Circle of friends
November 15, 2007
Okay, she knew this would make me blush but never mind that. Geri Krotow’s debut novel is wonderful, as I knew it would be. Here’s a very sweet post from one of my best friends. Here’s a contribution from Geri:
My dear friend Susan Wiggs has offered to let me blog for the sake of promoting my November release, A RENDEZVOUS TO REMEMBER, a Harlequin Everlasting Love novel. But I figure that if you’re reading this blog on a regular basis it’s because you know and love Susan and her work.
So why blog about me? I’m going to blog about what you come here for—Susan. Of course I hope you go out and by my book, and more importantly, love it. This is my first published novel, and it’s quite the “full-circle” moment. And in my circle of life, especially my writing life, there have been key sister-friends along the way. Some things are meant to be. In spite of what seem to be long-to-impossible odds, people beat terminal diseases. Lovers reunite. A lost pet finds its owners after a long trek across state lines.
And so it is with friends. Some friends we feel an immediate bond with, regardless of any apparent (or unapparent) dissimilarities. One of my “miracle” friends is Susan Wiggs.
I met Susan in July 2000. I remember when because it was my very first Romance Writers of America National Conference, and it was in Washington, DC that year. As Patricia Potter once said at a Memphis RWA meeting, I felt like I’d “died and gone to heaven with all the other writers.” This was a place I belonged. It took a while to find it, but I did.
Very unpublished and somewhat naïve of professional boundaries, I went up to Susan at the book-signing and asked her which island she lived on in Puget Sound. At her hesitation (did her blue eyes see a psycho-rabid-fan?) I hurried to tell her that our Navy family had been stationed in Washington, and was due back, also to an island in Puget Sound. She smiled, told me where she lived, and encouraged me to contact her as soon as I relocated to the Seattle area.
I did just that, and through her guidance found the Peninsula Romance Writers. Susan became one of my mentors. I’m not sure it was ever her choice to mentor me, as I immediately took advantage of any sage advice she shared. I soaked up any knowledge like Sponge Bob in the Sahara. Susan encouraged me to not only follow my dreams, but to do so with no-holds-barred. “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” is a phrase that’s passed her lips more than once. And it reflects in Susan’s continuous series of richly written, highly acclaimed, and reader-beloved, novels.
Perhaps the greatest honor I’ve shared with anyone I shared with Susan and her husband Jay when they came to help celebrate my husband’s Navy Change of Command. Susan went on to write THE OCEAN BETWEEN US which I watched, from our overseas tour in Italy, become a New York Times Bestseller. Then of course there was RWA National 2006, in Atlanta. Susan asked me to take her place at the RITA awards, and not only did I do that, I was honored to accept, on her behalf, Susan’s RITA for LAKESIDE COTTAGE.
One thing I’ll always remember about Susan is her fearlessness. We once explored the streets of Naples, Italy together. She calmly sat in the passenger seat of my minivan as I whipped up an alley in the ancient, chaotic city. When I got too close to the lamp posts, and inadvertently smashed off the passenger side mirror, Susan barely screamed.
Where and when others would cower in complete terror, or give up, or fail to reach out a helping hand, Susan remains steadfast and true. She’s been there with me when I sold, when I’ve won a contest, and when I’ve received the umpteenth rejection for the same manuscript.
Susan didn’t wait for me to ask, but offered a quote for my novel to my editor. For those of you not in the publishing industry, this is beyond generous. It is downright remarkable.
The world needs more Susan Wiggses in it. Yet, there’s only one Susan, and I’m so grateful to call her my friend.
Who’s been an anchor in your life?