Posts tagged with: Romance Readers

Reinventing Ourselves–Again~~A Love Letter to Our Readers

Do y’all have certain memories that stick with you?

I don’t mean the big moments. If it’s the loss of beloved person, or a special miracle, like the moment you bring your baby home for the first time, it’s obvious that those memories would remain in your mind for many years.

kentucky summer welcometohoneybend graphic 30 percentI’m talking about the little things—the moments that aren’t huge.

Or maybe they are huge—but you don’t know at the time that they’re going to change your life forever.

If you’re like me, most of the moments of your life sort of disappear, buried beneath the busy.

But some remain.

I have a glowing, sharp, indelible memory of sitting at my desktop computer, staring at words that would change my life forever.

It was about this time of year in 2007. Snow was on the ground outside. A handful of writers, all with stars in our eyes, had formed an email loop. One of us typed, “why don’t we do a blog together?” and something happened in the ether around me. I barely knew what a blog was, but I remember sitting there, feeling the power—the potential—of that.

Some others were feeling it too.

A few keystrokes later, we owned the Romance Bandits name, and withinreinventing ourselves calendar pages turning weeks, we’d stumbled our way into the blog-o-sphere.

That was almost eight years ago.

Can you believe it?

I have the same kind of memory of the first time I wrote a blog.

That blog is gone now—the first two or three months didn’t make it to the new website, and that’s probably a very good thing, because we were all feeling our way—but I remember thinking, “I have no freaking idea how to do this.”

Writing a story is one thing. Writing a news article is another. Writing a blog? Most of us were clueless, but we threw ourselves fearlessly at the unknown anyway.

And by doing so, we became more than our individual selves. We reinvented ourselves and created something that was a reflection of all of us.

Within a few months, a lot of you had found us.

I still don’t know how that happened, and later, I’m going to ask you about that. But still…some of those moments I will never forget.

~The first time Helen posted a comment.

~The first time one of our blogs got 100 comments. Then 200.

~The day Louisa Cornell posted the first comment of the day and said, “What do I get, a golden rooster?”

Yeah, we were never the same after that.reinventing ourselves rooster bash 08

I remember, so well, the day in summer, 2008, that I  stepped up to the edge of the sidewalk outside the San Francisco airport, waiting for a shuttle.

I heard a voice from my right that said, “You’re Cassondra.”

I turned. I found a gorgeous brunette smiling at me. I must have looked befuddled, because she said. “I’m Deb Marlowe. I know you from the Romance Bandits.”

We hugged, and I felt like I was meeting an old friend.

Of course I knew her name, and had read her books. But having somebody recognize me on the street because of the blog? I will never forget that moment.reinventing ourselves cake 2008

Later that week we hosted our first ever Bandit Bash in the downtown San Francisco Marriott, and the entire conference was buzzing about the rowdy Romance Bandits.  That’s the cake we served, over there on the right.  It says, “Have you spent the night with the Golden Rooster?”

Yeah. The hotel chef had a good time with that one.

I will never forget the moment I sat down in front of a particular big-name literary agent to pitch my romantic suspense series. We shook hands, she gave me the once-over, then her eyes caught on a sparkly pin attached to my conference badge.

reinventing ourselves bandita pin“You’re one of the Bandits,” she said, and I nodded.

“I like that,” she said. “You take care of each other.”

She was right.

When I found this group of women, I found a group of sisters, of a kind I’d never had before.

It wasn’t many months later that someone said, “We need to do a big party at Christmas just to change things up.” And we did.

A few years later, I remember when the first rumblings started about the Lair.
“We don’t have enough room, and we don’t own our content unless we get reinventing ourselves Jeanne with roostera real website.”

And then we said, “But do you think our Buddies will come with us?”

We were all amazed and touched when you did. We reinvented ourselves, and you made the move with us. By doing so, you made it worth the trouble of packing all our things and moving to our new digs here at RomanceBandits.com.

When that happened, and you hung with us, I think we all realized that we’d done more than just build a blog.

The Lair is a community. It’s as much about you as it is about us.

If I don’t see some of you for a while, I start to worry. For a good many of you, I know when you have job changes, when you move houses, and when you go on long-awaited vacations.

A lot of you I’ve met in person. That happened because I met you first right here on our blog.

