News From the Nest 5/06

  Book in, I emerge from solitude ... 

And what better coming out party than a visit to the St. Louis chapter of Romance Writers of America, who invited me to present my half-day workshop, "Finding Story Through Character," at their April meeting.  What a terrific time we had at the reception they held for me!  Joining me for the group photo were some of our favorite writers, including (front, wearing lime green, to my left) Eileen Dreyer (aka Kathleen Korbel); Shirl Henke (second row, 2nd from left) and Patricia Rice (Shirl's left); and (top, 3d from left) Karyn Witmer-Gow (aka Elizabeth Grayson).  We're surrounded by a group of promising writers whose hospitality knows no bounds.  Thanks, MoRWA!

Back home I hosted the quarterly meeting of Midwest Fiction Writers' Published Author's Network.  Often teased about my obsession with doll collecting, I decided to start the meeting with a bunch of vintage Barbie Dolls that wanted dressing.  My collection of period costumes was a hit.  Left, our newest member, Helen Brenna (just sold her first book to Harlequin) and Susan Kay Law share writing tips as they struggle with tricky Barbie togs. Below, Susie triumphs over tiny hooks and eyes.  New member (center) Cynthia Williams's "hot hot hot" stories are available online and through Amazon.  Michele Hauf (right) enjoyed vamping up the American Girl Barbie whose classic long bob she deemed "homely."  I suspect the Marie Antoinette garb had visions of beheadings dancing in Michele's head. 

   

How did I get them to play dolls with meIt's my house, and I'm co-chair of the group. The pair of living dolls to the right are Lois Greiman (blonde, my co-chairman) and Anne Frasier (titian hair, which is Barbie for redhead) both of whom enjoy keeping readers in suspense.  Do visit the web pages I've highlighted throughout this page and meet these wonderful authors "up close and personal."                        

A meeting of the subgenres.  Judy Baer (left) writes Inspirational Romance and Christian "chick-lit."  Michele Hauf is the author of books classified as contemporary romantic suspense, historical romance, and standout fantasy romances, including an angel series and several vampire romances.  Talk about variety!  Our writers' group has it all. 

   

                            

Connie Brockway was given the added challenge of figuring out the order of the layered underwear worn by the proper Victorian lady beneath her day dress.  She did it without blinking an eye, proving what readers of her terrific Regency and Vicorian era historical romances already know.  Connie knows a corset from a bustier.  For a closer look at the dolls in their costumes, visit my "Babs Through the Ages" page.  Some of these period outfits are truly amazing! 

Playtime is just about over.  I'm working on a proposal for a sequel to RIDE A PAINTED PONY.  And I haven't even gotten PONY's line-edits back yet.  Am I in for major revisions?  Is the hero's partner worthy of his own book?  Stay tuned!  

                                 Mira Books (12/06)