Girls Write Out
Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Perfect Vacation -- I have just come off the perfect vacation. I went with my friend Maria to Seattle, Washington. Here's what we did: we went to a coffee shop, we went to a restaurant, we went shopping. Lather, rinse repeat. That's all we did! We ate Indian food twice -- why? Because we could! We visited the coffee shops like on a wine tasting tour, savoring each shot.

Our highlight was my "birthday" dinner. Yeah, it's not until September, but the point of the trip was to enjoy being forty. We went out to this incredible restaurant called Salty's and had an majestic view back at the city. We got brave at the end, took a taxi to the space needle, then looked at each other and said, "nah", we don't want to do that. Then, we walked seventeen blocks home and watched our second romantic comedy, starting at ten. Why? Because we could!

I got a makeover at the Armani makeup counter and to finish it all off, we ate a great lunch at the airport and got a 15 minute massage at the massage bar. It was pure hedonistic joy and I will tell you, if this is what forty looks like, bring it on baby! (Except for the fact that I will spend the week at the gym paying for my eating, drinking and being merry!)
Here's my new cover, isn't it cute? And Poppy like?
Kristin Billerbeck  
posted at 12:16 AM  
  Comments (16)
Delicious Delicious

Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Okay, I've had about all the lettuce I can stand. What is there about dieting that makes you crave chocolate? I'd been so good all last week. Salad with grilled chicken for lunch. Fruit, grilled meats and steamed veggies. Yum. Well unless you spell yum B-O-R-I-N-G. By Friday I was desperate. I looked at Dave and said, "I'm bad. I want candy." He said, "You're not bad unless you GET candy. Come on, let's go get some." LOL He was just as bored with what we've been eating as I was.

So we go to CVS down the street. I have in mind a big bag of my favorite Brach's chocolate covered almonds. Nada. They don't have any. Then I start thinking I'll just get a small candy bar. As I'm browsing the candy aisle I spy this small bar of some kind of dark chocolate I've never seen. It's called Lindt's I think. 70% cocoa it says. Hey, that's suppposed to be GOOD for you. Antioxidants and all that. By now I'm feeling virutous. I'm going to be good. This thing has only 11 grams of carbs. Dave, on the other hand, gets a whole pack of small Almond Joy bars.

We go home with our treasure. I eagerly unwrap my chocolate and take a bite. Not bad I tell myself. Who am I kidding? It's a little like eating cocoa right from the cupboard. Not enough sugar. By the end of the bar, I tell Dave it's not that great. He offers me one of his little Almond Joy bars and I scarf it down. Ah, now THAT'S chocolate.

Not to diss Lindt's bar but if I'm going to be bad, I want to enjoy it!
Colleen Coble  
posted at 8:31 AM  
  Comments (8)
Delicious Delicious

Thursday, May 25, 2006

School's out next week. As I listen to my 800th rendition of the Weird Al Yankovic CD, this thought scares me. Soon, my four children will go outside, play basketball for five minutes and be in to say, "I'm bored." One at a time, naturally. "Can we go swimming?" Wait....five minutes, kid number two appears, "Mom, can we go swimming?" Etc.

It will come to the point where I want to abolish the word mom from the English language.

Here's the thing, I will give them all morning, we will play cards, basketball, they'll go with me to get coffee and get a fun snack and ten minutes later, "I'm bored."

Well, I never signed on to be your daily entertainment. I don't remember ever being in the house when I was a kid. What happened? I think the world just moves so much faster than it did when I was a kid. Man, we spent the day, yes the day, singing along to the Grease album and pretending we were Sandra Dee. Maybe my kids are just smarter than I was. Hmmm.

The thought of writing through this summer is a bit daunting. But I am starting on Tuesday and while I don't have a name for the project, I do have the character. This weekend is my Seattle trip where a girlfriend and I go play and have our moments of peace before summer peels through the air. And may I just add, I have the best kids in the entire world, and wouldn't change a thing!
Kristin Billerbeck  
posted at 4:39 PM  
  Comments (17)
Delicious Delicious

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Scotty and Alice were not your typical couple. They mentored young couples and we were blessed enough to be one of them. They took us into their home time and again. They always had a meal and a laugh to share. They were there for us when our kids came along and loved them too. I can still remember walking into the hospital room of our two-year-old daughter and seeing Alice already there, comforting her. I remember how they enjoyed all the kids’ antics as though they were their grandparents.

