Follow the Yellow Brick Road…

Back in March of 2013, Mark Stevens caught up with me at Left Coast Crime in Colorado Springs and asked if I might be interested in reviving the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers blog. It's possible he caught me in a weak moment, perhaps after a glass of wine, but I said I'd think it over.

Then I decided yes, I'd give it a shot. We went live on August 1, 2013 with a new lineup of regular contributors and a few open spots for guests.

Even though I knew very little about the WordPress program that houses the blog.

Even though I had just signed a book contract and had the whole editing cycle and promotion planning ahead of me.

Even though I knew very few RMFW members and up to that time had only volunteered as a conference registrar or workshop moderator.

As I said, it's possible Mark caught me in a weak moment, mellowed by that glass of wine (and probably a chocolate dessert as well).

Little did I know that "yes" would take me down a yellow brick road leading to a whole new world of information, networking, and just plain fun--a kind of Oz, if you will.

As I move on down that yellow brick road to new adventures (two first drafts that need revisions, a new project just started, and another November book release that will be here way too fast), I want to encourage other members who've never volunteered to give one of the tasks a try. I promise you'll make new friends, no matter what job  you take on.

If you volunteer to help out at Colorado Gold, you might moderate and keep time for a panel of agents or editors. If you're a published author, you might host one of the tables at the banquet -- I got to sit next to an agent one time, and since the room was very noisy, she spent most of her time talking to the two of us who sat closest to her. Conference opportunities are many, so fill out and submit the form on the Conference Volunteer page or contact Corinne O'Flynn for more information (

If you decide to write a guest post for the blog, you'll be introducing yourself to new people, both members and non-members. Watch for new procedures when they're announced in the newsletter, or contact

If you have good critiquing skills and a good knowledge of the craft of writing, you'd be a natural to volunteer as a first-round judge for the Colorado Gold Contest, and those judge positions need to be filled very soon.  (Contact

Offer to present a program or workshop, write an article, help the social media gurus, and more (contact

I am grateful to Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers for many things, but that opportunity to meet my future Five Star editor during a critique workshop tops the list. Attending that one Colorado Gold Conference led to three books published and a fourth on the way. I hope I've managed to show my appreciation through my volunteer activities so far, especially the 3.5 years as blog coordinator alongside my co-editor and good friend, Julie Kazimer. After I whip all my unfinished projects into shape and get through the November book release, I'll probably be back looking for some little thing I can do for RMFW. Maybe I'll see you there.

After all, once you discover there's a kind of Oz in your life, you really don't want to let it go.

Patricia Stoltey
Blog Editor
Patricia grew up on a farm in central Illinois so naturally had to use the old farm in her first mystery. The second Sylvia and Willie tale takes place near and in the little touristy gold mining town of Oatman, Arizona. Patricia's third novel, a standalone suspense called Dead Wrong, was released November 2014. Dead Wrong was a finalist in the thriller category for the Colorado Book Awards. Visit her blog at

10 thoughts on “Follow the Yellow Brick Road…

  1. You are a wonder and an inspiration and a very witty, delightful person. We’ve been super lucky to have you at the blog for so long. Please know how loved and appreciated you are. I’ll buy you wine at Colorado Gold this September (and promise not to convince you to do anything other than write your books!)

    • Thanks, Shannon! It will be great to see you at Colorado Gold…and now that registration’s open, I guess I better go check out the agents and editors who will be there to make sure I get a pitch appointment. As for the wine, I accept. See you in September.

  2. You’re a joy, Pat, and super generous with your time and talents. I love your spirit of adventure, and your energy. I’ll look forward to your next release. Happy writing, and see you at the Colorado Gold! Hugs!

    • A big hug back to you, Janet. For a while, I thought my spirit of adventure had grown old and weary, but it’s coming back. I might even add that hot air balloon back to my bucket list (after chickening out several times). 😀

  3. Pat, I’ve enjoyed your stewardship at the RMFW blog and through it have met many writers I hadn’t encountered in person. And you’ve been a dream to work with when I’ve contributed to the blog. I hope all your projects go swimmingly and that you never run out of words. Hope to see you at Colorado Gold.

    • Thanks, Vicki! Happily, I had lots of good help. Without Wendy Howard guiding me through the WordPress jungle and Julie Kazimer sharing the proofreading and scheduling with me, I would have fallen flat on my face. 😀

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