Monday, November 5, 2007

Lucky

by Susan Seyfarth

I never used to think of myself as lucky. In fact, when I was younger, I considered myself actively unlucky. After all, I was the short, glasses-wearing, flat-as-North-Dakota girl in a family full of curvy, long-legged women with 20/20 vision. Throw in a full-body case of freckles & you have a junior high experience not to be envied.

But I got older. I lived a little. I discovered that what you don't have can't sag & then I got some really, really cute glasses. I realized that there's something to be said for never being taller than your date. And guess what? Girls who read their way through the ugly years are interesting to talk to, which is a bonus when you're finally dating boys old enough to care what a girl has to say.
On the whole, I've felt luckier & luckier with every passing year. Happier. More comfortable in my skin. I've gotten good at just letting the old freak flag fly, you know? Embracing my inner geek. And my outer geek. And the geek that pops out sometimes when I am taken by surprise. All of them.

But own up to writing romance novels? To strangers? That was hard.

See, ever since I quit my job to raise my baby, now 4, people have been asking me how I stay sane at home all day. (It comes up even more often now that we've been joined by my youngest, almost 1.) The answer, of course, is that I write. Romance novels. Unpublished romance novels. Yes, I do have a degree in English. And an MBA. I guess it's just harder to write good smut than you'd think.

And since that's not a conversation I care to have with everybody at my husband's office Christmas party, I started just patting the asker on the arm, smiling vacantly & saying, "Oh, honey, I'm not sane."

But then my husband, who's been treating my writing as a career since well before I ever did, called me out. He said to me, “You’re a WRITER, Susan. You’re good at it, and I’m proud of you. If you don’t start telling people about it, I’m going to.” Gulp. Time to embrace my inner geek again. All of her, this time.

Shortly after this conversation, we went on vacation with my husband's best friend from grad school and his friend’s family. Now bear in mind, this friend’s wife is a VERY accomplished woman. We both have lovely husbands & charming children, but she went & piled on a high-powered career, some scary smarts, & the ability to type really, really fast on a blackberry. Terrifying.

And of course she asked the dreaded question: What do you do to stay sane at home all day with an infant? One look at DH told me I was about to be outed, so I sucked in a deep breath, kissed my credibility with this woman goodbye and confessed. "I write romance novels."

We endured the requisite moment of awkward silence and then she said the unthinkable: “I’ve been writing a pirate novel for YEARS!”

And thus a fast friendship -- and happy critique partnership -- was born.

Now can anybody guess who this woman was? None other than our very own Kirsten Scott. The latest bandita to do us proud & SELL! We went to our first RWA National Conference together in Reno, & were first time GH finalists together in Atlanta. She’s been with me every step of the way on this bizarre, winding career path, and I've been lucky to have her. And I owe it all to my husband, his exquisite taste in friends, & his uncompromising determination to be proud of any old thing I do.

Am I the luckiest girl in the world or what?

So how about you? Has the universe ever rewarded you for being exactly who you are? How have the stars blessed you lately? Where's the luck in your life?

39 comments:

Anna Campbell said...

Susan, what a lovely post. I still think that story about you and Kirsten meeting has a whoo-whoo factor going on. Cue the Twilight Zone music! And that led to you being a Bandita and to me getting the Golden Roaster this morning (OK, you guys knew the old GR would get a mention, didn't you?).

jo robertson said...

Oh, you are soooooo cheating, Anna, FoBanana! It's only 10:00 p.m. Sunday night in California, and you've won the rooster already!

Anna Campbell said...

As all the best bananas say, JoBo, BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

DownUnderGirl said...

Oh Susan - I hear you. 15 books down the track and I still don't tell most people I'm a writer. I guess I can't stand the glazed look they get when you mention the R word.
Also I'm still nursing and have been doing so for 20 years so I guess I'll always think of myself as that first.
But I am getting better - although usually its my friends who out me.

What a sweetie of a hubby you have - hold on to that one.

Amy

Christine Wells said...

Susan, that's such a great story about how you and Inara 'came out' to one another. Oh, and I must remember to quote: 'Honey, I'm not sane'. ROTFL! Only sadly, I'd be telling the truth. My boys are the same ages as your little ones and drive me a little bit battier every day.

