I’m not much of a joiner, but I’ve been looking forward to joining the Mystery Writers of America for a long time. I’ve actually been eligible to join since 2008 due to short story sales, but I never felt worthy of joining an organization that so many of my writing heroes were part of until I had published my first novel. And now that I’ve joined 1) I’m overwhelmed by the history and prestige of the organization and 2) I can’t wait to get more involved. I want to write articles for the newsletter and teach a class with MWA-U and run for office with my local chapter and ultimately be on the national board for the whole dang organization.
Sure, some of this has to do with my overabundance of concern with my professional legacy, but the bigger part is how important this organization and this genre is to me. I named my first child after a fictional PI from my favorite author, just so you know who you’re dealing with here. But after I got my welcome packet, the first thing I did was read through the shiny color program from the most recent Edgar Awards ceremony. The best part was reading about all of the Grand Masters who have made such important contributions to this field. I wandered around quite a bit through many genres before I found crime fiction, but when I did, I knew I was home. From the top level writers to the readers and to everyone else we all support and encourage each other in a way I’ve never seen before and I’m so happy to be part of this at a professional level now.