Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I'm not yet into the holiday spirit this year but having a Christmas book released last week has sort of jump-started the process for me! I loved writing THE COWBOY'S CHRISTMAS MIRACLE, even if I was probably the only one back in March who listening to five different Christmas stations on Pandora to help me catch the mood!

I have to share a little inside story on the book. There's a scene in it that touched me every single time I read it -- when I originally wrote it and through every version of rewrites, line edits and page proofs.

It's the Christmas Eve scene when the heroine gives her oldest child something precious of his father's, who died a few years earlier (I won't give it all away -- you'll have to read the book!). Anyway, I wrote the first draft late one night and I couldn't stop crying as I wrote it. That happens to us crazy writers sometimes! I don't know why but I was very moved by the emotion in the scene so I'm sitting down in my office sobbing away and my husband comes down to tell me good-night. He gets that panicky look men get when they find us crying. He was so worried to find me in such a state and thought I was having my usual deadline-induced breakdown, the kind when I'm absolutely sure I'll never be able to write another book again .

I had to tell him, no, this was a good thing. It was just my people making me cry. If a scene spurs such a reaction in me, I can only hope it has a similar impact in my readers!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I have a rather unique opportunity next week -- one that suddenly scares me to death! I was contacted a few months ago by the director of the Utah Humanities Council's Festival of the Book, who asked me to be a guest lecturer at the literacy festival, in its seventh year.

At first, I thought, "Sure! No problem. How hard could it be?" But as the date approaches and I've had a look at the lineup of lecturers, I'm doing a big, nervous gulp here. Not only am I the only romance author involved, I'm just about the only author of popular fiction and the pressure suddenly feels enormous.

What do you say to people who would rather be caught naked in a windstorm than have somebody spy them reading a romance novel?

My topic is The Appeal of Romance. I plan to talk about exactly that -- why romance novels make up more than a quarter of all books sold and outsell every other genre.

As I'm preparing my lecture, I've re-read my dog-eared copy of DANGEROUS MEN AND ADVENTUROUS WOMEN, the great book of essays by some of the lionesses of the industry like Jayne Ann Krentz, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Sandra Brown and Elizabeth Lowell. I've also scoured RWA conference keynote addresses from people like Barbara Samuels, Lisa Kleypas and Suzanne Brockmann. All of them have wonderful things tos ay about why are books are so popular around the world.

I don't expect to change anybody's mind but I would at least like to offer lucid, compelling reasons to read romance. And I would love to hear from you! Help me out here ... Please, I'm begging you! What do you love about romance novels? How do I explain the magic and wonder of becoming lost in a beautiful, life-affirming story?

I'm holding a drawing among everybody who responds. Two winners will receive their choice of either a copy of THE COWBOY'S CHRISTMAS MIRACLE, my November book that won't be on shelves for another few weeks, or anything from my backlist.