Each time I think of them I’m challenged to do a better job of reaching out to others. Scotty had a servant’s heart. Whenever there was a need, Scotty was there. Alice made me laugh till my sides hurt.

Last night we went to see them (they live in a different town). Scotty had cancer. He died before we got home.

Every day is a gift. That’s become my mantra. I want to enjoy every moment of it and encourage others to do the same. My books won't change the world, but it is my prayer that they will encourage the weary and bring a smile to those who need it—especially when life gets hard.

I want to leave behind a legacy of love and laughter—just like Scotty.

Diann Hunt  
posted at 8:38 AM  
  Comments (9)
Delicious Delicious

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Okay, I officially hate dresses. Saturday I'm getting ready for my nephew's wedding and decide to wear a dress. Dresses themselves are okay--it's the pantyhose and shoes that get me. Getting ready, I realize I probably haven't had a dress on in a year. Tugging and pulling for several minutes before I get them up, I lay panting on my bed like a whale that's being squeezed to death by a giant squid.

Okay, I admit maybe the pantyhose were a trifle small, but mostly it was that the only pair I had in the house was the "support" type. What are they supposed to be supporting, and why do they have to feel like they're five sizes too small? But okay, I get them on and I'm waddling around feeling that I'm a sausage. I pull on the dress. That part was easy. Then it's time for shoes. Did I mention that heels are a misery to me because I've broken my feet and ankles so many times? But I can do this, right? Okay, I won't mention the fact that I practically kill myself walking down the stairs when the shoe slides out from under me, but it's one evening. Anyone can wear a dress for one evening.

Let me just say right here that it was the most miserable night I've spent in I don't know when. And I have to do it all over again in a little over two weeks when my own son gets married. And I'll be expected to dance the mother/son dance with my boy! I can see the way I'll have to waddle around now. Any tips, suggestions to make my night fun? Do you all wear dresses commonly? And whose idea was it to make us wear hose and heels? Help!
Colleen Coble  
posted at 6:56 AM  
  Comments (17)
Delicious Delicious

Monday, May 22, 2006

Happily Ever After

Life is full of unhappy endings. Marriages end in divorce. Chidren die. Bad guys escape. But when I buy a book, I'm hoping for a different kind of ending. Hey, I paid for this fictional escape. Let me close the book with a smile.

I'm all for conflict during the story. Bring it on! Make me agonize, make me weep. But when it comes to the ending, don't disappoint me. It doesn't have to end perfectly, wrapped in shiny foil and tied with a bow. But please don't kill the main character, don't break up the marriage I was rooting for, and don't make me cry (unless they're happy tears).

As an author, I realized the seriousness of the happy ending at one of my book club meetings. One lady told me she wouldn't buy a particular author anymore because of the unhappy ending of the book we read. Another lady told me she almost didn't finish MY book because she was sure it was going to end unhappily. She closed the book with only several pages left and wasn't going to open it again. This is a woman who knows me. Fortunately, a mutual friend told her it ended happily, so she finished it. Apparently I'm not the only one who wants that happy ending.
Denise Hunter  
posted at 3:40 AM  
  Comments (13)
Delicious Delicious

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I have a saying, and I'm only half kidding, "Time to change the oil, time for a new car!" First off, I hate to deal with car trouble. Hate it, hate it, hate it. It's a man's job in my opinion, and my dad dealt with it the right way, he bought a new one. So, you ask, how is that fulfilling your Christian purpose? Um, I witness to car salesman? Okay, not really. In fact, I am a pretty good dealer now, so I think I'm probably not a witness at all, actually. But I get a great deal -- which makes me a better steward. Except for the fact that I don't really need a new car. But that's just splitting hairs, isn't it? A deal's a deal!

Anyway, I admitted to my new pastor that I have a car fetish. He was appalled, shocked, gave me the Christian guilt thing (which doesn't really work on me, I was raised Catholic) and I stood there, shamefaced, and wishing I could slink off in a leather-appointed foreign make. I miss Silicon Valley, where such a fetish is not only overlooked, it's appreciated. My old pastor understood me. He appreciated a 645i or a passing Lexus 450 with the awe that is what every car lover posseses. He understood the Boxter is the girl Porsche.

