This weekend was Freaking Fantastic! I went to the Orange County Chapter of RWA’s Birthday Bash, with NYT’s Bestselling author Susan Mallery and Executive Editor of Harlequin Books, Mary-Theresa Hussey as the speakers.
Mary-Theresa talked about all the things Harlequin is doing, and frankly it made my head spin. But what really caught my attention as an author was when she talked about all the work the editors there do learning the craft of writing. They attend intensive workshops on writing, they read selected writing books and discuss them, they also read fiction books and analyze them in meetings. They do the same with movies. I hope I’m remembering this all correctly. But it was very surprising to me.
At one point, some friends and I were having breakfast with Mary-Theresa and I asked her why they do that, and how they use it. I was intensely curious. And she had a fantastic answer–it gives them the language to explain to authors what is working, and what needs some revising in their manuscripts. Let me tell you, as an author who has worked with four different editors to date–that is BRILLIANT. It makes complete sense to me. And it shows their ongoing commitment to really grow and develop authors and careers.
Harlequin is doing many amazing things, and truly trying to be on the cutting edge of the dramatically shifting tides of publishing.
The afternoon speaker was Susan Mallery. Susan’s latest book, ONLY HIS, hit #3 on the NYT’s in it’s debut week. GO SUSAN!!! Susan has written over a 100 books and has built a truly amazing career by always putting her readers first. I was tremendously inspired by her speech, and wish I’d taken notes. Her main point was Don’t Give Up! She illustrated that beautifully. Then she went on to talking about setting goals and not getting side tracked. One of the “sidetracks” might be an contract offer that takes you off the path to your true goal. Those are the two that come to my overloaded brain at the moment. They were much more powerful in the context of her speech. I could have listened to her for hours.
And I hung out with my friends.
From left to right: Susan Mallery, Kate Carlisle and Maureen Child (aka Regan Hastings)
Me and Mindy Neff
Okay, I have more pics–but I’m in those and wish to spare you all
How was your weekend?
October 10th, 2011 at 2:23 am · Link
What a wonderful time you had. That’s what’s so great about you – I really feel your emotion while reading what you write, even a blog post :).
Having the editors do those workshops is SO smart.
My weekend was good. Eldest son had some work displayed at a gallery Saturday night. And yesterday we had a huge party for hubs mom. She turned 90 .
October 10th, 2011 at 7:45 am · Link
What’s this about no more pics because you’re in them? You look great, lady – share it with the world. Sounds like you had an awesome time. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around editors reading all those writing books.
The weekend here was good. My football team won and they’re ranked! Next week :fingers crossed: they’ll break into the top ten. It’s been so long since Michigan even had a winning season. In other news, I took Fri and Sat off, so I didn’t quite get as much accomplished as I wanted. Plus, I hit a snag in one book and realized I need to go back and rewrite two chapters’ worth of stuff. That should keep me busy for a while. LOL
October 10th, 2011 at 10:06 am · Link
You are one terrific looking witch! And so fun to see Kate and Maureen! I should have asked you to give them a big hug for me! I need to poke all three of you about the NRCA! *poke* *poke* *poke*
College football teams rocked hard and creamed their opponents. Both are undefeated and ranked in the top 10. We’re hoping they stay undefeated until they go head-to-head in conference play at the end of the season. That game will be a nail-biter! MLB team pulled the playoffs out of their…well, they pulled it off as a wild card team and are now playing their hated rivals in the Central Division for the NL Pennant and a chance at the World Series.
It rained all weekend. FOUR INCHES! Jiminy but we needed it! Now we’re only 6 inches below normal for the year.
Writing was going well until the characters conspired against me. After only 650 words yesterday, I backed away from the keyboard to think about what they insisted on doing. Dang if they aren’t right but it means going back, changing some action and POV. That’s on my list today. Tomorrow I get a haircut!!!! YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY! I’m not excited or anything.
And FYI? After hearing about what Harlequin is doing, I want to get my foot in their door even more than ever now!
October 10th, 2011 at 10:46 am · Link
Viki, so true about editors. Mary-Theresa in particular has been a long time friend of our chapter. She is one of the smartest women I know, and very articulate and interesting. Susan is an amazing author, and speaker. That isn’t always the case with authors. Personally, she’s very smart and funny
You had a great weekend! Happy Belated Birthday to your hubs mother. 90 is quite a milestone! And your son! That’s very exciting, I’m assuming it’s art work or photography that was shown int he gallery?
October 10th, 2011 at 10:50 am · Link
B.E., um thanks, but I getting tired of seeing myself, so I know you all must too. (Even though I’m thinking about posting a stupid pic of myself tomorrow). And that is exactly how I felt listening to Mary-Theresa describe what they do. And then at breakfast, she talked in depth about the various books and programs they read and attended. It was amazing.
B.E., congrats on your team! Winning is so much better than losing On taking time off, it sounds like you needed to step away to think about your next step, and figured it out. Rewriting those two chapters will get everything moving again!
October 10th, 2011 at 10:56 am · Link
Silver, thanks. I think you’re exaggerating
It’s funny, I was just thinking about the NRCA when I was leaving the gym today. I’ll make a note to look at it. And if I’m super organized, I’ll remind Kate and Maureen.
It was evidently a good weekend for all the witches’ teams! LOL!
4 Inches of rain at one time is a heck of a lot, but glad the horrible dry spell has broken.
Ah, yes, the stubborn, demanding characters that refuse to go any further until they get their way. I’m so sorry they are harassing you too, and even more sorry that you have to admit they are right, LOL! You give in more gracefully than I do!
I’m laughing about your hair cut. Few things make us feel as good as good hair And I thought of you when I was listening to all Harlequin is doing!
October 10th, 2011 at 11:30 am · Link
Yes Jen, my eldest is a graphic artist and works at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. If you went to Comic Con the past two years he designed the name plates you all wore. He also has had something really cool to do with the TV show The Walking Dead but I’m not allowed to say anything- oops – this doesn’t really count
October 10th, 2011 at 1:33 pm · Link
Wow! Sounds like you had a blast! That’s so great! My weekend was blah, spent most of it cleaning or studying. We did have a family cookout Sunday afternoon.
October 10th, 2011 at 7:58 pm · Link
Viki, my oldest loves THE WALKING DEAD! And that is super cool. Sounds like he’s building a spectacular career. I imagine you are very proud!
October 10th, 2011 at 7:59 pm · Link
Shiloh, I hope you at least got to relax on the Sunday cookout. You’ve been working so hard!