Posted On July 21, 2017 by Print This Post


Sometimes social media is a pain in the patootie. Occasionally, it’s a good thing, like when I came across New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Susan Hatler and her books via Facebook. Please welcome Susan – this is her first guest blog for Romance University!


As a writer, a good deal of my life is spent at the keyboard, typing away the stories floating through my head. This can be a relaxing, exhilarating, and sometimes frustrating process. When the characters are talking to me and the words are pouring out, it feels like I’m one with the universe. Other times? Not so much. It can be painful to get the words out, then edit those words over and over, only to find myself deleting the entire page and wanting to bang my head against the wall.


Yes, this is my glamorous life as a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. That’s why it’s essential for me to take the time to get out from behind the keyboard. Where do I go to clear my head and find new inspiration? Romance Writers of America chapter meetings, author lunch dates, writing retreats, coffee shops, writing conferences, workshops, and more!

This past May, I went to the RT Booklovers Convention in Atlanta. What inspired me to do this? Besides the fact that the RT Booklovers Convention is fantastic, I attended because I’d been lucky enough to join some fabulous authors to create the Magnolias and Moonshine Romance Series, twenty contemporary romance novellas all set in the city of Atlanta. We hosted the Magnolias and Moonshine County Fair at the RT Booklovers Convention, which was a Friday night event that included Georgia Male Country Artist of the Year, Thomas Fountain. In addition to the fabulous time had by all at our county fair, attending the RT Booklovers Convention turned out to be a wonderful way to get out from behind the keyboard for several reasons.


First, collaborating with the Magnolias and Moonshine authors in person was an amazing experience. Not only did I get to know new and wonderful authors up close and personal, but several of the authors and I decided to work together on a couple of exciting upcoming projects, which I’ll be announcing in my newsletter soon. Due to the magic of the Internet, it was easy to talk to these authors daily online. But there’s something special about meeting in person. We got to know each other on a different level, exchanging information about the writing business, brainstorming characters and scenes, hearing each other’s laughter, and enjoying lunch or dinner with these people who GET what it’s like to do what I do because THEY do it, too. It’s a lovely feeling to be around writers and it’s definitely a different experience when we’re together in person.


Second, getting out from behind the keyboard and attending this wonderful convention allowed me to meet industry professionals in person, some of who I work with often. I especially loved meeting the fabulous gang at BookBub—a free service to connect millions of readers to great deals on books—where I occasionally place an ad when I’m having a promotion for one of my books. Sure, I already knew the copy they write for my ads was fabulous. But to meet the person who wrote that copy for my book ad face-to-face? Squeal! And to meet the coordinator who helps me schedule my ads? Super fun! I really loved chatting with these industry professionals about my books and also our love of books in general. What a treat to be able to place a face and personality with a name.

Lastly, extricating myself from my keyboard allowed me to meet the fabulous people at the other end of writing my books: the readers. I can’t even tell you how much fun it is to read wonderful reviews from readers who’ve enjoyed reading my books as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them. Meeting readers in person who loved my books? It’s a good book review come to life!


The first night I arrived at the RT Booklovers Convention, a book reviewer squealed when someone told her my name and I was standing right there. I’m pretty sure I hugged her. To hear that kind of response from someone who loves the work I do means the world to me. Talk about writing inspiration. I loved meeting each and every reader at the convention. Every email, book review, and social media comment from a reader is special and it’s an incredible feeling to add an in-person connection to the list as well. After all, it’s loyal readers who make it possible for me to achieve my dream, each and every day. Big hugs to you all.


So, if you’re a writer who spends many of your hours behind the keyboard, now you know some perks to getting out. For me, getting behind the keyboard and writing away is one of my favorite things to do. But getting out sometimes to be around writers, readers, and people in general can be invigorating. When I do this after hitting a writing wall, the frustration clears and is replaced with chatty characters, new scene ideas, and endless imagination that will lead to another sweet love story—one that leaves a smile on my face and, hopefully, happy smiles for all who read that book.


