Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Just what the Muse Ordered...

Sometimes opportunities come along you simply can’t resist—never mind that one has worked 12 plus hours and has a ‘to-do’ list that rivals my wip for word count. Such an opportunity presented itself this week. You’ll understand once I explain that this opportunity dealt with not one, but TWO New York Times Best-selling romance authors.

You’ll understand even better when I tell you their names.
Yep. Two of my favorite historical romance authors were here in the Heartland this week and I wasn’t about to let this chance to meet them and pick their collective author brains pass me by.
I wasn’t disappointed.
I’m always fascinated to hear writers’ stories about how they started writing, their writing process (plotter versus pantser), and I very much enjoy hearing of their funny experiences with editors, agents, copy editors, art departments and readers.
I just finished reading Julia Quinn’s latest release, MR. CAVENDISH, I PRESUME. I’d previously read Quinn’s ‘companion’ novel, THE LOST DUKE OF WYNDHAM. These books represent a first for Quinn—and, perhaps, a first period. Two books written with different heroines and heroes, but written about the same incidents but from different points of view. This truly fascinated me and I was curious as to just how one would go about writing these books. So I asked the author.
“With a great deal of difficulty,” Quinn assured me. The books were written simultaneously, which made sense. But, Julia added, it was a very tricky proposition, indeed, as she couldn’t get too much ahead of herself in one POV’s story or it could totally screw up the story for her other protagonists. It was something she’d always wanted to do, she said. But now that she’s done it, Quinn added, she won’t do it again.
It was a difficult multiple birth.
I loved both books!
Laura Lee Guhrke (SECRET DESIRES OF A GENTLEMAN) garnered my amazed respect (and yes, I admit, some ‘NO FAIR!’ sentiment) when she admitted she really has no idea when she starts writing what is going to happen to her hero and heroine. No idea at all.
I am in awe.
Her books are such wonderfully complex, emotional stories that I'd swear she must’ve spent hours and hours and hours on character worksheets, story boards, and white boards with tons of sticky notes. (In other words, my typical SOP.) Sigh.
As I said before, NO FAIR!
I love being around other writers. I love the fact that their thoughts often mirror my own. Or that they understand those little idiosyncracies unique to writers. Or that they think it’s not only perfectly normal to hear voices in your head, but actually believe it’s like a positive thing.
Sometimes this is just what the ‘muse’ ordered.
It certainly was for me.
Writing is a gift.
Writers spending time with other writers:
Hope your week is filled with inspiration and time to recharge your batteries.
~Bullet Hole who may post this early because she can't get it to save~


Lucy said...

I have Julia Quinn's latest to read (I've already read the companion book.). I didn't realize it was the same events from a different perspective. How interesting! I was thinking earlier today that I needed to read that soon but now I really think that!

And yes, I love spending time around other writers too. Nothing really compares with it.

Keri Ford said...

The very best thing about conferences is getting all that face time with other people who understand you and what you do on a daily basis.

I love blogging and visiting my favorite sights because it gives me that flavor of understanding, so to speak. Same for my writing loops.

However did writers make it before the internet??

Christie Craig said...


Sounds as if you had a great time.

I always come away motivated from conferences. I like to think all that talent is contagious.


Terri Osburn said...

I was fortunate enough to have lunch with both of these ladies (and a few other authors like Hoyt, Hern, and Jeffries) during RWA in San Fran. I had met Julia before but it was a first time to meet the others and it was amazing. I remember sitting there and thinking, "I can't believe I'm having a meal with these amazing women!"

To know that they often struggle and flounder as much as the rest of us is so reassuring. LOL! Sounds like you had a great time. Though for the record, I'd feel the same way if I got to sit down with all the Killer Fiction ladies. :)

Gemma Halliday said...

I Love Julia Quinn! Historicals are some of my favs to read. I am in total awe of anyone who can write them. I have a hard enough time keeping my facts straight in my own time period!


Kathy Bacus said...

When I read THE LOST DUKE I wondered if there might be a 'co-book' with Thomas' story and was thrilled to find that was, indeed, the case, Lucy. And I really enjoyed both books.

I'm reading Guhrke's DESIRE now. It's also fabulous!

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

I absolutely agree, Keri. The internet has made it possible for writers to hang out with others of a similar temperament. Since writing is, by necessity, such a solitary occupation, it's nice to be able to reach out and connect with other writers any time you like.

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

I like to hope some of that talent is contagious, Christie. I sure would like some of that NY Times Bestseller karma to rub off on me...!

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

Ah, aren't you sweet, Terrio!

And I think what often strikes me the most about hanging out with writers is how many 'been there-done that' moments I have. It's so reassuring to know that even the heavy hitters in the industry share much the same struggles and insecurities as little ol' me.

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

LOL, Gemma! I hear you about historical facts & research.

My first novel was a western historical. I figured I knew enough about the horse end of the research since I had horses and I've always loved cowboys so that was easy.

Unfortunately, the market for western romances tanked just when I was submitting. I found my way to humorous romantic mysteries and am content in my niche.

~Bullet Hole~

KT Cruiser said...


I was at the event on Tuesday night too, and was just as excited to meet you as I was to visit with Julia and Laura! Thanks for the Anchors Aweigh cover, though in my excitement I forgot to have you sign it!

Readers love author visits too, and though I've never had the chance to meet a movie star, I would choose the author every time. Writers are way more interesting than actors. Perhaps because of all their quirks!

Looking forward to Anchors Aweigh,

Kathy Bacus said...

Hi Kate!

It was great visiting with you the other night. Weren't Julia and Laura fabulous? And to think, we were 'in the know' on the twin developments! ;)

Hope you enjoy AA! Maybe we can get it signed when I do a library event.


~Bullet Hole Bacus~

Estella said...

Sounds like you had a great time!