All posts by Laura

Laura is Nora Roberts' personal publicist. She can be found on the Nora Roberts and JD Robb Official Fan Pages on Facebook, by Nora's side at book signings, and on the road from her home in Raleigh to Boonsboro every few weeks.

Three quick questions for Kristan Higgins

Three Quick Questions is a new, ongoing feature at Fall Into the Story that will highlight some of the authors scheduled to join Nora at a Turn the Page signing.  This week, we’ll meet three authors who will be at the July 13 signing (Turn the Page’s 18th anniversary signing) from noon – 2 pm.

IMG_0422
TTP manager Janeen Solberg and Kristan Higgins

Kristan Higgins is a New York Times best-selling author of contemporary romances.  She won the RITA for best contemporary romance in 2008 for Catch of the Day and again in 2010 for It Had To Be You.  Her current book The Best Man was named one of Amazon’s top 10 Romances for the first half of 2013.

TBM - KH

BTW, Kristan is performing feats of great endurance by flying in for the signing early Saturday morning, driving out to the bookstore, chatting with everyone on line, signing books, then driving back to the airport to fly to Atlanta that night.  I bow in awe because after chatting with all the lovely readers who come to the signings, snapping photos when necessary and lending a hand to the TTP staff, all I want to do is be served food and drink.

Here are Kristan’s three questions:

  1. After the signing at Turn the Page, you head down to Atlanta where you are the RWA Awards Luncheon speaker on Friday, July 19, do you remember the speakers at your very first RWA conference?

I sure do! It was Lisa Kleypas, and she was magnificent! Very down-to-earth and funny…and she made me cry, which I love for some masochistic reason. I also heard Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Suzanne Brockman speak, and at the time, I could barely even look at them directly, because they were just so fabulous. I didn’t know any published authors and was too busy being in awe to have very clear memories of that conference. My first book had just come out; it was my first National conference, and I alternated between embarrassing fan-girl moments and hiding in my room.

2. The RWA conference is the place where romance writers mix business with pleasure — meeting with editors and agents and hanging out with pals.  What’s your favorite (non-RITA award winning) memory of the conferences you’ve attended?

I love the big signing (Kristan will join Nora at the Readers for Life Literacy signing on July 17). It’s a little terrifying; you think, “Please, please let just a few people come to my table” and then holy heck-o-rama, there’s a whole bunch! It’s so thrilling and fun, and it makes all those hours hunched over the keyboard in stretched-out yoga pants and stained t-shirts completely worth it.

3. You’re known for writing witty, award-winning contemporary romances.  In your current book, The Best Man, you write in third person rather than the first person, which you’ve used successfully in other books.  What prompts that change? Is it harder or easier to write?

The first time I made the switch, it was for the simple reason that the hero (Liam from UNTIL THERE WAS YOU) had too much to say. Same with James in SOMEBODY TO LOVE, and yes, definitely with Levi in THE BEST MAN.

It was hard to make the switch at first; my men kept waxing poetic and talking, dropping flowery descriptions of sunsets and food. Then I’d look over at McIrish, my sainted husband, and think, “Does he even know what ‘cerulean’ means? Would he use it in a sentence? Would I respect him if he did?”

The harder part came from having to cut back on what I could show the heroine doing. In first person, you know everything about a character. In third, you only get half as much space, so it was a little tricky. But I love it! That being said, I imagine I’ll write another book in first person, just because sometimes the story is better from one person’s point of view.

BTW, Thanks for having me at TTP! It’s a tremendous honor.

Where else can you find Kristan other than Turn the Page this Saturday?  Take your pick of fun: on her blog, on her Facebook page where she has deliciously fun Man Wars with her pal Jill Shalvis or as a regular contributor at The SIsterhood of the Jaunty Quills.

If you would like a signed copy of Kristan’s books, just click on the link to Turn the Page, place an order and the fabulous TTP staff will make sure Kristan signs it before she jets off into the night.

And if you have any questions for Kristan, post them here and I’ll be sure to ask her, then post the answers in the recap of the signing weekend (scheduled for the evening of July 14).

 

 

A summer pastime

Nora was selected to Quirk Books’ Literary Baseball All-Star Team!  She’s playing the hot corner, just like her favorite baseball player, Brooks Robinson.