I remember being at a charity function one of my husband's clients invited us to and all the waiters had red jackets and black pants on. I said, "oh, they look like the Wiggles dancers" then promptly cringed because I was among all these corporate high-flyers. Maybe admitting I was a romance writer wouldn't have been as much of a gaffe:)

Buffie said...

What a wonderful story Susan!!! Isn't it great that to have friendship born over something you were not quite sure about?!

Christie Kelley said...

Great story, Susan. I know what you mean about telling people you write romance. Some people just don't get it. By it I mean that so many people read romance and it's a billion dollar industry.

I still have a hard time admitting I'm a romance writer to some people. And like your husband mine will just announce it to the world. But part of that with him is, he's knows the music business and how hard it is to get a recording contract or sell a song.

I love how you and Kirsten met. And I love the "Honey, I'm not sane" comment. It's very fitting for writers.

Susan Seyfarth said...

Hi, Anna! Congrats on the Golden Rooster! I know, it's weird about how I met Kirsten, isn't it?? Our husbands were friends first & now we talk waaaaay more than they do. I don't know if it was karma or fate or what, but I've rarely had my courage more immediately rewarded. I announced to the universe I was writing romance novels & it provided me with Kirsten. Funny. :-)

Hi, Amy--

It's so hard to get past THAT LOOK isn't it? People are so intereested to hear you're a writer, then you mention romance & you can see them trying to figure out how to say something kind. Which is ridiculous. What's so stupid about finding somebody to share your life with? Isn't that a universal desire that kind of underpins the struture of our society?? Why are stories about that desire stupid?? Grrrrr...

But it sounds like you have wonderful friends who love & believe in you, which makes up for a lot of blank looks. :-)

Hi, Christine--

Oh, the Wiggles. I, too, have been the toddler influence on otherwise grown-up conversations. As many of you know, I can drag almost topic back around to Mary Poppins. :-) After that, people are relieved to hear about my more adult-friendly hobbies, like writing romance.

Angie Fox said...

Oh I have to remember the 'Honey, I'm not sane' answer. LOL Very true. We're especially feeling it these days with the time change. My 1 and 3 year old are now getting up an hour earlier.

That's so great how you found a critique partner in Inara. One of the things I love about writing is the friendships.

I still have trouble admitting I'm a writer, even more so now that I sold those two books. The conversation always goes something like, "Yes, I sold my book. No, you can't see it for another year. But it's out there. Somewhere. No, really. And I don't have a website yet because my brother is still designing it. Yes, really. Now I have to go write because I'm on deadline for the other book you can't see."

Sometimes, I chicken out after I say I'm a writer and fall back to my other career, and talk about advertising writing. Everybody understands that.

Kirsten said...

Susan, The book is already dedicated to you, honey. You don't have to make me cry EVERY morning. :-)

I have to admit, it has been a bit easier to announce my sale to people because it's YA and not straight romance. You know, everyone seems to focus on the implication that romance novels aren't good quality, but I think there's just as much a presumption that you simply don't talk about SEX in our society. I'd be much more embarrassed, for example, to tell the ladies at church--or the PTA for that matter--that I sold an erotic romance, than to say I sold a sweet, traditional romance. Just goes with the territory.

But I have to address the staying home with the kids and going crazy thing. This was not a question meant to imply that stay-at-home moms have oodles of time on their hands and they're (can't even say it with a straight face) BORED or some such nonsense. It's more a recognition that taking care of small children requires an exercise of patience and willpower that is astonishing to one such as me.

So the fact that you, Susan, or Christine, or any other SAHM's write in those spare twenty minutes between naps and quiet time doesn't really answer the eternal question for me--how do you do it? I mean, seriously? (shakes head) You are saints I tell you! Saints!!

And you should know that my sister, a SAHM who practiced law for four years before giving it up to raise her babies looks at me like I've grown four heads every time she sees me.

"How can you practice law and stay sane?" she asks. "Isn't there any way you could quit and stay home?"

I nod and pat her arm. "Honey, I'm not sane. You should know that by now."

Susan Seyfarth said...

