Suzanne Brockmann celebrated the publication of her fiftieth novel at today's Georgia Romance Writers meeting.
Suzanne Brockmann and Pam Asberry
A New York Times Bestselling author, Suzanne was witty and wise, warm and wonderful. In a word, she was accessible. And she told me exactly what I needed to hear.
First, she asked if any of us have ever read a book that was so badly written that we questioned the sanity not only of the author who wrote it, but also the agent, editor and publisher who accepted it.
All hands went up.
Then, she asked if we have ever read a book that was so beautifully written that the story and characters followed us for years.
Again, all hands went up.
Of course, the challenge isn't to write a book better than the first book. The challenge is to write a book at least as good as the second one.
Suzanne encouraged us to swear a solemn oath to do just that.
And she had a lot more to say: about going deep with point of view, about The Four Agreements, about character development, about the future of digital publishing. I hung on every word and hope my writing will be the better for it.
Then I stood in line to have my first-ever Suzanne Brockmann novel, Kiss and Tell, signed by the author. My friend and fellow Petit Fours and Hot Tamales blogger, Sia Huff recommended it to me. Apparently, she has read every book Suzanne has ever written, so when I asked Sia to recommend ONE book to me, this was her choice.
When my turn came, I told Suzanne how much her words had meant to me. I'm sure she hears such platitudes all the time. But I couldn't have been more sincere. I'm telling you: this woman is a dynamic and inspirational speaker.
Turns out she is a wonderful writer, as well. Tonight after I got home I curled up in my jammies with my new book and had a hard time putting it down to write this blog post. I am about a third of the way through the story and I am completely hooked.
The rest of what happened at today's GRW meeting will have to wait until tomorrow.
Because I have a book to finish.