I had the pleasure of meeting Susan Elizabeth Phillips at an author event at the Franklin Library in Des Moines last week. It was wonderful.
I met her several years ago in Anaheim at a Romance Writer’s of America National Conference. I attended her workshop and it was very informative and entertaining so I knew her talk would be memorable.
She write’s humorous romances with quirky characters. Most of her hero’s are sports figures. Her heroines are strong women who sometimes find themselves in awkward situations but it always works itself out in the end. If you have shied away from romance thinking you might not like it, I would encourage you to check out this author.
I arrived a few minutes early and met a handful of my Iowa Romance Novelist friends. We sat in a group toward the front. She introduced herself and then she acknowledged our organization. I have never had an author do that. She introduced us to the crowd to let them know about our local authors and to help us maybe attract a few new members.
Most authors stand up front and speak about how they started writing or where they got the idea for their last book. She did do a little bit of that but most of the evening was spent with her reading excerpts from her books and awarding gifts to the first person who guessed the correct book. Even though I have read a few of her books, I soon started feeling inadequate. These women were very familiar with her work and it quickly became a very lively event.
She explained how some of the children in earlier books were brought back and she told their stories. The more she talked about the books, the more I wanted to read them. It was not a good thing for someone like me. I am a bookaholic.
That night I did buy two books and had her autograph them. What hooked me on Natural Born Charmer is the fact that someone is walking down the street in a beaver costume in it. I have to find out what that is all about. I bought First Star I See Tonight because it is her most recent book.
Since then, I have purchased most of the rest of her collection. It will take me a while to catch up and I know I will enjoy every minute.
But before I can start reading those, I had to finish the one I have been reading.
It is a cozy mystery with a protagonist who is a mystery author. Her ex-husband was a college professor and he owned a huge home close to the campus. After his death, he surprised her by leaving his home to her. She decided to make it into a writer’s retreat. She invites writers to spend one week a month there to work on their own books while she as the author in residence encourages them. It was the first in a series and I did enjoy it. The characters were likeable and it kept me guessing until the end where she did hint that her husband’s death may not have been a heart attack like she was originally told; so a little mystery to come.
I continue to work on my projects. Working on the second draft of the novel I finished before I went to Tennessee. I put it away and have just taken it out so that I can look at it with fresh eyes. I meet with my critique group Sunday so need to have something to share with them then.
I am also developing my mystery series. Not a lot to talk about at this point but moving forward.
Until next time, keep writing and reading.