This is one thing that's hard about living here. People don't get the car thing -- it's a mere vehicle to get you from Point A to Point B -- hopefully with lots of tow capacity. I'm living without a phone. I'm living with no neighbors on ACREAGE. I left the beloved city, but I will not. I repeat, I will not give up my car aspirations. It is everything I am. And it is not a contentment issue. I could live in a smaller house, I could have fewer vacations, but I will not drive an average vehicle. I am Kristin. Hear me roar!!

Oh, that's a picture of the new rug I got. Isn't it gorgeous? Silk and wool. Okay, so I'm not exactly suffering out here, but a little drama is good for the soul.
Kristin Billerbeck  
posted at 11:54 PM  
  Comments (25)
Delicious Delicious

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

My husband and I are staying with three of our granddaughters (ages 6, 4, 2) this week while their mom (our daughter) and dad bask beneath the warmth of the Florida sun. We’re only four days into this. I’m slugging around like Egor, eyelids hanging down to my knees, and I’m thinking one “boo” could send me to my heavenly reward.

Let’s see, the youngest tried to eat green fingernail polish yesterday, and today she decided to pour pink polish on her jeans, her shirt, her sweater, and finally, her belly and hands. Amazingly enough, she still somehow managed to slip in a manicure/pedicure in the process.

The house reeks of nail polish.

Have I mentioned that I’ve discovered that my angelic little granddaughters do not always appreciate one another? Can you imagine? As in, “Sister, you touch my toy, and I’ll break your hand.” Must have gotten that from their father’s side.

Today one wanted to play music and swirl around in her princess costume. Another wanted to watch videos. In the SAME room. The two-year-old snitched Princess’s cookie, the dog threw up, the music screamed to decibels that made my ears pop and naptime swooped down upon the unsuspecting trio before they could blink.

To all you Moms out there. I applaud you. I’d forgotten what a challenging task you face every day. Thanks for all you do!

In the meantime, it’s back to the kid jungle for me. But when these girls grow into teenagers? I’m so outta here!

Diann Hunt  
posted at 7:29 AM  
  Comments (10)
Delicious Delicious

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Writers are obsessive people watchers. We have to be to be able to write realistic characters. I was at Wal-mart Saturday picking up something for my mother. It was late--after eight--and Mother's Day was the next day. I saw this big burly guy with tattoos and an earring searching card by card for the right message for his mom. A truck driver perused bottles of perfume. Three teenage girls browsed the housewares aisle. A young man dithered over two pairs of earrings. He held a Mother's Day card in the other hand, so I assumed the earrings were for mom and not for himself!

Seeing people from all walks of life turn out to pack the aisles at Wal-mart for the perfect gifit for Mom reminded me that everyone has a mother. Even though we all look different, we're all the same under the skin. We all have a universal need for unconditional love and acceptance. Our moms are the usual source of that love. We moms are "God with skin on." I'm an aging baby boomer now, but when something good or bad happens, I call my mother. When I sold my first book, I called and screamed in her ear. When my grandma died, my mother comforted me better than anyone even though she was going through the same pain. There's just something about Mothers. My own kids do the same thing. I hear about Parker (Kara's dog) playing with his new playmates at See Spot Clean. I get to rejoice with her about the new love in her life. I got a call on Saturday from Dave and Donna out getting their marriage license (oh happy day!).

Really, being a mom is the greatest thing in the world. Okay, except for that thing when they're teenagers and think your name spells S-T-U-P-I-D. Get through that and you've got it made. Then when they have their own teens, you can remind them of all the crappy things they did to you! And snicker under your breath.
Colleen Coble  
posted at 6:48 AM  
  Comments (7)
Delicious Delicious

Monday, May 15, 2006


We've all heard it. Shoot, we've all said it. And it's in the Bible, so it must be true. I'm just not quite so sure we believe it. Here's how Webster defines "blessing": Something promoting or contributing to happiness, well-being, or prosperity; a boon.

Given that meaning, I think we can all agree children qualify (most of the time). The thought that struck me on Mother's Day is this: if children are a blessing, why don't we all have nine or ten?

I mean, when God sends other blessings (health, money, love) I don't ever recall wanting a limit.

"Please God, I already have three hundred dollars. You can stop the blessing now."
"God, I have enough good health."
"You know, God, I already have three contracts, and I love them. But I don't want any more."

