Of course that doesn’t mean I came home from the West Houston RWA chapter meeting without one. I was lucky enough to win a copy of Real Vampires Don’t Wear Size Six, the latest book in Gerry Bartlett’s delightful Glory St. Clair series, the book I would have bought if Gerry hadn’t brought me a signed copy. Glory was a bit overweight when she became a vampire a few centuries ago, and she’s been stuck with those extra pounds ever since. Been there, done that? As Nina Bangs describes her, “Glory is Everywoman with fangs.”
Gerry and Nina, both best-selling authors, are members of West Houston RWA, and they were our speakers today, telling us “What We’ve Learned Along the Way.” They definitely have the experience to share, starting as critique partners and Golden Heart finalists in the 1990s. Gerry published romantic suspense with Precious Gems and historical romance with Dorchester before finding herself the mistress of vampire humor with the Real Vampires series for Berkley. Size Six is the seventh in the series. Nina once thought she wanted to write contemporary series romance for Harlequin, until she sold a paranormal called An Original Sin to Dorchester. That book came out in 1999; since then she’s written paranormal romance for Dorchester, Berkley and Avon. Her latest release is Eternal Prey from Avon.
Members like Gerry and Nina, willing to share their experience and knowledge with others, make Romance Writers of America® and its local chapters such a wonderful resource for writers. My own loyalty to the group overcame my instincts for self-preservation last month when West Houston was having a hard time finding someone to volunteer to be chapter president next year. (Election of officers in the chapters I belong to generally involves sweet-talking enough people to fill the slate into volunteering. Any actual voting is pretty much a formality.) I told the current president, Karen Burns, that I would take the job if no one else stepped forward. Well, that cat slipped out of the bag, and–surprise–one volunteer was plenty.
So I’ll have another job on my schedule come 2012. In the meantime, I’ve got the contest urge again. Time to send Bathtub Jinn out into the world, so I’ve spent the last week or two plotting the rest of the book. Now all I have to do is write the (dreaded) synopsis and send the entries off. By Monday evening.