Hi, Buffie--Yeah, the universe really rewarded my courage when it gave me Kirsten. Makes me think there was some larger lesson I was supposed to learn. Like maybe "Own it & you will succeed." Or something like that. :-)

Christie--

You have one of those husbands, too, huh? The kind that say, "She writes romance novels!" in public, then retire, proud & beaming, to let you stumble through the ensuing conversation. They're wonderful, aren't they? We're lucky, lucky girls.

Hi, Angie--

Congrats on the sale!! And congratulations, too, on keeping your sanity with your 1 & 3 yos getting up an hour earlier. You're ahead of me, there. I just gave up & went nuts. :-)

But hey, tell me this, and any of you published girls can chime in to satisfy my curiosity: Now that you're published, do people view your romance writing with more respect, or is there another layer of cynicism? You know, now they assume you're only in it for the money or something? (Like there's SO MUCH MONEY in romance writing.) I've started to hear this more & more the longer I've been writing, & I find it disturbing & insulting. Again, what is SO STUPID about love? Isn't it a basic human desire? Why are people so afraid of stories about love? *sigh*

Oh, & JoMama, don't be sad. You'll get the Golden Rooster one of these days!

Susan Seyfarth said...

Kirsten, you have me rolling on the floor this morning! I'm going to try that next time I get The Question. How can you (fill in the blank) & stay sane? Isn't there any way you can quit & stay home??"

But you're right. I can always tell the difference between people who are asking out of respect (as in "small children are HARD; how do you do it??") & those who are asking out of condescension (as in "you have no paycheck & therefore no worth.") Most working moms ask out of respect, & I ask them the same thing. My day is hard enough without trying to arrange day care & panty hose & office headaches. My hat's off to you working moms, too.

And I agree that the whole romance stigma has to do with polite people not talking about sex. Or even acknowledging it as a healthy, normal part of a decent relationship. I realize I'm not going to change that so I probably won't be chatting about my novels with the ladies at church, but it still burns me up that people feel like any mention of sex sullies a love story. I mean, come ON. Babies have to get here somehow, & I doubt we're all wearing blindfolds & silently enduring.

But I know that's not going to change. Sometimes I say women's fiction instead of romance, though. That helps. I've used the term "beach read" too.

Any other helpful euphemisms out there??

Suzanne Welsh said...

Ah, Susan, I love that story! To find a friend who is a "kindred spirit" is worth every moment of the big confession! And to think where that friendship has lead you both. Kind of sends chills over you, doesn't it?

I've never had a problem telling people I write Romance novels. In fact, some of my co-workers even tell their patients that the nurse taking over is a Romance author!

I've had to defend it only once at work to a physician, who made the mistake of saying "You write trash?" loud enough for the whole unit to hear. Took me all of two seconds to reply, "No, your chicken scratching on charts would qualify as trash. What I write are highly imaginitive stories about love, hope and committment. You might try reading one before passing judgement out of ignorance." (You knew that was coming, didn't you?)

Nancy said...

Susan, what a fabulous post! I guess the universe rewarded me for being who I am when it--finally!--sent me Mark. I hadn't been in a relationship in several years, and I was beginning to wonder whether I ever would be again. And the years were passing, and ye olde biological clock was ticking. Situations like that seem to have one of two effects: They make a person desperate or, as was the case with me, they force a person to come to grips with the fact that it might only ever be "just' her and to become okay with that. The upside of this is that it gave me courage to be really choosy. I'd fought hard for emotional independence. I wasn't going to throw it over for someone who wasn't really, truly right. I knew he was one day when we were discussing marriage, and I said, "I have to warn you, I come with seven thousand comic books." His eyes widened, he gulped, and then he said, "Well, okay."

I'd flown my "freak flag," as Susan says, and he'd saluted it. We both have our eccentric interests, and unlike some couples, we never try to discourage each other from being who we are. I feel really lucky about that.

The "R" thing is a big issue, as you and downundergirl and Christie and Angie (congratulations on those sales, Angie!) noted. I decided a while back to be blunt about it, and if people sneer, I pretty much take them on. What's trashy about two people seeking a committed, monogamous relationship? That's a question they usually can't answer.

