Saturday, August 01, 2009
Yes, every pregnant woman feels huge, but consider this: I’m five feet, one inch tall. My younger son, who turns twenty next week, weighed ten and a half pounds. Even though I had a caesarian section, the doctor had to struggle to get the baby out. He was that big.
Well, here I am again, enduring a pregnancy in the heat of summer. Wait! I’m not expanding my family, except in the figurative sense. See, my heroine is pregnant, and she’s generously sharing her discomforts as well as her joys with me.
For her, though, the heat’s not so bad, because she’s giving birth at Thanksgiving. But in fiction deadline world, I’m writing about her now, which means I’m on a different timetable.
Find all this confusing? Imagine how I feel. Still, after eighty-four published books, I should be used to celebrating Thanksgiving in August. And while I have to put up with those annoying prenatal doctor visits, I also get to feel a baby moving inside me again.
Did I mention I’m also eating pie at Thanksgiving without gaining an ounce? Wish I could actually taste it.
The book’s working title is The Surrogate’s Surprise, and it should be out sometime in mid-2010. It’s the second book of my new Safe Harbor Medical series, part of the Harlequin American line. The first book, still without a confirmed title, has a due date of February 2010, and the third, with a Christmas setting, will be issued in December 2010.
While we’re on a medical theme, I should mention my September 2009 release, Doctor Daddy. Both hero and heroine are obstetricians, but the heroine doesn’t have a baby in this one.
Thank goodness. One pregnancy per summer is my limit.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
My best friend of 46 years received this as a gift from her great-niece and shared the idea with me. It's especially wonderful to have on those days that nothing seems to be going right.
Buy a small (no larger than 8 X 10 inch) box with a lid from a craft store. Either wood or heavy cardboard will do. It should be unpainted and undecorated, because you'll be doing the designing!
Paint and add stickers, glitter, or stencil small drawings or short inspirational messages on the outside of the box. Whatever suits YOU. Also paint the inside. When all is dry, add a small notepad of paper and a pen or pencil. The pad can be glue to the lid of the box for safekeeping.
Whenever you think of a small blessing that makes you smile, whether it's the sun shining after a rainy day, the way a kitten's whiskers tickle, or the simple blessing of a child's smile, write it on one of the note papers, fold it, and put it in the box. When you're down and need a pick-me-up, go to the box and take out one "blessing" to read. It will lift your spirits in the gloomiest of times to be reminded that even in the midst of a storm, there are many blessings to be thankful for.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Your thoughts, anyway.
What do you find romantic? What makes your heart melt and your eyes mist?
For me, it's a quiet dinner somewhere with good conversation. It's about giving a date some thought. It's about the day-to-day moments--an unexpected card, a bouquet of wildflowers, a gentle touch to my face.
How about you?
*I hit the road next week for a 5-city tour of the midwest to promote the first book in my new Southern Sewing Circle Mystery Series with Berkley Prime Crime. Specifics on the tour can be found at my website: www.elizabethlynncasey.com. If you're in any of these areas, I'd love to meet you!
Monday, July 27, 2009
Did any of you catch the interview with Nora Roberts on NPR, Saturday, July 18th? Those of you at the RWA Conference in DC probably missed it, unless you saw it in person. I was sailing down the Patapsco, approaching Bodkin Point that morning. It was a beautiful day: sunny, breezy, not too hot (so unusual for the Chesapeake this time of year). I listened avidly, thrilled that our convention was getting national attention! Afterward, I wasn’t so excited. In fact, I have to admit the spot bugged me. Not Nora’s interview; she was direct and professional. She’s a good spokesperson for romance writing. But Scott Simon’s barely concealed snicker was quite irritating. He seemed to think the whole thing was a big joke. Most irritating, he thought we would laugh with him. When he read the opening lines of a romance he had attempted to write—and pitch to an editor—I cringed. It was as bad as it could get: sappy, cliché and completely without heart. He tried to save himself by admitting that he realized he had written a parody, but I didn’t buy it. There was too much “of-course-I’m-better-than-this” in his voice. I got the impression that Nora wanted to smack him.
I came away after listening feeling a little like Rodney Dangerfield: when are we going to get some respect, anyway? There is consolation. Remember how well we’re doing as an industry? Sales of print romances are up and digital is exploding with the advent of all the new e-book readers. I heard one author at conference say that every time a new version of Kindle releases, her back-list sales spike. In this time of recession, people are turning to romance as a way to escape from the bad news that seems lurk around every bend. Romance brings hope, faith, passion, happiness into our lives. And love, most important of all. I think that if readers are buying our books, that’s all the respect we need.
Maybe that’s all we’ll get.
But—on the assumption that you meant well—thanks, Scott Simon. You brought our convention and our writers into the national spotlight for a brief moment. You also tried to make it personal by attempting to put yourself in our shoes. Now, please, go out and read a romance. Be entertained and charmed and take the experience seriously. Respect the writing and the genre. There are lots of romance stories out there to choose from: passionate, sweet, suspenseful, inspirational, fantastic, some just downright bizarre. They all offer one sure thing that life so seldom does: a little love. Just what our world needs now.