I don't pretend to have the answers, I'm just posing the question: if children are a blessing, how come I only want three?
Denise Hunter  
posted at 7:04 AM  
  Comments (13)
Delicious Delicious

Friday, May 12, 2006

I am Kristin Billerbeck and I am a perfectionist. Okay, not in areas that would actually help me (like worrying about a clean house, or baking the perfect Mom cookies) No, I am a perfectionist of the worst sort. I never do things "right" and then I tend to beat myself up about it. For example, I bought this gorgeous Persian rug on Tuesday. I LOVE it, but it doesn't have the right colors in it, and I had to take down the painting, and I'll have to make other changes to the room because the rug isn't "right". Which automatically makes other things "wrong".

So I either live with the changes, or I admit I did it "wrong" and take it back. Which is probably what I should do, but like a child I've become attached to the beauty of the rug, and now my mind goes back and forth. The rug is wrong. The rug is beautiful. How can I full enjoy the rug with this brain of mine? And is life ever really perfect? Granted, the rug is a symptom of a bigger issue, but there it is.
Kristin Billerbeck  
posted at 10:36 AM  
  Comments (15)
Delicious Delicious

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Attention all you landscape artists. We need help.

Okay, here’s the deal. We had huge shrubs in front of our home. Huge, as in, dark and foreboding. The perfect look if I was a suspense writer, but well, it just doesn’t work for lady lit. Soooooo my husband and a neighbor tackled those suckers and yanked them out of the ground. It looks wonderful. The only drawback is now I have to keep my windows clean, but it’s a small price to pay.

The area sort of curls around the front. There are a few smaller bushes, nicely trimmed that will stay. But we have to figure out what else to put in that area. Something LOW MAINTENANCE. Though I would love to have a front yard bursting with colorful flowers, it just ain’t gonna happen. I could kill a cactus.

As a matter of fact, if a wildflower sprouted up in our yard, we’d throw a block party. The sad thing is our neighbors treat their lawn to kill off dandelions, and I can’t even grow ‘em. With a sorrowful glance I watch them die a slow death. They go from being sturdy, healthy plants to all gnarly-looking. It’s pathetic, really.

So as you can see, we need you. Our yard needs you. I know if we end up having the worst lawn in the neighborhood, you just couldn't live with yourself. So how about it? Any suggestions--besides an appointment with Dr. Phil?

Diann Hunt  
posted at 7:27 AM  
  Comments (12)
Delicious Delicious

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

No, I'm not talking about Beverly Lewis, Lori Copeland, or Hannah Alexander, though they ARE great! It's the man and woman in the back row on the left. CPO's signing in Springfield MO (4145 S. National Ave) is always a highlight of my year. Carla (pretty blond in the back) is a powerhouse and knows fiction. She hand sells so many of my books, I should pay her a commission. And CPO's dynamic owner Bruce is always on the floor tending to customers like an employee.

These two should teach a class at ICRS on how to have an effective booksigning. The line was huge (okay, I know most were there to see Beverly Lewis and not me, but still.) They had STACKS of our books and had sent out postcards about the event. It was a truly great day among great people. In case you don't recognize the authors, from the left are Lori Copeland, Colleen Coble, Beverly Lewis. In the back, Carla McCall, Bruce Erdel, Cheryl and Mel Hodde (Hannah Alexander).

Do you have a favorite bookstore? If so, what do you love about it? Do you like someone who recommends books to you or would you rather browse on your own? I love bookstores--the smell of them, the stacks of books just waiting for me to crack the cover.

I hesitate to post this picture because it's going to get me in SO much trouble! My Aunt Edith will be so jealous I met Beverly Lewis. I meant to get you a copy of Beverly's new book, Ede, (and one for me) but she got away before I caught my breath. Next time. :-)
Colleen Coble  
posted at 6:42 AM  
  Comments (4)
Delicious Delicious

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

"Let's have our kids three years apart."

I don't remember which one of us said this back in the day when we were free and childless, but Kevin and I agreed. Three years. Perfect. By the time Child Two comes along, Child One will be potty-trained (worked in theory, but not so much in practice), and Number One will be in school by the time Number Three comes along. Others we know chose to have all their kids close together so they get through all the havoc of small children in one big whirlwind. We thought they were nuts.

Then we had three boys. What are the chances? They all love baseball. What are the chances? Enter Little Leage.