I recently met a writer who confessed to a group of writers that she was writing a "bad" book. You know, one of those things like Nora Roberts and Suzanne Brockmann write. Before she could say more, I said, "As a card-carrying member of Romance Writers of America, I very much doubt that's a bad book. I would probably like it." She seemed relieved, being new and thus not knowing that this group doesn't diss what anyone writes and that no one was going to jump her over it.

Women feel ashamed to admit they read romance, let alone write it, because it has such a bad rap. Because of the sex. Lots of books by male writers have explicit sex and way less emotional content, and no says "boo" about that. Julie Tetel and Judith Stanton and others have written wonderful articles about feminism in romance. But I'm going to step off my feminist soapbox after one last comment. I think staying home with small children is one of the hardest jobs in the world, and I salute those of you who did or are doing it!

Donna MacMeans said...

SUsan - If I was an editor I'd buy your work based on your blogs alone. I LOVE your posts. You had me smiling and sighing throughout the whole column. Well done.

I must admit that in previous years, I'd answer the "what do you do" question by saying I was a CPA. I had to see a sign of trust in the asker's eye before I'd admit to being a writer. I saw that spark of trust once in a judge's eye when we were sharing casual conversation. Turns out his daughter-in-law was also an unpublished romance author and he understood the difficulty of getting published. His daughter-in-law and I later connected over the internet and are still in touch years later. I think this is a kind of karma that rewards you when you take the plunge and admit your passion. Your reluctance or your passion must have been great indeed to be rewarded with Kirsten. I love that story.

Caren Crane said...

Susan, I love your story! Also loved the "dodge" in your insanity plea. *g*

The whole admission to writing romance thing is odd. In some groups, it seems perfectly acceptable. For instance, I work in the area of finance now and everyone I work with thinks it's very cool that I write at all. The fact that it's romance doesn't bother any of them--even the men.

But I am an engineer by training and I worked in engineering for many years. Engineers found writing very threatening and romance writing to be like teh bubonic plague. 'Cause, you know, writing is only cool if it's science fiction. *g*

I brought up my Golden Heart final as a celebration in my Sunday school class last year. Most of them were quite supportive and impressed. But one fellow asked, right after my announcement, whether I was writing Christian romance. I told him I was not. He apparently mentioned it to his wife, because the next time I saw her socially, she wanted to tell me about this young woman she knew who would be the perfect subject of a Christian romance novel. I told her that's not what I write.

She was okay with it, but I know this couple's wish for me would be echoed by many at my church. They want me to use the gift of writing that God gave me in a different way than I have chosen to. I can see exactly where they are coming from, but I don't have those sorts of story ideas. This is probably TMI, but I always pray for guidance in my writing and to write stories that will touch people's hearts and lives. I figure if God wanted me to write Christian romance, he would send me those sorts of story ideas. Meanwhile, I just write what comes naturally. *g*

Btw, SAHMs have all my respect. I would be a raving lunatic and horrible parent if I had been home with my kids. I was better off doing engineering work in an office--promise!

Donna MacMeans said...

Angie -
Once you get your cover, go have bookmarks or postcards made up and keep some with you at all times. I've found it helps tremendously when you can hand them tangible evidence of your accomplishments.

Donna MacMeans said...

I think part of the problem with admitting that you write romance is that people who never read romance think the stories have no plot (just like Sci-fi has no sex *g*)

I've had several men, who read Mrs. Brimley out of curiousity because they know me, tell me with a bit of shock that the novel was really good and ask about the next one. Of course, they always compliment me on the plot elements, as if this was the surprizing accomplishment, and nvoid mentioning that they enjoyed the sensuous scenes. I notice with women readers, it's the exact opposite.

jo robertson said...

Susan and Kirsten, don't you think that some friendships seem to have been forged in some pre-mortal existence? I've had friends like that, ones I've been SURE were people I knew and loved in another lifetime.

I think the bad rep romance writers have gotten comes from the day when romances were like templates and the writer just filled in the blanks. Of course, today's readers of romance realize that's not the case now.

Claudia Dain said...

Oh, what a lovely post! I just love how you two found each other.