For me, that’s not just a virtual community. That’s real.

This month, we’re reinventing ourselves again. And just like the times before, we hope you’ll come along with us for the ride as we throw ourselves into the unknown one more time.

Being on the internReinventing ourselves TGN Party invasion 2008et—and writing in the technology age—means we have to constantly keep moving, shifting and changing, to keep up with it.  I’m not gonna lie to you and say I think change is easy. It’s not. And this change is a little scarier for us than some of the others have been. But it’s also really exciting.

First, we’re moving to a much stronger presence on our Facebook page. There will be new posts there every day. Sometimes there’ll be a bunch of new posts.

If you like our facebook page, and if you interact with us by posting a comment or liking one of our facebook posts now and then, you’ll see our posts on your facebook feed.

We’re also going to put a widget thingy on our homepage that shows those posts, along with our posts on twitter.

But the bottom line is that we Bandits are all novel writers. In this brave new world of publishing, we need to write more books, and write them faster.

For some of us, it comes down to this. We can write books, or we can write blogs.

And we think if you, our buddies, had to choose, you’d choose the books. We hope so anyway.

Don’t worry. We’re not going away.

The Lair will still be here.

Some of us will still be blogging on our regular days.

But some of us won’t. That’s going to create some holes in our blogging calendar.

We know. If we’re not generating new blog contenReinventing ourselves RSS feed widgett every day, you don’t have a reason to come by.  We get that.

But we will still be posting about our new releases, we’ll still have guest blogs some days, and we still want to interact with you.

So there’s this thingy we’ve set up.

If you go to the comments page, you’ll see a thing on the sidebar that says “RSS Feed”—it looks like that, right over there on the right.

If you sign up for that, when we blog, that blog will come to your email inbox. That way you can come to the Lair and play with us.  I’ve been doing this for two weeks.  I don’t get anything except the blog sent to my email.  No spam. We promise. And when we blog, we’ll be around to talk to you, same as always.

During February, the Lair is going to go through some reconstruction. Some stuff will get moved around. That RSS feed thingy will be on the front page, along with a widget that shows our facebook posts and our twitreinventing ourselves grailter posts.

Basically, some of us are following in the footsteps of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. We’re swearing our allegiance to a cause, and we’re stepping outside the comfort of the Lair—like evangelists of a sort—to bring romance, and our books—to the larger world.

This month, while all these changes are in process, we’re going to have one giant party.

There will be prizes, and many hugs that involve wishes to “go forth and conquer!” all around.

The  Bandits will be giving away special goodies on the daily blogs this month.

The first week in March, when we hit social media like Thor’s hammer with a mask and a rose attached, we’ll have a HUGE party, with all of the Lair favorites coming around to say hello and do giveaways, and there will be prizes every day.

We want you, our Buddies, to go forth with us.

More than anything, we want you to understand what you mean to us.

We call you our Buddies, but really, you are our home. You are our family. You are the reason we’ve blogged every day for eight years.

Our hearts are on the line here. As we take a chunk of the Lair on the road, and reinvent ourselves one more time…

Will you go with us?

We hope so.

But for today…

This is the Lair after all, and all the staff–Sven, the gladiators, cabana boys, Hockey Hunks, the goddess Sangria–hey, even Ermingarde the dragon  is here– So….Let’s PARTY!

I’m giving away a grab bag of two books, and a $10 Barnes & Noble gift card.

Bandita Kate Carlisle is giving away a copy of A High-End Finish (first in her new Fixer-Upper series) and some swag.

Bandita Jeanne is giving away a Starbucks mug and a Starbucks coffee card.

And Lair Favorite Dianna Love is giving away one of her Slye Temp ebook box sets!

To start the party off, let’s celebrate the first eight years in the Lair!

How did you find the Romance Bandits?

Do you remember the blog that made you leave a comment for the first time?

What’s your favorite memory of the Bandit Lair so far?

During our construction, you can help us by liking our Romance Bandit facebook page, following us on the Romance Bandits Twitter feed. The links are at the bottom of the page.

And if there’s a Bandit you haven’t liked or followed, do it!

But MOST IMPORTANT—sign up for the RSS feed.

If you don’t get our monthly newsletter, sign up for that. It will be in your inbox first day of every month without fail.

Now let’s party!