I signed each of them up one by one (call me insane)--different teams, of course, because they're spaced three years apart. Each week I do the math: Five practices plus six games equals one harried chauffeur, twenty hours, and sixteen gallons of gas. Can't one of them love football? Or basketball? Or competitive chess?

So, the three year plan? Not so great after all. Still, I console myself with the thought that the other seasons are sports-free. That, and the notion that one day, in my old age, they will be shuttling me around.
Denise Hunter  
posted at 7:16 AM  
  Comments (6)
Delicious Delicious

Monday, May 08, 2006

Kristy asked me how I came up with my ideas, so I thought I'd blog a little on that today. Usually, it starts with something that fascinates me, a personality conflict or just a personality. Here's just two ideas I've had but they haven't become books yet, then I'll give you how I came up with certain books that did get into print. I was watching Dr. 90210 and Dr. Rey's wife really wants her husband's attention so badly, but he is so into work and tai kwan do, etc., that he only has so much time for her. When she had a breast cancer scare, he was ready to take the phone call with her in her office, but when it was fine, he was back in surgery right then. I thought to myself, what if it wasn't fine? What would he have done then? And what would happen if Haley woke up and realized, you know, I'm not as much in love as I quite thought? And I came up with an idea about a trophy wife who wakes up at 30 and has grown up -- right about the time her husband leaves her for someone younger (which I don't think Dr. Rey would do incidentally!) Idea 2: I'm reading People Magazine, and I see Heather Locklear's estranged hubby is hooking up with Charlie Sheen's estranged honey, and Heather has a daughter. Charlie's got two girls -- and I thought, what does it feel like to be that daughter whose daddy is raising other people's children so he can sleep with their mommy? And now, she's all grown up. Finally, for the Ashley Stockingdale series, it all started with the charactrer of Seth Greenwood. There was someone in church who just fascinated me. He was good looking, could talk intelligently on any subject, was generous to a fault, and yet he could not make it down the altar. He'd been a Christian his whole life, raised in a good family -- and then, one time we had this girl at church as a guest. She was living with her third boyfriend, not a Christian, but there was something about her that just sparkled, and all the Christian men went crazy for her. Bible study just stopped that night, while they all vied for her affection -- knowing she was living with a guy, but they all wanted to be the hero, and rescue her. And I realized how strong the pull to what God doesn't have for us is, and the lie that keeps so many from Christian marriage. And that's how Ashley was born. : )
Kristin Billerbeck  
posted at 12:09 PM  
  Comments (3)
Delicious Delicious

Saturday, May 06, 2006

So I'm in that process I totally despise: coming up with a new idea for a book. My problem is that I have the attention span of a flea in the city pound, and I can't stick with an idea long enough to want to write it. I'm editing Calm, Cool & Adjusted right now, and here's what I do know:

I have to write something I care about.

I want to go back to a little more romance.
And if I had a dollar for everytime someone told me they were going to write a book, I wouldn't need to write one! My girlfriend and I are going to Seattle this month to play. If I can't find inspiration at the home of Nordstrom's (shoe capital!), Starbucks and underground shopping, I'm just not worth my salt. I need to find a character who inspires me as much as Seth Greenwood, based on a real "season" who still hasn't committed. Though he's getting closer. : ) Happy Saturday all! I am going kayaking today. WOOOHOOO!
Kristin Billerbeck  
posted at 11:41 PM  
  Comments (12)
Delicious Delicious

Friday, May 05, 2006

I’ll be sixteen tonight—hey, I write fiction, okay?

How many books or articles have you read that say to take time for yourself, or do something you really love?

Well, tonight my best friend from elementary school days is coming to visit me for the weekend. We have stayed in contact with one another all these years. In fact, Maggie and Lily (Hot Flashes & Cold Cream) were patterned after my friendship with Diana. We probably won’t go rock climbing or bungee jumping (I have my limits), but we might drag out the old records and dance off a pound or two--okay one.

We’ll most likely go see a movie, eat popcorn, talk about “the good old days,” laugh until our sides hurt, eat chocolate, and laugh some more.

When we get together, it’s like all the years just melt away, you know? When I look at her, I see my teenage buddy. We catch up on everything that’s going on with our families and any news of old classmates. It’s a blast from the past every time—and still our friendship is up to date, if that makes sense.

So how about you, do you have a friend or friends like that? Where you can be apart for months, or even years, then within five minutes of getting together again, it’s just like old times? What do you like to do when you get together now (besides make fun of people in the yearbook)?

