I had just moved to a village in County Durham when I met a successful novelist at a library talk. She treated me like a fellow writer, which really boosted my confidence, and she offered to take me to a meeting of the northern chapter of the Romantic Novelists' Association.
The best aspect of being a member is that you get to mix with people with wide experience, and that evthe most successful authors are friendly and generous with their advice. Going to meetings keeps the inspiration flowing, and spurs me to keep writing when other aspects of life threaten to take over. There are chapters in most parts of the country now, though I do travel for nearly two hours to the Northern Chapter meetings because the other writers have become friends. Above is a photo of some of us at our meeting near Harrogate in June, enjoying some rare sunshine before having our meal and meeting inside. In July I shall be attending the annual conference of the RNA in Sheffield, where I can indulge in a whole weekend of talks, networking and writing chat! In between events we keep in touch via an email group, which is great for those who cannot travel to the meetings.