Do you ever feel closed off from the world? What do you do to get out there?



SUSAN HATLER is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, who writes humorous and emotional contemporary romance and young adult novels. Many of Susan’s books have been translated into German, Spanish, French, and Italian. A natural optimist, she believes life is amazing, people are fascinating, and imagination is endless. She loves spending time with her characters and hopes you do, too.

** To receive a FREE BOOK and an alert when Susan’s next book releases, add yourself to Susan’s Exclusive Readers Group right here: **

You can reach Susan here:



(The Wedding Whisperer, 1)

** A new spin-off from the USA Today Bestselling Better Date than Never series!! **

Now available!

Maid of honor Sarah Carlton hasn’t failed at anything since her high school science project was sabotaged by a relentless competitor. So, she’ll do whatever it takes to make her best friend Jill’s wedding absolutely perfect. That includes taking the next flight out of Sacramento to retrieve the panicked bride’s cherished family wedding charm from her late grandmother’s attic in Atlanta, Georgia.

Unfortunately, someone else has offered to come to the bride’s rescue—best man Ben Atkins, the same man who destroyed Sarah’s high school science project all those years ago. Now he wants to one-up her by retrieving the charm first? Sarah refuses to let that happen. The race is on.

When Sarah and Ben arrive in Atlanta, instead of finding the wedding charm there’s a letter from the bride’s grandmother directing the bride and groom to complete a series of tasks in order to prove their commitment to each other. With the wedding only two days away, Sarah and Ben must join forces by pretending to be the bride and groom in order to earn the wedding charm. Should be a cinch. After all, how hard can it be to fake true love for forty-eight hours?

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7 Responses to “GETTING OUT FROM BEHIND THE KEYBOARD by Susan Hatler”

  1. Susan – Thanks so much for this fabulous post! It hit close to home for me. I moved from Cincinnati to Chicago five years ago. I’m from Chicago, I have family here and – the big thing – I have two wonderful granddaughters here. But on the downside, I moved away from my critique partners and from all the lovely people in my local RWA chapter. I envisioned coming back to Cincinnati for regular “fill-ups”, much as you’d fill up your car. But then, due to an obscure RWA regulation, my former chapter – after more than 25 years together – had to shut down. But I figured I would at least run into my friends at Lori Foster’s Get Together every June. I never missed it when I lived in Cincinnati, but somehow since I moved to Chicago I’ve only made it back for RAGT once. I’m starting to feel like I’m on a desert island.

    I’ve been to a couple of the big conferences, and those were great. I met authors whose books I adore and connected in real life with lots of Facebook friends. I attended those conferences with friends, though, and it wouldn’t be the same going by myself.

    I have been spending more time taking care of granddaughters than writing these days, and that includes the freelance non-fiction that has provided my paychecks for years. So there is a budget crunch that limits my conference attendance these days. Now I’m hanging out with my writing friends on Facebook and here at RU. It’s not the same as before, but as a temporary solution it will have to do.

    I’m looking forward to reading your books – I love “discovering” new authors! And after reading this, I realized I’m going to have to find a way to connect with my writing friends before I start flinging myself at walls in frustration!

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | July 21, 2017, 6:13 am
  2. I’ve never attended conferences since I live in the boonies, but I do love getting out from behind the keyboard. I walk the dogs daily for 1.5 hours and exercise (all before I consider writing). Volunteer work. Visits in town, seeing family and friends. Church. Watch (enjoying the Open Championship!) and play golf. It’s good to keep everything in balance.

    Posted by Mercy | July 21, 2017, 7:47 am
  3. Sounds like you get out a lot, Mercy. That’s awesome. I love walking my dogs, too. Happy writing!! 🙂

    Posted by Susan Hatler | July 21, 2017, 7:49 pm
  4. Susan – Thanks so much for hanging out with us today. I hope you’ll come visit us again soon!

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | July 21, 2017, 10:52 pm

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