Living Happily as a Writer and a Friend by Radine Trees Nehring

In times past some writers got into "the business" because they thought they'd make a lot of money. I have one friend who, early on, said she wanted to become a writer so she could quit her day job. She eventually understood there must be other reasons for writing, and has become active in a friendly, supportive critique group. Nothing published yet. She still holds that day job with no plans to quit, but, my-oh-my she enjoys writing and the friends she has made in her group. 

I may not be typical, but I began writing because I loved spilling ideas out on paper (using a typewriter). I was a mature adult with a full time job and no aspirations or ideas about how one got work published. However, when I submitted my first essay to an international newspaper, "The Christian Science Monitor," for their Home Forum page, they bought it immediately. When "Where Hummingbirds Matter" appeared in print, accompanied by a lovely art print of a hummingbird, I felt more numb than ecstatic. People all over the world were reading this! 

The Home Forum editor was friendly and supportive, and over many years I sold many essays and even one poem to her. 

Emboldened, I also began selling articles and essays to regional and national magazines, and worked as a stringer for an area newspaper. Friendships with people connected to the writing profession blossomed as friendships in general faded--I was simply too busy writing to take part in former "get together" activities with people who had no clue what my life was now like. Besides, I was a lousy bridge player.

Then, a non-fiction publisher in New York bought a collection of my essays and articles and published them in a book.  "DEAR EARTH: A Love Letter from Spring Hollow" came out in 1995, and by that time the publisher and I were good friends, though we had met face-to-face only once. Eventually she introduced me to the small press in mid-America who bought my new cozy mystery series. Friendship with editors there blossomed as they published five of my "To Die For" novels. I moved on then, making more friends, including fans who had begun to get in touch. 

I now have nine books in print, stories in several anthologies, and wonderful friends all over the map of the United States. They include writers met on line and at conferences, publishers I have worked with, people in story locations where I have done research. And, you know, my new friends--beginning with that New York publisher--have been responsible for much of the progress in my career. They share ideas, contacts, write articles about me as an author, recommend me for writing projects and for teaching and speaking opportunities, even introduce me to new publishers and, oh yes, teach me so much. I have returned favors as much as possible, supporting and helping other writers and working with those wanting to write--for reasons other than wealth, mind you! 

Isn't friendship wonderful?

For more than twenty years, Radine Trees Nehring's magazine features, essays, newspaper articles, and radio broadcasts have shared colorful stories about the people, places, events, and natural world near her Arkansas home.

In 2002, Radine's first mystery novel, A VALLEY TO DIE FOR, was published and, in 2003 became a Macavity Award Nominee.  Since that time she has continued to earn writing awards as she enthralls her original fans and attracts new ones with her signature blend of down-home Arkansas sightseeing and cozy amateur sleuthing by active retirees Henry King and Carrie McCrite King.

Website URL:
Twitter:   @RTNehring

Buy link for Portrait to Die For

(And a note from me, Radine is a personal friend of mine. We first met at Mayhem in the Midlands mystery conference, sadly no longer going on. We renewed our friendship at several conferences over the years, and I'll always cherish those great times. I'm also a fain of her series.)


So glad you could stop by today. I miss seeing you in person, Radine!
jrlindermuth said…
Having friends is wonderful; even better when they become fans. Enjoyed the read, Radine.
One of my best writing friends is --- Marilyn Meredith. We first met at Mayhem in the Midlands in Omaha, and had lovely times together at several conferences over the years. Now Mayhem is closed, and neither Marilyn and Hap nor John and I travel as much as we used to, so we no longer meet in person. But--"ain't Internet wonderful!" We do connect that way and learn what each of us is doing, and writing.
Thanks for welcoming me here, Marilyn. I send hugs to both you and Hap.
I guess it's wonderful that we can now connect so easily via Internet, but I still prefer face-to-face (and, if appropriate,hugs) when possible. Thanks for histing me here, Marilyn
Uh. hosting. I invented a new word.

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