A friend who had read some of my short stories encouraged me to join the Southern Louisiana Chapter (SOLA) of Romance Writers of America, and I must admit it’s been an invaluable experience for this lifelong loner. I now have friends who understand the difficulties of writing a novel and willingly share their experiences and concerns. With their encouragement and SOLA’s educational programs, workshops, brainstorming sessions, and critique sessions, I’m now ready to publish my first book. Happily for me, a panel discussion on traditional vs. independent publishing appeared on the program at the perfect time. With every step I take and every change in the rapidly evolving publishing industry, I’m thankful for the help and camaraderie that being a member of SOLA provides.