I was a stay-at-home-mom who homeschooled her kids. Talk about the insanity factor. But I loved it and cherish the memory of those days. The reason I mention the homeschooling angle is that people have a very strong response to it, kind of like when you mention you write romance.

How to explain it? Caren might have to translate for me, but it's basically that no one gets to comment on my choices. I'm not giving you that option.

Man, do I sound tough or what? LOL

Susan Seyfarth said...

Suzanne--
How wonderful that you have such wonderful & supportive co-workers! And that you had the presence of mind to say something pithy & spot-on to a nay-sayer! I always think of something great to say...about ten minutes too late. Ha.


Nancy--I think I love your husband, too. :-) He saluted your freak flag. That made me laugh out loud. My husband does, too. Sometimes I think he flies the darn thing FOR me. And 7,000 comic books?? Wow. That's some collection. What are they all about?

Awwww, Donna, you're making me blush. :-) But from your fingers to an editor's ear...

And I love that you, too, were cosmically connected to another writer by being brave & owning your work. See? The universe really does love romance! And speaking of loving romance, I finished The Education of Mrs. Brimley last night. LATE last night. A lot later than I wanted to be up. Thanks for a great read & an ending worth sighing over.

Aunty Cindy said...

Thanx for a GREAT POST, Susan! You are VERY lucky to have found Kirsten and vice versa. In fact, I'd say ALL us Banditas were SUPER LUCKY to have found each other! Connections like we have are so very rare.

I too have a hard time admitting I write, much less that I write romance. And like Angie, so far it has not become easier since getting The Call. But I'm hoping that, as Donna says, once I have a cover and post cards and/or book marks to give out, I'll feel less reluctant. In the meantime, I need to hire Jo-Mama AND her DH because they have both been talking up my book to everyone they know! Can't wait to return the favor for her.

AC

Caren said...

You know, I almost mentioned TICD and her homeschooling and then she appeared! Claudia, I think you're right about homeschooling being very polarizing. Of course, I look at it the same way I do being a SAHM. Not anything I could do! Unhealthy for me and the kids! I know myself too well to believe I could have done that successfully. Blood would have been shed and many years of therapy would have followed. *g*

That said, there are many people who feel they have the right to judge your choices, whatever they are. You write that? You don't work? You homeschool?!

I have gotten flak from people for being a mom with a full-time job. I also worked part-time (as an engineer, no less) for about 1-1/2 years. People gave me grief for that, too, because I wasn't committing fully to anything. *g*

Susan, I feel lucky every day. Lucky to be able to write. Lucky to be a Bandita. Lucky to have friends like TICD. Lucky to have a husband who believes my writing is a career worth investing time and money in.

I also win lots of door prizes, but that's a whole other blog. *g*

Beth said...

What a great post, Susan! You and Kirsten were meant to be CPs :-)

Angie, I know exactly what you mean! My debut book won't be out until June and until two weeks ago, I didn't even have a title *g* But it's really real! Really!!

I used to have problems saying I was a writer but my husband is so dang proud of me, he tells everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) I sold a book - which makes it that much easier to say I'm a Romance Writer with pride :-)

Claudia, I feel the same way - I don't comment on other people's choices so they can't comment on mine *g* I've been a stay-at-home (or work-at-home) mom for 16 years and I wouldn't have it any other way! Just as I know many working-outside-the-home Moms are happy doing what they're doing. Diversity! It's a wonderful thing *g*

Trish Milburn aka Tricia Mills said...

I love hearing how you two became friends. Very karmic. :) And I could so relate to your high school experiences versus now and becoming more happy with who you are as the years pass. That's been my experience. I've been very fortunate in having a wonderful husband, great friends, and finally getting to realize my dream. I feel very, very blessed.

And I admire moms in general, state at home or not. I stay so incredibly busy now, I can't imagine adding motherhood to the mix.

Helen said...

What a beautiful post Susan I loved it friends are just the best you can always rely on each other for so much.
I always feel very lucky when I look at my children and grandchildren and my hubby we are a very close family and the best of friends. I also have some great friends that are just the best.
Have Fun
Helen

Anna Campbell said...

Actually, JoMamma, I accidentally did cheat, I realised. You guys changed the clocks last weekend, didn't you? So I'm a blushing banana.