This got me to thinking:  who would I vote onto a Romance All-Start Baseball team?

I’m not going to choose positions, but for me, Nora would captain a team of Romance vets including Jane Austen, Mary Stewart, Georgette Heyer, Linda Howard, Mary Balogh, Nalini Singh, Jill Shalvis and Sarah Morgan.

Who would play on your Romance All-Star team?

Laura

 

The name game

We’re having a quick discussion about the Dream trilogy on Nora’s Facebook page.  This is probably my most favorite of all the trilogies — I love those women and their friendship and generosity toward each other.

Or it could be that a Laura is the heroine of Finding the Dream.

Once I actually suggested to Nora that it might be simple and elegant to just name all her heroines Laura forever more.

She — rather unsympathetically — told me no.  I’ve slowly accepted that decision over the past decade and have instead enjoyed the variety of names of characters over the years.  My favorites?  Brooks (The Witness) and Cilla (Tribute).  I love Ford as a hero’s name too!

Readers have shared stories about the names they love in Nora’s books.  Some people have named their babies after a beloved character and send lovely photos.

How do you feel about character’s names?  Do you have a favorite?  ~Laura

Summer reading survival

Nora and I love to spend time at home though she seems to achieve that a little more consistently than I do these days.  She’s at her desk writing (next year’s hardcover — no title yet) while I’m heading out on a tour of the Mid-Atlantic states that will go from New Jersey to Virginia over the next week.

Guess where I’d rather be?

It’s taken a while but I’ve learned the beauty of driving to an audiobook soundtrack.  And instead of the usual 10 books (you know, 2 to read, 8 just in case) in my extra bag I’ve now got a kindle loaded up for reading when I get to the next stop.  (This time I’m driving, but when I fly I do carry at least one take off and landing book)

What are your tricks for keeping up with your favorite authors while you travel?  And who do you plan to read this summer? ~Laura

A spring evening

Turn the Page Bookstore took part in the spring edition of Girls’ Night Out in Boonsboro last Thursday.  I drove up to meet Nora and our pal Sarah for the event.  The weather was perfect, everyone was in a wonderful mood and conversation flowed on any and all subjects.  Here are a couple of photos:

IMG_1047 The Nora Room at Turn the Page.

IMG_1044Some of the crowd around the front door.

IMG_1052  What else do girls do on a a night out but show off their “guns”? (That’s Sarah, Nora and me, Laura.)

 

IMG_1051 For some people, the best part of the evening was running into Nora.

Here’s the question of the day:  If you ran into Nora on the street, what would you say/ask?

Laura

 

The Garden Report (Mother’s Day edition)

Nora sent photos from this weekend’s forays into the garden, including an update on growth in that well-loved face pot.  When I’m up at her house, it’s always fun to find the fanciful figures tucked in among the flowers.  There are so many that I’ve completely missed the face table (that’s missing it over more than five years, y’all)!  So she kindly sent a photo of that as well.

nr garden md 15 The goddess of the garden oversees all.

nr garden md 14 Look how the flowers have filled in.

nr garden md 13 Broken flowerpot?  Plant it!

nr garden md 12Barrel of flowers and grow bags at the ready.

nr garden md 11The higher planter holds Nora’s prized Meyer Lemon Tree.  The lemons she’s harvested have been wonderful!

nr garden md 7 Hidden in the garden…

nr garden md 3 See the face???

nr garden md 2 Garden wellies.

 

 

A Friday question

At Turn the Page events, we meet a lot moms and daughters who share the love of Nora’s books.  With Mother’s Day (US) on Sunday, I wondered a couple of things:  do you share your books with your mother?  How much influence did your mom have on your reading choices?

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend and for all those moms out there — hope a wonderful book is part of your Mother’s Day.  ~Laura

Weekend’s results

Did anyone see Nora’s post in the Weekend, weekend (http://fallintothestory.com/weekend-weekend/) thread?   Well I’ve got the proof of her weekend’s work here!  (Nora’s still working on her mag photo skills so I told her I’d post the photos).

photo (36)  Cleaned up beds.

photo (37) More beds.

photo (38) Nora goes for the unusual in her flower pots.

Driveway photo Cleared out and ready for blooming!

So, did you accomplish all you wanted to this weekend?  Or did you end up doing something completely unplanned?

Laura