9780425277690By Joyce Tremel

When debut authors talk about the “roller coaster of emotions” that go with launching a book it’s one hundred percent true. Just in the past couple of weeks I’ve experienced elation, excitement, nervousness, and panic. Fortunately, the positive emotions mostly outweigh the negative ones. Part of the reason for this is because of the support from fellow writers.

I belong to a great support group—the Pittsburgh chapter of Sisters in Crime. I was a new writer when I first joined. I’d dabbled with writing for years and finally decided it was time to take it more seriously. We didn’t have many published authors back then. Most of us were newbies. I was completely in awe of our president, Nancy Martin, who had numerous published novels (In the last month or so I’ve been on three panels with her! How cool is that?). In the years since then, many of us have crossed the threshold into published authordom (Is that even a word?).

My writing pals and I have talked each other off the ledge after getting the umpteenth rejection from an agent, we’ve rejoiced for each other when short stories were published, and we’ve just about sung  the Hallelujah Chorus when books were accepted for publication. We’ve shared sad tears and happy tears, elated screams and “Snoopy dances.”

The writing community—especially the mystery community—is like one big family. Maybe it’s because we writers all experience the same highs and lows. We know exactly what it feels like to get that fiftieth rejection letter or when someone tells us they love something we’ve written. And readers are our extended family. You might even call readers the patriarchs and matriarchs of the family. After all, what good are writers without readers?

Writing may be a solitary occupation, but we’re never really alone. We not only have our characters to keep us company, we have the community of other writers and readers along for the journey. I guess this is a pretty long way to say thanks to all my writer friends and anyone who spends their precious time reading what I’ve written. I couldn’t do what I love to do without you.

To Brew or Not to Brew By Joyce Tremel, Berkley Prime Crime Mass Paperback, 294 pages, $7.99