with you. I don't know where I'd be without my writing friends. Like you said, they are the ones who keep you grounded and help to motivate you when you need it. And you can always count on them to tell it like it is.

Good luck and I hope you win book of the year.

Jana Richards

Camy Tang said...

Anita--LOL no, I'm not moving! I usually give away about 10 boxes of books for my annual website giveaways, but this year I had enough books to fill 14 boxes instead!

Jana--thanks so much! I'm up against stiff competition!

Anita Mae Draper said...

Well see Camy, I know of all your weekly giveaways but I wasn't aware of this one. Or I may have been but forgot. (Really bad memory). I do know I'm not on your newsletter list which I think is how to get your name in for this biggie one so I think I'll head over and sign up now...

BTW - Thank you so much for blogging with us today. It was really ironic how you picked the topic of 'friends' for the first day of Janet's leaving.

Hoping to see you in Denver.

Anita Mae Draper said...

Actually, when I went to sign up I realized it's not just a newsletter but a yahoo group. Neat.

An aside to Prairie Chicks and SRW members, that's how Mary Balogh does it as well. :)