Circle of friends

November 15, 2007

PositanoOkay, 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. Geri & me

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Very unpublished and somewhat naïve of professional boundaries, I went up to Susan at the book-signing and asked her which island she lived on in Puget Sound.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.

NaplesOne 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.

capuccinoThe 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?

  • Bringing up the rear. . . .Me four!

    I met Susan in 1994 and in 2000, Susan was a keynote speaker
    at the Timeless Romance writers conference up in Northern, CA.

    The very last event was PLAYTIME where FUN, FUN, FUN was the
    main theme. We had a photograph booth, a DJ, karoke, line dancing,
    a conga line and just had a whole lot of fun.

    As an added FUN bonus I was able to introduce a few new one of
    a kind special items to the speakers. (Keeping in mind these were
    all items just for FUN and never meant to be mass produced).

    In the weeks leading up to the conference I had this silly idea of
    taking a few popular products and creating these one of a kind
    original items.

    Knowing Susan has a wicked yet wonderful sense of humor,
    I thought of a terriffic surprise for her. :-))

    Susan was such a good sport. She didn’t even flinch. But, I think she
    was a bit surprised when I asked her to come up to join me at the
    podium. I then began to set the stage for the big reveal of the product.

    I went on to explain that a certain cereal maker was getting ready to
    introduce a brand NEW product Line of Cereals. With their launch of
    the product next month to the public market.

    But, as a favor to me, the maker of the product was kind enough to
    send me an advanced copy of their brand new product.

    “After all if athletes could be put onto “wheatie” boxes why not put
    Best Selling, New York Times, Award winning, Romance Author’s on
    boxes of Corn Flakes!

    I then revealed the new product and presented it to Susan.

    Picture it, . . . . . .Susan Wiggs, breakfast cereal!

    :-))) I never laughed so hard or had so much FUN.

    Thanks Susan for your encouragement and friendship.

    You’re the best!

    Geri, I’ll be sure to look for your book

  • Me three!I have “met” Susan in all of her books, then met her face to face in September as a most gracious hostess…FUN, encouraging, FUN, generous, FUN, warm, FUN, chef extraordinaire, FUN, gifted, thoughtful, FUN… all come to mind. Did I mention she is such fun!!! with a great smile and great hubby and great daughter and great dog????

    Congrats on your book. Susan has positively impacted all of us and the world is a better place because of her. It is a true blessing that she calls you “Friend”.

    THANKful! :o))

  • What a great post.
    Now I’ll definitely go out and look for your book!
    Congrats to you!

    And about your opinion of Susan?
    Me, too. She’s one of my favorite authors and one of the very few genuine people I’ve run across in this business.

  • Geri –
    I will definitely be looking for your book! Since I started visiting this site I have been introduced to at least a dozen authors that I didn’t know before …and so far I have enjoyed everyone!

    ..and thank you for your making Susan blush! It couldn’t happen to a nicer lady!.

    I had just come through three very difficult years. Years where I knew I couldn’t go back to who I was and I had no idea of how to go forward. After 40 years in computer software, I didn’t know who I was. I was sort of stuck.

    Her postings, messages and an encouraging comment now and then opened my eyes to possibilities and opened a door for me called “HOPE”.

    I took a class from her in August (How to Make a Good Book Great). Even though I didn’t have a manuscript to work on I felt welcome and at home. …and I became convinced that Susan never sleeps! It seemed like many of those postings were made in the wee hours of the morning. I know it wasn’t a good time for her to carry the extra load of mentoring students in that class. Serving as Juror #10 …and having a book deadline right in the middle of the class.

    She gave 110% any way!

    Thank you Susan for all you do!

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