Susan, perhaps because I sold in New York which seems like the center of the universe to people from Oz, when I tell people I'm published now, I do tend to get interest rather than snickering. I still get a bit of snickering but hey, I'm living my dream writing for a living, what are they doing? Snickering like baboons. I know who's ahead in that particular race ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Suz, great comeback!

Nancy, love the fly the freak flag comment. That's how you sort the men out from the boys, isn't it?

Susan Seyfarth said...

Caren--I don't think it's weird at all to pray for guidance when writing secular romance! I don't feel in any way qualified to ever write a Christian romance, & yet God is one of the themes I can't seem to stay away from. Go figure. But you must be doing something right if you keep winning those door prizes! I NEVER win door prizes. :-(

Jo--I remember LOVING those old-fashioned template-driven romance novels. I always knew exactly what would happen & when, & it was as satisfying to me as Blue's Clues is to my children. The expectations were set & met. Mmmmmm. 180 pages of bliss. (At least it was 180 for Harlequins with the white covers.)

Claudia--I think you just gave me a new motto: nobody gets to comment on my choices. I totally admire people who homeschool, BTW. I would love to do it myself, but I don't think I'm tempermentally suited to the work. I've always felt grateful that being a SAHM was a fit with my personality, because it's something I always wanted to do. Another reason I feel lucky!

AC: Sometimes a good CP tells you hard truths nobody else is brave enough to tell you, & sometimes she's the best cheerleader you'll have. I'm so glad JoMama & family are cheering for you!! We are, too!

Beth--you're my hero! 16 years as a SAHM? That's the stuff my dreams are made of. I have this persistent fear that I might not sell a book before my youngest is in school full-time, & I'll have to consider going back to work. I HATED work. I love my job NOW. I don't want it go away! Although I AM looking forward to more writing & less kid-wrangling as the munchkins grow...

Trish -- I think there are a number of us bookish girls who've been happier & happier with every year that high school fades into the rearview mirror. I have to wonder what life's been like for people for whom high school was a peak experience, you know? Real life must've been such a let down! I worry about those little gymnasts & figure skaters, too, the one who win gold medals at like 13. Where do you go from there, after all?

Helen -- sounds like you have a wonderfully rich community of friends & family, too. Another lucky girl! Have I ever mentioned that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday? It's all about friends & family gathered together over an enormous spread of food. Everything I love, all in one place. *big happy sigh*

Anna Campbell said...

Trish, thank you, I knew I had something else to say apart from CROWING over winning the GR! I find as I get older, I know more and I can handle life much better. I wouldn't go back to being young again for quids, even if it did mean my tittles were slightly less soggy.

Donna MacMeans said...

LOL Susan - I thought you were up late writing your blog. Now the truth emerges *g*. Glad you enjoyed Mrs. Brimley.

DownUnderGirl said...

I dont know what the shame is in writing about love either Susan. My response is that many great writers through time have written about love. Shakespeare. Jane Austen. The Bronte's. Dickens wrote popular fiction. These are classics for crying out loud!!!

My opinion re the stigma is NOT the sex but the covers and the titles that give romance the cringe factor for so many people. I'd feel embarrassed reading one of my books on a train or bus because the titles are so horrible.
Titles and covers seem to be largely controlled by marketing and they always seem to aim for the lowest common denominator. I personally think this is an insult to readers intelligence.
Hope my ed isn't reading this...

Amy

Nancy said...

Susan, they're super-hero comics. Batman and Superman and Wonder Woman. I decided that "growing up" didn't mean giving up things I'd enjoyed for years. :-)

Caren, I sympathize with people wanting you to take your gift in a particular direction. If it were their gift, they'd probably do that. At least they seem to recognize that it's your gift, your voice, and ultimately your choice.

Anna, I took the "freak flag" phrase from Susan. Stole it right off her post *g*, though the saluting bi twas mine, thanks! I agree that's how you tell the men from the boys--and the women from the girls. Tolerance for and support of interests they don't share is, imho, a sign of maturity and respect.

