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Looking for Topics

I’m toying with the idea of a live chat of some sort–with video!–either having to do with Romance Is My Day Job and/or romance writing in general. I’d love for any suggestions for topics, especially for those wanting to write romance novels or those who love reading them. Maybe if this goes well, I might do more than one.

Thanks in advance for any feedback.

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Romance’s First Book Club

Bible Group Reading TogetherThis past week, I attended my first book club for Romance Is My Day Job–and in Manhattan, where so much of the story takes place. If my computer hadn’t crashed the day after, I would have posted the details sooner.  And if I hadn’t been worried about my soon-to-crash computer, I would have thought to take pictures.

You might remember that last Tuesday in NYC, it was painfully humid. I wheezed and sweat buckets all the way to my destination. I met seven intelligent, vibrant women, and we chatted about the book, partook in refreshments, and laughed a lot. After this two-hour book/me/Sam/romance-fest, I knew I wanted to do many more of these. What a total blast!

These readers really discuss their books (for fifteen years now), and with me, didn’t hesitate to ask hard questions about:

1. My family dynamic now

2. Are Sam and I still happy? The realities of happily ever after

3. Why did I write in the present tense? Wouldn’t past tense be more natural?

4. Why did I put that awful event toward the end and not sooner?

5. How did I feel exposing so much about my life?

6. What’s next?

7. The reality of meeting someone in person after “meeting” over a computer

8. What is my responsibility in the string of failed relationships?

9. How Sam feels about The Book (we have a song: thebookthebookthebook…thebookthebookthebook, repeat)

10. As an editor, did I have a hard time being edited? (no, it was awesome!)

11. What is the bigger message?

In addition to the experience of meeting these women, I loved the surprise on their faces when they saw that I’d brought Sam–the hero of my book–along. Having him there allowed them to hear another side of the story. It was such an enjoyable night. Discussing books–all books–is an addiction for me. I love to know what people are reading and make lists upon lists so that I can add to my own ridiculous To Be Read pile.

Thanks, First Book Club (Jackie and friends!).  Now I will back up my computer. Again and again.

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Happy Birthday Week to My One!

sp 5The hero of Romance Is My Day Job would hate for me to divulge his exact birthday and he’s not an attention hog but I would like to pay a short tribute to him and his special day. Heck, let’s make it the entire week. Here are just a few traits that make him special (barf bags available upon request):

  • Sure he’s handsome, smart and sensitive. I’ll just say that ahead of time. It’s kind of boring.
  • He’s the last person to leave a party because he often gets caught up in conversation and loses track of time. Plus, free snacks and drinks are a bonus!
  • I’ve never met anyone more in touch with his relatives without actually living with them. He adores his family.
  • He has high reading standards. Just the news, Classics, and the occasional witty memoir (like Gary Shteyngart–though pretty much every guy loves him).
  • Even if you’re a shmuck, he never gives up on you. He is a friend for life.
  • Pranks and hijinks are high on his list. If there’s a microphone, he may try to commandeer it. You gotta love the spirit behind his mischief; it can be Andy Kaufman-esque.
  • He walks with his chest out and basically moves like a GI Joe doll. I’ve asked him if he’s ever taken ballet but he says no.
  • The way he falls asleep reading his iPad should be a sitcom. The eyelids grow heavy, the iPad slowly falls over, then the snoring. It always makes me laugh.
  • He can handle running around the city all day long whereas I love staring at the walls from my couch. If it weren’t for him, I’d be even more of a leather pillow watching women squabble on TV.
  • The only time he’s a real jerk is when he’s sick, which happens once a year, usually in the summer. Even this is kind of cute. I just hand him some Mucinex and juice and shut the door.
  • He knows the right thing to do. If you need a conscience, he can help you.
  • He has a loveable way of taking over your possessions. My yoga mat is now his. If I get a yogurt for myself, he will eat it before I can find a spoon. My makeup tray is filled with his razors and contact lenses.
  • When I’m sick or in a bad mood, he’ll go out and get me what I want, as long as it’s not soda or cake. And even these are okay in an emergency.
  • He loves to eat. Watching him eat makes me want to eat, a feat since I’m not a foodie. Also, he doesn’t eat garbage the way I do. His influence has helped me curb my bad habits (mostly).
  • Like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally… he has this little wrinkle between his brows when he’s pissed or confused.
  • After hunting down ingredients, he will make lamb stew, lasagna, Pad Thai, or chili, with loads to spare. The hours he spends cooking are his therapy.
  • He is protective of loved ones, as in, he will save bad news until after my birthday and work behind the scenes to make everything work out.
  • He should teach a course in fearlessness. He doesn’t care who you are and would have no problem calling you. He will jump out of a plane and eat bugs (especially if a nice Bernaise is involved).
  • Popular since birth, he shies away from the spotlight, but somehow winds up in it.
  • He shows up at friends’ parents’ funerals.
  • Even if he’s smarter than you are, he doesn’t make you feel stupid (except when you watch The Bachelor or The Real Housewives of anything).
  • And lastly, he always lets me have the window seat on the plane, not complaining that he’s squashed between two people.

I started making this list during an especially difficult time this past week, when I realized, once again, what a great guy I married. He’s not a big fan of his birthday, but I’m a big fan of his. Happy Birthday, Sam!