I'm guest blogging today at Romancing the Blog!
So hang here with the Romancing the Blog crew, then please
head over there to hang with me a bit, too!
About a week after I made Romance: By the Blog a feature of Romance: B(u)y the Book, a friend told me about a cool aggregate blog that had already added a link to my new blogging venture. When I got an email from Kate Smith (not of "God Bless America" fame) asking whether I'd like to join their group of columnists, I was kinda honored. RomancingTheBlog.com is a neat-o place to exchange ideas, dish about romance, get folks to really think about their positions on various issues affecting the genre, and find everything romance in c-space. It's unique, and a boon to the romance fiction community. Won't you please offer "The Kates" a warm, TGIF buongiorno...
As with all of the greatest ideas, RTB was born with a single question . . . what if?
"What if someone put together a group blog where readers, authors, and industry professionals with established blogs of their own came together to discuss topics relevant to today's romance? And what if it was done out of love for the romance genre and not for the purpose of blatant promotion?"
That's how Romancing The Blog was born.
A group of blogging authors, published and unpublished, became "The Kates." We wanted one anonymous name behind Romancing The Blog in order to keep the behind-the-scenes staff out of the spotlight. We didn't want people referring to Romancing The Blog as "Oh, that's so-and-so's blog." We wanted the romance genre and the columnists to be the focus.
So we put our heads together, compiled a list of possible columnists, created a posting schedule, established a few guidelines, and built the site from the ground up. We assigned staff duties, and though staff members have come and gone, there are still some founding members working behind the scenes. As we got into the swing of things, we added new programs such as Open Blog Night, and began inviting guest columnists to add to our schedule. It's a labor of love…lots of work, but we truly enjoy what we do.
One of our staff members, Misa Ramirez says, "Working behind the scenes lets me contact 'celebrity' authors which is cool because it gives me a little thrill. Of course they still have no idea who I am since I'm 'Kate', but I still like that part of the behind the scenes job. When I run into, say, Bob Mayer or editor Lucia Macro, I think to myself, "Wow! I've emailed with you. Too bad you don't know it, but still..."
Larissa Ione, one of our founders, enjoys the diversity among the posts. "We've got columnists from different races, sexes, sexual orientations, and ages. We've got readers, published and unpublished authors, editors, agents…it's a great sampling from the romance community, which allows RTB posts to encompass a wide range of tones and topics."
Speaking of posts and topics, when asked about favorites, our newest Kate, May K, had this to say: “My absolute favorite post on RTB is Wendy Crutcher's "Feminist Manifesto." It is perhaps the best example of what I find at RTB often: an essay that articulates my thoughts better than I could have done so myself.”
Lia Sebastian, the Kate in charge of
Working behind the scenes can be very rewarding, but it isn’t always easy.
Alison Kent, on being a Kate: “The life of a Kate is just about as glamorous as that of an author -- you know, lots of work, work, work to produce a finished product readers enjoy without losing our minds! It can feel like an intricate juggling act at times, dealing with columnists' deadlines and vacations and emergencies yet still needing to get posts scheduled, responding to emails, vetting all the blogs submitted for the sidebars, etc. But the Kates are a well-oiled team, and if we get a little manic and insane at times, well, there's always one Kate to pick up the ball another Kate may have dropped, and still another to keep track of the ones in the air. After all these months, we've got it down to an art - art being in the eye of the beholder and all.” *g*
When asked what her favorite thing about being a Kate is, Sylvia Day sums it up for all of us: “Working with the other Kates. :) Keeping the blog running smoothly on the outside oftentimes means we're harried on the inside, but we all love the concept. We try to keep things fresh and constantly work on new ideas to ensure the blog evolves and stays relevant. As with any joint project, we compromise and debate, but our love of the genre and the positive aspects of blogging fuel us even when we're drained by deadlines and life commitments. There's just something wonderful about a group working on a project where they're anonymous. It comes from our hearts.”
We launched in January 2005 and have seen tremendous growth in our traffic. We've lost columnists, added new ones, always doing our best to offer a balance of posts to appeal to readers and authors alike. We're constantly brainstorming new ideas to keep the site fresh and topical. We're always open to input from our readers because without them we wouldn't have become the success that we have!
(Also a Kate: Stephanie Tyler, our columnist liaison. Our Charlie in charge of technical support: Walt Stone of DreamForge Media)
Please visit RomancingTheBlog.com Every Day, where you'll find links to all the Kates' (Stephanie's and Walt's, too) blogs/sites, and hundreds of other terrific readers,' writers,' and industry blogs on the Inet!
Encore! The photos above don't necessarily match up w/the names they're near, but we'll find out from the Kate's who's who. Or whom. What are the chances someone might offer the correct grammar...