Saturday, March 26, 2011

GRW Meeting Part 1: Suzanne Brockmann

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.


Nicki Salcedo said...

I was right there with you on the reading until the sky opened up and everyone in my house started crying... Great day. Great Suz. Great recap.

Pam said...

So sorry, Nicki. This too shall pass. Let me know how your book turns out. Thanks for stopping by. :-)

unstoppablestart said...

Pam - I am so grateful to have had the seat next to you at yesterday's meeting. Suzanne was a dynamic and heart-felt speaker who I won't soon forget. And to share the day with you and our fellow GRW members made it that much more incredible. Happy reading! - Lindy

Pam said...

Yes, Lindy, it was a great day. Thanks for the delicious lunch, too! I am looking froward to comparing notes with you on our books. With the gloom outside, today is a perfect day for reading!

Julee J. Adams said...

How fun! Glad you had a great conference and got to meet an author you love. 50 books? And see, you were going to give up after only finishing one! Enjoy!

Pam said...

Julee, I get discouraged from time to time, but the truth is I'm in it for the long haul. Days like yesterday help keep the motivation strong. And now, back to my book. :-)

Tami Brothers said...

You totally hit the nail on the head with this post, Pam. I LOVED Suzanne Brockman and am reading this same book (although I totally forgot to go back when the line had thinned to get them signed...grrr...).

It was great seeing you yesterday and I can't wait to read the next post for the GRW meeting.


Pam said...

Tami, I'm glad you enjoyed my post. I am almost finished with the book at this point; it will be fun to compare notes after you have read it. I am working on today's post and hope to have it up before midnight...

Carol Burnside aka Annie Rayburn said...

I miss days like you've described. GRW has some of the BEST meetings!

Pam Asberry said...

We missed you too, Carol. GRW ROCKS!

Regge Ridgway said...

great post. liked the inspirational gems from Suzanne also. Have to tell my wife about her books. Keep up the great writing.

Pam Asberry said...

Hey Regge! Thank you for your comments. Suzanne was delightful. If you ever have an opportunity to hear her speak, go for it! I finished "Kiss and Tell" and enjoyed it thoroughly. It was my first Suzanne Brockmann book but it definitely won't be my last!