Ask a romance writer what s/he likes to read and nine times out of ten, romance will top the list.
Shocking, I know.
I’m no different. When I was a wee tween *mumble-mumble* years ago, I found myself on one of those deadly family summer vacations Where There Was Nothing To Do (I’d sell my eyeteeth for one of those kinds of vacations now…). I’d read all the books I’d brought, so I begged some dough off my dad, went down to the local IGA…and fell in love.
In my later teen years, I cheated on Romance, going steady with Mystery, while occasionally playing the field with Biography, Film History, Fantasy and Sci-Fi. Fun times.
It wasn’t until I hit grad school that I found my True Love again. My roommate introduced me to Johanna Lindsay and I was hooked, hopped up on the pleasure of a guaranteed Happily Ever After.
Not long after our renewed acquaintance, I ran across a listing for RWA – Romance Writers of America. With stars in my eyes, I joined the local chapter and went to a few meetings. Mind Blown.
I’m embarrassed to say I hadn’t really thought of authors as people. Real live humans. Nope. They were distant stars, much too high in the firmament to rub elbows with little old me, let alone impart their wisdom (yet they did! And do! Generously.).
At the chapter’s holiday party that year, I met Mary Jo Putney. THE Mary Jo Putney. I sat next to her on a couch. I didn’t spit food on her. Or dribble wine down my chest. I DID glow copiously into my sweater and I might have stuttered, and may have not made any sense (it’s a bit of a blur). I left the party and called my mom, hyperventilating. “Mom, Mom, guess who I met????? Ohmigod, ohmigod, Mary Jo Putney! I had a conversation with THE Mary Jo Putney!!”
One session with a brown bag later, I’d recovered my wits…sorta.
See, I still swoon over authors – even the ones I’m blessed to call good friends. Keep your rock stars (unless they’re cute, then send them my way). I’ll take an author any day.
You know what’s even cooler than meeting one of your real life literary heroes? The fact that fifteen years later, I sat next to Mary Jo at dinner during this year’s RWA conference, swapping writing woes, cheering successes, and laughing with our mutual friends.
Fan. Girl. For. Life.
What about you? Who or what do you Fan Girl over? (Can I get a shout out for Supernatural??)
PS: I still own those first two books from that fateful summer vacay: a Signet Regency called Lord Richard’s Daughter, by Joan Wolf and a Harlequin Presents called By Love Bewitched by Violet Winspear.