Diann Hunt  
posted at 7:32 AM  
  Comments (7)
Delicious Delicious

Thursday, May 04, 2006

I think I've gotten even more weird since I've been writing. This fact was driven home to me just today. In MIDNIGHT SEA Leilani Taguma is blinded in an attack. She's learning to navigate by smell, touch and taste. I was writing a scene where she's looking for gum in her purse. What would she smell, I wondered? I picked up my own purse and inhaled just as my husband came into the room. The look on his face spoke volumes.

"What are you doing?" he asked with an expression that suggested he was about to call for the men in white coats. "Smelling my purse," said as if it were the most natural thing in the world. "Why?" he asked. I explained, but I could tell my explanation still didn't cut it. That's when I realized I've seriously gone over the edge. I'm now an eccentric. I smell purses for fun and profit. I'd always thought I'd like to be eccentric as I get older. Now I'm not so sure.

Anyone want to share the weirdest thing you've ever done?
Colleen Coble  
posted at 4:27 AM  
  Comments (9)
Delicious Delicious

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Today is National Wordsmith Day!

No, I didn't make that up. (It's also Lumpy Rug Day--not sure what that's all about, but talk about boring blog material.) So what is a wordsmith exactly? Here's what the dictionary has to say:

word·smith (wûrd'smĭth') n. 1. A fluent and prolific writer, especially one who writes professionally. 2. An expert on words.

I love a good wordsmith. I love coming across a wonderfully written phrase that says something succinctly. Flowery phrases and meaningless description bore me. Give me something with meat and say it in a way I've never heard!

I ran across this good line in a Richard Paul Evans novel lately. I had to stop and read it aloud to Kevin (who, really, could care less, but oh well.)

Those who have the softest hearts build the highest walls.
LOVE that! What's even better is when such a line rolls off my fingertips onto the screen. Ah, what a feeling. Yesterday, I wrote this line in my WIP. I loved it because it perfectly summed up my protagonists feelings and fears about love.
It was one thing to let a man in your bed, quite another to let him in your heart.
So, all you wordsmiths, what favorite phrase or sentence has danced onto your screen lately? Or, if your not a wordsmith, what line has grabbed you and begged to be read twice? Come on, it's Wordsmith Day!
Denise Hunter  
posted at 3:08 AM  
  Comments (7)
Delicious Delicious

Monday, May 01, 2006
We're thrilled to have an interview with Steeple Hill senior editor Krista Stroever! Krista is a familar (and small!) powerhouse at ACFW and other conferences. She talks fast enough to keep up with me, and she is a shaker and a mover in the NY publishing world of Harlequin. She's been a friend and an encourager to me personally and if you have the honor of meeting her, you'll agree that she's one of a kind.

So join the fun and get to know Krista.

Colleen: Is editing just a leap into the writing world? Wouldn't you rather write?

Krista: Actually, no. I love editing; creating is not something I feel a call to do. The first time I knew I wanted to be an editor was when I was in college, and I picked up a romance from someone whose backlist I’d loved—she’d now moved on to bestseller status, and you could tell she was rushing to write these books. It was as I was making notes on the book in front of me that I knew this was something I’d want to do full time.

Colleen: I think the very best editors are ones who are gifted that way right from the start! You're a rare breed, you know. So what do you prefer to see when a submission comes across your desk? A really great voice and story or an average story from an author with a marketing plan and a speaking platform that will sell bazillions? In other words, what's the most important thing--the book or the marketing plan?

Krista: That differs—fiction vs. non-fiction. Non-fiction readers are reading your book because they need information or guidance, and a writer with an impressive platform, or an expert, is someone whose guidance will matter. Fiction readers are reading for entertainment, as well as for an uplifting experience, so you’ve got to have the voice.

Colleen: What's the best part of being an editor?

There are times when everything comes together—you find the right project, it gathers in-house support, gets critical acclaim and finds an eager readership. A codicil to that is when we see letters from readers who were touched by the story. Publishing can be a very insular world—we hear feedback from bookstores and marketing people, so seeing actual readers who appreciated the work the author did is a pleasure.

Colleen: What's the worst part of being an editor?

When a book you really believe in and the house really believes in fails to find its audience. It’s disheartening, but it makes us work all the harder to make sure the books do succeed.

