Squawk Radio

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Lisa on "Finding Nora"


Dear ones, I missed you all, but oh, what a fabulous retreat Eloisa and I went to at Harper's Ferry! Actually, I have two regional conferences to report on . . . the one I attended while sober, and the one at which I was an AUI . . . an Attendee Under the Influence. These both happened to be the same conference, by the way.

Drunk or sober, it was without a doubt an Excellent Adventure.

The booksigning at Nora and her husband Bruce's delightful "Turn The Page" bookstore was a mob scene of happy women. I sat next to Eloisa, owing to the fortunate proximity of J and K in the alphabet, and we signed books without pausing for approximately four hours. "So this is what a real booksigning is like," I mused to myself. That thought was immediately followed by . . . "No, this is what a Nora booksigning is like." Nora's dashing husband Bruce, displaying a sensitive understanding of a romance writer's needs, kept us well supplied with chocolate, caffeine and ballpoint pens.

I gave a speech on Friday night at which I let loose all my fervent passion and enthusiasm for the craft of writing romance novels, not to mention explanations of what stepping on a tar ball feels like, how destructive an armadillo can be to one's back yard, and how my husband once had to chase down a garbage truck to retrieve my accidentally discarded manuscript. The conference attendees were the kindest, loveliest women in the world--you had to be there to feel the spirit of joy and closeness we all shared. And that was before the bar opened.

I see from Eloisa's post that she has revealed my deep, dark secret. I, Lisa Kleypas, am a chatty drunk. Enough said.

In return, I would like to make a three-part announcement . . . first, Eloisa is not only stylish and talented, she is intelligent to a frightening degree. Second, she can find homoerotic undertones in anything including a game of tic-tac-toe. Third, she will spend the equivalent of a monthly car payment on a bra. Eloisa's speech on Saturday was dazzling and earned thunderous applause, especially at the end when she removed her jacket to reveal a hot pink low-cut top that represented her essential romance-writerliness.

Hmm . . . industry news . . . well, there was a lot of discussion about the future of historicals with no definitive conclusions. However, it was pointed out that historicals are still hitting the NYT list regularly, and it is still perceived as being easier to build an author to that level more quickly in historical than contemporary. Other news: Kate Duffy, an editor at Kensington, bonded with Eloisa over their shared love of MaryJanice Davidson's Dead and Unwed series . . . Mary Jo Putney is just about to come out with her first fantasy romance which should be spectacular . . . and everyone in the world is dying to buy Nora Roberts' "Black Rose". Shocker, huh?

Speaking of Nora . . . I was the lucky, lucky, lucky winner of a coveted raffle prize . . . a tarot card reading from Nora herself! Since I am not drunk at the moment, I have enough self-control to keep my reading private, except to say that Nora was completely on target with everything she said to me. She is great. And nice. I glowed in her presence, so much so that I had a hot flash afterward and had to cool down with a big old sea breeze.

I made some new Cool Friends at the retreat, including Jennifer Crusie who tolerated my enthusiastic fawning with great kindness, Kathy Seidel whose every utterance is either a pearl of wisdom or else just hysterically funny, Susan King who is lovely in every way . . . and like every other human being on the planet, I marveled at the gorgeous skin, classic beauty and all-around perfection of Pat Gaffney. Also met the adorable Sally Mackenzie, author of "The Naked Duke", copies of which were leaping off the shelves and into readers' arms at the booksigning. I know why. It's cute, happy, has a bright red cover, is priced at 3.99, and has the word "Naked" in the title. I wonder if my editor will let me change the title of my next book to "The Naked Wallflower" . . . ?

Off to ponder this.
Love to all!
Lisa Kleypas, 2:20 PM