Saturday, March 22, 2008

Positive Saturday

Emily Veinglory put out the request on ERECsite for a Positive Saturday. Amidst all the nastiness and negative that's been floating around epress-romance-bloglandia lately she challenged us to say some good things about our craft. Ironically, I'd already begun to pen this post, and decided to hold off on posting it until today.

I've talked in the past about how much I love to hear from readers, and how I try to let other authors know I enjoy their work, because I would like to hear the same. Still, it always surprises me just how nice so many authors are. Over the last few months, in particular, in my campaign to applaud good books, I've met some ladies who redeem my faith in the romance community, and possibly people in general. So here are some of my favorite authors, who also happen to win at life.

Elizabeth Amber. I read the first in Elizabeth's Lords of Satyr series, Nicholas, a month or so ago. I sent her a message via MySpace letting her know how much I enjoyed the book. A Regency-set paranormal, the series chronicles the stories of three brothers, half-human, half-satyr. Original, masterfully-written, and expertly edited, I was blown away by the book (which in truth I didn't think I was going to like at all). When Raine, book two, was released at the end of February I had already pre-ordered a copy, and when I got it I read it in two sittings. Not only did Elizabeth write me back, we struck up a conversation about writing Regencies, her books, my books, and life in general. This lady just plain rocks.

Gayle Eden. I first started reading Gayle's books (also Regency) about a year ago. I had chance to talk to her directly when a discussion cropped up on EREC about her publisher, Alinar. We took our conversation to email, and she is absolutely one of the sweetest ladies ever. She also carries herself in an impressive manner in public, particularly when being criticized. I think I could learn a thing or two about staying calm in the face of critics from Gayle. A lot of authors could. If you like classical Regency themes with an erotic twist, check out Gayle's work. I highly recommend starting with Whispers in the Dark and A Taste of Temptation.

Marianne LaCroix. Mari and I are both members of First Coast Romance Writers, the RWA Chapter for Jacksonville, FL/northeast Florida/Southeast Georgia. It's at her encouragement that I will be attending my first RWA conference next weekend (with a booksigning, so come by if you're in the area and meet us!). When I emailed her in a panic earlier this week, having no idea what to expect or even what to wear, bless her heart she very patiently and calmly set me at ease. I consider her something of a mentor and can't wait to finally meet her face to face.

Emma Wildes. I've known this fabulous woman since back before my first book hit the eshelves. One of the most talented Regency writers of the day, she's also one of the absolute nicest. Despite putting out books with such startling frequency that I happen to think she's either cloned herself, or set monkeys to work in her basement, she is never too busy to offer a kind word or encouraging advice. We're working on a collaboration right now of Regency stories (along with authors Skyler Grey, Bonnie Clarke, and Cheri Valmont), and we've got big plans. Keep watching for news, and keep your fingers crossed for us too, if you please. You can also thank her for the title of my most popular book, Leading Her to Heaven.

Katrina Strauss. If you pay even the tiniest bit of attention, you already know Katrina is one of my best friends. Regardless, I wouldn't endorse her work if it sucked. We've known each other since back before either of us were published, or even writing original fiction with publishing in mind. She always keeps me on my toes with what she's planning next, and I can't wait to be surprised yet again.

Don't let all the negativity fool you, and don't let a few bad apples spoil the bunch. There are tons of good authors out there, who are also good people. I could go on for days, I think, on this subject. But my Conlaw book is glaring at me like the evil black hole of brain power that it is. Free Speech awaits.

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