Welcome to Lizbeth’s Birthday Weekend Author Spotlight Extravaganza!
All right, I admit that’s totally misleading. In truth this is my Shameless Name-dropping Birthday Weekend Indulgence. Three short posts about my relationship with several of the (very few) A-list authors I’ve been blessed to more-or-less befriend. I interacted with each of these at the Romance Writers of America convention last month, and each has inspired me in my own writing with the something special that makes her a superstar in the world of romance novels.
I don’t like to drop names. It isn’t impressive when others do it and I don’t intend to try and impress you here. I haven’t interviewed these ladies for these short blog posts--they are, simply, fan girl posts. But these women are among my author heroes, and the fan girl moments with them have turned into mentorships they probably don’t even know about!
Today’s dropped name is Lori Wilde. Lori writes western/cowboy romance for Avon Books and I met her at my first Avon signing at RWA 2012. She’d been tapped to read my Avon debut The Rancher and the Rock Star, and blog about it on release day. I was so thrilled with her review and the way she asked her readers to check out The Rancher and the Rock Star. I thanked her profusely both by writing to her and in person when I caught sight of her name tag. A day later I proceeded to embarrass myself when she asked me to sign a paperback copy for her mother. “And your name?” I asked.
OMG—I’d just totally flaked on Lori Wilde. The word “mortified” doesn’t begin to describe my desire to sink through the floor. But gracious and beautiful Lori brushed it off and never once rolled her eyes the next five times I saw her and referenced my faux pas.
Three years later, when I was at a crossroads in my career, wondering whether to try indie publishing or find a new commercial series to pitch, I got up the nerve to write to Lori and literally asked her to dinner at RWA in San Diego. I wanted her take on the industry, on our mutual publisher, and just plain ask her opinion on what my options were.
That dinner was a highlight of my career. Lori was open and honest and giving of her time and thoughts. It doesn’t matter what those thoughts were—what mattered was that she showed me I wasn’t alone no matter what I decided to do, and that every author at some time in her career faces tough decisions. (And that's an insight for all our readers: writing is rewarding but not always an easy or even fun endeavor!)
I’ve never forgotten the talk from that night, and I’ve stayed in touch with Lori, asking her for quotes for author friends, sharing details of both of our inspirations and story ideas, and getting to know her better. This year at RWA I met her for lunch and got the skinny on her latest adventures and experiences and how she intends to use them for new books and even a new writing direction. I’m so grateful she’s now a friend.
(Check out Lori's latest book
HOW THE COWBOY WAS WON, and her brand new
pre-order Christmas book
From Lori I’ve learned that it’s a wonderful trait for an author to be open, giving, friendly, honest, and generous with fans and colleagues. If I can ever share those virtues with a fellow author I’ll be blessed beyond belief. Thanks so much Lori Wilde – for your books and stories, but mostly for showing me how to be a better author-person!
Tell me about someone in your life who’s given of him- or herself, and shown you the very best ways to be a giver yourself. And tell me, too, about a favorite author of your own!!
I’ll be giving away four books on Monday August 13th (my actual birthday!) to commenters over this weekend!Come on back tomorrow when I'll tell you how I feel about the amazing Grace Burrowes!
Check out my two most recent releases!