Journal Entry – Day 1, July 10, 1996

To say I felt like a kid in a candy store is not at all hyperbole. The convention is being held at the elegant Wyndham Anatole Hotel, and I spent the day meeting authors, listening in on seminars and generally soaking up the sights and sounds of this very exciting event.

It was a romance fan’s dream. I ran into Anne Stuart, Thea Devine, and Suzanne Barclay in the hallway of the hotel. They very graciously agreed to future interviews for The Romance Reader. While power-lunching with author Connie Brockway, who should be sitting at the very next table, but Catherine Coulter? I interviewed Kim Cates and Adrienne deWolfe, at length, spent time with Carolyn Woolston, and caught up with Elizabeth Elliott for dinner. Wow!


Quote of the Day (courtesy of Thea Devine):
“Romances are really love letters to men. Each of my books is really a love letter to my husband of 30 years.” Thea writes her very sensuous romances for Zebra, and her newest book is Sinful Secrets. With a delightfully wicked gleam in her eye, she gifted me with a copy of her new book and a refrigerator magnet that I’ll have to find somewhere else to use — it’s not appropriate for my 4-year-old to see.

What else can I call the decision of Adrienne deWolfe to quit her job and move to a different city to pursue her muse? She persevered for four years until her first book was published. Now, because of a medical condition, she can no longer write in a traditional manner and uses a voice-activated computer to pursue her craft. That’s dedication!

Adrienne writes for Bantam and Texas Lover, the second book in her Texas trilogy, is just now being released.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words (or maybe two pictures are worth a hundred thousands words):
A former art teacher and student of art history, author Elizabeth Mayne recalls two pictures that changed her life. One was “The Honors of Scotland”, an oil painting that depicted Evan McGregor presenting honors to the Regent in 1822. The other was “The Beautiful Mrs. Graham”, a hauntingly beautiful Gainesboro. Although these two kids in real life had nothing to do with one another, Elizabeth just had to bring them together in her current release, Man of the Mist. In the words of the author, “What a hunk! There’s a hero for you.” Elizabeth writes for Harlequin Historicals.

From a medieval Muslim/Christian Marriage to a piece of Americana:
I literally ran into Carolyn Woolston, who was looking as befuddled as I felt as I tried to sort out the day’s many varied activities. How delightful that the first person I met at the conference is the writer of one of the first books I reviewed for The Romance ReaderWestern Rose. Readers may remember that the book’s heroine was based on a “real” person. Carolyn told me that real person was her grandmother.

Currently working on her second book for Harlequin Historicals, Carolyn confided that the first book she wrote remains unpublished after seven revisions. Seems a medieval with an inter-faith marriage between a Muslim and a Christian is still a bit too hot for most publishers to handle.

Funny, frank and feisty:

After reading the Q&A with Connie Brockway on this web site, I knew I had to meet her. As funny, frank, and feisty in real life as she appears in the article, she filled me in on some of the woes a writer might face with her publisher. Such as outgrowing your editor. Such as becoming an orphan author when the editor who bought your book leaves the publisher and the author is assigned to an editor who might not like your work and might not even like romance.

Connie writes for Dell. Her most current release is the historical A Dangerous Man.

If she only knew then what she knows now. . .
Kim Cates, author of two-hanky reads Stealing Heaven and Gather the Stars, talked, among other things, about her first book, Sky of Ashes, Sea of Flames. Set in Ireland during the famine, she now realizes that her heroine and hero were performing deeds that would have been nearly impossible, as both would have been too ill and weak to do them! Live and learn. Kim, who writes for Pocket Books, sat for a full-length interview which will appear shortly on this site.

Which is better — The Warlord or Scoundrel?:
Author Elizabeth Elliott and I caught up over dinner on absolutely everything . . . and nothing. Currently working on her part of an anthology for Bantam, she is also cramming, trying to meet a September deadline on another full-length historical. She and I competed for guilt trip of the day: When she left the Twin Cities this morning, her six-year-old cried, “But I want to bake cookies with you today!” To which I responded that my four-year-old so wanted to be with me tonight so badly that she said, “I’ll stay in the car while you go talk to your authors, Mommy!”

On tomorrow’s schedule: Talks with Jill Barnett, Anne Stuart, Ruth Langan, Jill Marie Landis and more.

TTFN, Laurie Likes Books

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