I was a "working mom" (as every mom is, one way or another! Duh!) until my son was four. The moms with outside jobs get told their kids'll be delinquents with emotional issues, and the SAHMs get told their kids will be dependent and stifled with emotional issues. It's all bunk! I can point to half a dozen moms in each category with great kids and several of each type who raised stinkers. It's not what the mom does, it's how she does it! And yeah, let's not forget the dad. But I still think staying at home with a tiny one is hard.

Kate Carlisle said...

Sorry I'm late! But Susan, you made my day. You also ruined my eye makeup since I'm now sobbing over your incredible and sweet story of how you met your destined CP.

As far as blessings go, I'm so lucky to be a published writer after so many years of struggling. And I'm so lucky and happy to be a part of this brilliantly twisted group. :-)

Susan Seyfarth said...

Anna--soggy tittles? I'm cracking UP!

Amy -- I'm totally with you on the tacky cover art. I was in the audience at an RWA conference when somebody asked a big name editor (I want to say Kate Duffy, but I'm not 100%) why they DID that to otherwise respectable reading material. She said they've studied it to death & books with those covers sell more. Can you believe that?? Not to me they don't. If I can't read it on the bus, I don't buy it. Check it out of the library, maybe, but buy it? No.

Nancy, good for you for not letting so-called maturity rob you of the things you love! As for me, I love summer popcorn movies. You know, the ones with lots of explosions geared toward fourteen year old boys. I just made my husband watch Transformers this weekend. I LOVED it. And I love Shia Le Boeuf. Did you all know he's going to be Indiana Jones in the next Indy film??

Kate--And we're lucky to have you!! Maybe luck was part of your success, but I know you worked like h-e-double-hockey-sticks to get published & you earned every bit of your current wave of success. You're doing us banditas proud.

Joan said...

Susan, great post and sorry I'm late to the party...had to go to my day job.

When I first started writing I admit to a bit of hesitation about saying it outloud. But I joined a small writing group (multi genre) run by two great guys. When I said I was writing romance I didn't get one weird look (Ok, maybe by the guy writing sci fi...all his stories involved stuff against his father). They both said, and I quote "Wow! That's where you make the money!" LOL

So they tell me :-)

I also had a cosmic connection with my closest CP who has become a sister to me.

I was at National in Denver and had just come out of the Goody Room. I heard "Hey, you're from back home."

I looked up at this tall, striking blonde woman and thought "Huh?"

Ends up she recognized me from church. Not only did we attend the same parish, I had taken care of her father in the hospital and we only live 3 miles from each other. The rest, as they say, is history.

TL has brought me so much both in developing my writing and in friendship. She credits me with the hard work but without her insights and support I'd be much lower on the food chain.

Ya just can't beat that kind of gift.

Keira Soleore said...

Susan, you had me in tears by the time you mentioned "critique partnership." What a fabulous friend you are!! Kirsten, congratulations on selling once again, but a HUGE congratulations for making such a wonderful friend for life.

FoAnna, I find it rather alarming that the Golden Rooster has become the Golden Roaster. Soon, the poor ol' bird is going to end up on a golden plate.

Suz, you go GIRL!!! (punching fist in air) A huge cyber-hug to you for give him what-for and in no time flat.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Susan, it's so great to hear this story from both sides. :> I love it! Anna, you got the GR AGAIN! You are up waaaaaaaay too early, girlie.
Buffie...I need a fan...that icon is just...well, ahem, HOT!
Christine, I snorked out loud about the Wiggles Dancers. I would probably have said the same. And the "I'm not sane" line, well, I could have used that prior to children. Now I just say they kill more brain cells per day than smoking pot ever could. Ha!
Suz, I LOVE your come-backs. Heehee.
Hey, Welcome back TICD!
I love the concept of flying my own personal Freak Flag. My DH is SO supportive, and as several have said, he will frequently brag on me, even when I've decided to keep quiet. Hmmmm, now I'm distracted wondering how to design my own particular freak flag.
Caren, I want your "win-karma" on the giveaways. :>
I'm so deliciously lucky to have all the Banditas, my DH, my Sis, and several really great friends who are all saluting the flag, so I guess I'd better figure out what it looks like....(off to get the drafting tools...)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Can you tell I was distracted and multi-tasking when I posted? It reads as an unmedicated shizoprhenic. Sigh.