The Backstory on How I Came To “Meet” March’s Monday Muse (and how cool random networking can be)

My “meeting” of tomorrow’s Monday Muse – the first and I certainly hope not last – of 2011, occurred on FaceBook. It all came about in a rather crazy way, and it just goes to show you how things can kind of just happen.

Flipping through my local newspaper one day last spring, I caught a blurb about the RWA Chicago North Spring Fling. As of yet I have not joined RWA (Romance Writers of America) but may do so in the near future (I go to my first “trial” meeting next week actually.) Anyways, I saw that Sarah Wendell (of SmartBitches fame) was to be a speaker at the  event. I love SB Sarah – she is made of awesome, as I learned while participating in an e-reader test drive she coordinated for Sony a few summers back. So I did the logical thing – I got in touch with her and we set up a little meet n’ greet while she was in town.

When I met up with Sarah in the hotel lobby she was mid-conversation with Carrie Lofty, who was there promoting her new book, Song of Seduction,  that was going to be part of the initial launching of Carina Press.  The three of us sat and chatted for a bit and traded mommy stories (We are all multi-tasking-mavens! Mamas who do it all! The whole reason for Monday Muse to exist! Enough with the exclamation points!). And later when I got home I looked up Carina Press and even liked them on FaceBook – why not, right? This is all part of my craft and the world I hope to be taking by storm very soon, so it never hurts to stay connected. (Also, Carrie will be speaking at the RWA National conference in New York this November, I won’t be able to go – but if you are, and you attend her workshop: The Pitch Witch, please be sure to tell me all about it!)

Just before Sarah and I headed out the door to grab some breakfast, Erica O’Rourke stopped us to let Sarah know how much she enjoyed her presentation. A bit of chatting and Erica and I realized we live in the same town (she is going to be the arm I cling to next Monday at my first RWA meeting). It’s crazy, because since our chance meeting that morning last spring, I run into her almost every week where I teach some of my theatre classes. Erica has had some wonderful success since we met nearly a year ago  – her novel, Unchosen, won the RWA Golden Heart award for best Young Adult manuscript and her book,  Torn, comes out through K teen/Kensington in July of this year.

Yes, I am hoping some of their good fortune rubs itself all over me.

So Sarah and I finally went off and had a lovely breakfast and a great talk – and I made her sign my copy of Bosoms.

Back to my original point (I did have one) – having “liked” Carina Press on FB I now get fun little tid bits, such as: when a book gets released, Carina will post some of the author’s favorite quotes  from her work.  They will also post the first line or two of the novel. While reading one of  the latter I nearly snorted with laughter, it was just so ridiculous. An English Lit major with a strong focus in Victorian era work, the sheer Gothicness of the quoted lines caught my attention and I couldn’t help but add a comment. The thing was, Carina also included a plot summary that I found intriguing, but feared the outrageous prose would prove too much for me. Well, imagine my surprise when the author herself  comments right back with a polite (I am paraphrasing here) “Um, just to let you know, the first lines in the book are actually not “my story” but lines from a novel the heroine is reading.”

OK, now I was hooked. So I bought the book, and then I looked up the author’s personal blog and liked what I found – and so again,  I did the logical thing – I asked the author if she wanted to friend me on FB (I was sure to tell her I wasn’t a lunatic). She must have believed me about the lunatic thing – because she did friend me, and it’s been fun to get a glimpse into her world and get a taste of her thoughts and ideas when I happen to catch them over at FB. “Talking” to her some more I find that we really have quite a bit in common, aside from the desire to write. We both have a strong background in theatre, and we both started our children out in homeschool and chose to continue their education in a non-public school environment.

The author I am referring to is Susanna Ives, and I can’t wait for you to meet her tomorrow when I introduce her to you as the Monday Muse for March.

The book that lured me in was Rakes and Radishes. Available from Carina Press. I will include a review of R&R tomorrow as well, because, as I’ve said before, I’m a multi-tasker.

And come to think of it, Sarah, Erica, and Carrie could all qualify as Monday Muses too – so don’t be surprised if you see them featured here at some point. I’m not one to waste resources.


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