Colleen: I know Steeple Hill does a lot to promote their authors. If a book fails, it's not for your lack of trying! Krista, a synopsis seems to be the bane of the writer--how necessary are they?

Krista: Believe me, we understand how hard the synopsis is—we work on the cover copy! You try boiling a book down to 100 words! J The synopsis is very important—I can’t be sure of where a book is going if I’ve only read the first 3 chapters. I can make an educated guess, of course, but we do need the synopsis.

Colleen: Is there a most embarrassing moment you've had as an editor?

There have been many, but most involve tripping. There was also the time as an assistant when I kept calling an author by her pseudonym until she gently corrected me. (Honey, you can call me Ann, you know.)

Colleen: Tripping! I can so relate, girlfriend! You seem much too dainty to ever be clumsy. LOL So, what are you reading right now?

Krista: I’m a die-hard library fan, because I read so much—I’d be buried in books if I wasn’t able to return them! I just returned SALT by Mark Kurlansky (non-fic) and THE LINCOLN LAWYER by Michael Connelly. I’ve also just finished reading THE ALIENIST by Caleb Carr (for the umpteenth time!) at the gym & on the subway and WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN by Lionel Shriver at home. It recently won the Orange Prize in London, so I thought I’d check it out. Of course, I just got a notice from the library that THE CELL by Stephen King, VERONICA by Mary Gaitskill (again, another prize nominee I thought I’d check out) and a chick-lit by Gigi Grazer are waiting for me, so they’ll be up next! CLUB SANDWICH by Lisa Samson was my gym reading this weekend—I’ve been hooked on her since WOMEN’S INTUITION. The RT review for the newest Linda Hall, DARK WATERS also piqued my interest—she’s one of my steady favorites, so I’ll be putting in a request for that one soon.

I also love my library, because they keep the Love Inspired books right up front by the checkout. And I didn’t even need to ask them to!

Colleen: Oh we are so alike! I LIVE at my libary!

Krista: And I’ll give you my when-I-was-an-assistant story—whenever we were feeling down about our job choice, my roommate and I (because yes, if you are an assistant in publishing, you need a roommate in order to keep a roof over your head) would head to the local bookstore and look up our names in the acknowledgements of the books we’d worked on. That and a latte were a good cure for the blues!

Colleen: Coffee! Now you're talking our language. The four of us are coffee freaks too. LOL Thanks so much for joining us, Krista! It's great to know a Princeton grad can trip, read books at the library, and be just as real and as fun as you are. See you soon!
Colleen Coble  
posted at 9:17 PM  
  Comments (18)
Delicious Delicious

This is going to be a great day! I finished the sequel to Hot Flashes & Cold Cream yesterday. So last night I sent Hot Tropics & Cold Feet into WestBow and today I’m trying to decide if I want to work or play.

Of course, I want to play, but my house is screaming for attention. My office is piled high with paperwork. I haven’t been in there for weeks. Everything gets put on hold when I’m on deadline.

But the idea of hanging out with my daughter and the grandkids, getting a manicure or a pedicure, going to a movie, shopping—any and all of those things call out to me. So much so that I’m sitting here typing instead of planning what I’m going to do today. Which brings me to my blog:

How many of you are list writers? I don’t know about you, but when I get up and make a list of what I want to accomplish for the day, I actually get things, well, accomplished. Who knew? But if I don’t write it down, the task is forgotten before I can get my breakfast oatmeal poured in the bowl. Plus I figure if it works for Santa Claus . . . .

Now that doesn’t mean if I write down all I need to do today that I can’t scrap it all and get a massage instead. That’s the beauty of a list. I can throw one away and start over. But at least a list says I’m attempting to remember to pick up the dry cleaning.

By the way, I’ve lost entire wardrobes at our dry cleaner. I think they’re in cahoots with the area Goodwill. I leave my clothes there too long (no list), and the dry cleaner sells them to the Goodwill. Everybody profits. But me. I’m down to two outfits.

I’m telling you, I need lists or the clothes don’t get picked up, my doctor appointments are missed, the dog gets left at the groomers. In fact, by the time I remembered to pick her up last time (no list), she needed a new haircut.

Some of you keep lists, I just know it (Denise, time to fess up). List makers, now’s your time to be heard!

Diann Hunt  
posted at 7:49 AM  
  Comments (11)
Delicious Delicious

The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

Enter your Email

Powered by FeedBlitz