Robin’s Daily RWA Journal
July 27th, 2000

Interesting day! My second day at the Romance Writers of America Annual Conference started out with Mary Jo Putney’s excellent Key Note Luncheon speech.

Because this was an audience of romance writers not readers, Mary Jo’s speech dealt with many of the joys and challenges that go along with being a committed writer. She talked about the passion that must precede being published and the profound satisfaction that the work should bring. This passion should override everything. Referring to the wonders of writing on a computer Putney quipped, “It amazes me that people used to write books with feathers. Now that’s passion!”

While Putney also sympathized with the many trials of romance writers she also cautioned them against the temptation to be whiners, joking that writers whine at least in part because they’re creative and it’s fun. But she warned against sliding into bitterness because negativey saps creativity.

Later in the day I was lucky enough to run into Suzanne Brockmann, who sat down and gave me a wonderful interview on her works in progress. Thankfully, she has many more Tall, Dark and Dangerous titles planned and will be doing a single title every six months. With the amazing success of her SEALS books, Suzanne pointed out that the advantage of the series over a family is that you never run out of SEALS wheras you will eventurally run out of family members in a series about brothers. “People just love’um so you know I’ll just keep going until they tell me to stop. I love writing that world that I created. Its a blend of fantasy and fiction.”

I asked Suzanne who was the romance hero that had made the biggest impression on her. Suzanne told me she has three favorites, the first of whom she first shared with our readers back in a 1997 Write Byte – Hans Solo from Star Wars. “Hans Solo affected me in ways that I cannot begin to explain. Another is the character Shane, from Jack Schaefer’s Western classic Shane (Suzanne wrote a DIK review of this book for us several years ago). According to Suzanne, “There’s a little bit of Shane in every single one of my heroes.” Finally, there’s the Star Trek triumvirate of Spock, Captain Kirk, and Doctor McCoy. Suzanne told me with this group “you get that whole friendship. Even thought they are so different.”

Then AAR editor Nora Armstrong and I spoke with newly published author Claudia Dain. Claudia was over the moon after a successful meeting with her agent and publisher. The joy on her face and that of her husband and little girl was delightful. I asked Claudia about the romance hero who had made the biggest impression on her. She said “Well recently it was Woverine in the new X-Men movie – Wolverine was the classic romance hero in that he was very powerful, tortured, very dominant and dominating. And yet, was very self sacrificing.” She added that he clinched his spot when “he admits to the female character that it is painful to unsheath his tallons, when every time he takes them out he is defending her.” Oh wow!

We also had a great conversation with Teresa Mederios. Theresa was extremely generous with her time and I’ll be using most of the interview later. She told us about her transition from nursing to writing, her latest book, The Bride and the Beast, and about some of the books that influenced her before she began writing. Her favorites included Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, Phyllis A Whitney and the Anya Seton’s Katherine.

I asked Theresa about the romance hero who had hit her the hardest and she named Devon in Laura London’s classic The Windflower.

That’s all for tonight. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.

— Robin Nixon Uncapher

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