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The Pleasures of Promotion, the Just-TOO-happy Problem, and Other Moments in a California Life

It turns out that there are some pleasures to be gotten this business of flogging a new book, even for someone shy like me.

The members of the Romance Readers Group at the Borders in Los Gatos were warm, lovely, and hospitable last night. And many thanks to Romance Expert Ellen Higuchi for setting it up, and writer friends Jackie Yau and Veronica Wolff for transportation after my car crapped out.

I got to spritz a little about my writing and about other romance novels and writers I like — and even to address a problem that I haven’t yet solved as a romance writer, having to do with characters in a series: Which is, when you bring in the happily married people from the earlier books, how do you get them to act like real people instead of blissful fountains of happiness?

Because I’ve never been able to write a romance series, and this might be part of the reason. So if you have an answer to the Great-Already-Married-and-Just-Too-Happy-Problem, feel free to comment.

And if you live in the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area and love reading and talking about romance fiction, you might want to give this group a try. It’s at the Borders at 50 University Ave. in beautiful Los Gatos. Everybody’s welcome. And you can call (408) 395-6622 for more information.

Oh, and I know that they’ll have signed copies of The Edge of Impropriety out on their shelves starting next Tuesday, because I signed them. *GRIN”

And also please drop by the History Hoydens blog today, when I talk some more about Edge, and about feeling on the edge of just-breaking history as well. The name of the post (I like this) is “The Best Seductions Begin With Words and Ideas,” and I’ll be popping in and out today for comments and discussion, and Sunday (in between election phone-banking) as well.

While as for tomorrow (Saturday) — well, tomorrow I’m taking a break from history and the election and book promotion and all this Sally-Field do-you-like-me-and-my-book stuff by sitting in silence and learning about “the grace of acceptance” (just in case) at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Marin.


  1. I’m not sure what you mean about the blissful fountains of happiness. Or maybe I’m not clear about how you plan to use the previous characters in current books. Jo Beverley always brings characters from other books into her current books, but the relationship of that couple is never really explored/shown in the current book because they are seen through the POV of the hero or heroine of the current book, who is, naturally, more concerned about his/her own problem. That’s not to say that the heroine, for example, might not compare her relationship with the current hero to theirs and wonder if she and the hero might someday get to the easy commaraderie that the other couple seems to have, or if she and the hero will be able to fight and make up as easily as the other couple appears to do, or whatever. But the former couple is usually only brought into scenes where they are contributing to the action (real action or emotional) of the current book. So they are revealed more often as individuls and not as part of a couple since they would each react in their own ways.

    I’m not published yet (Helen is also my agent) but I am bringing my first book’s couple into the 2nd and 3rd. In my case, my 1st couple will argue about his handling of a matter with his brother (the hero of the second book), since part of the conflict for Hero #2 is that his brother tries to rule everyone’s life. But the argument will uphold the characters of Hero and Heroine #1, who always had their own viewpoints and weren’t afraid to say so.

    This is probably not helpful…:-)

    BTW, I am just finishing Almost A Gentleman and love it. I plan to discuss it on my blog.

  2. On the contrary, Stephie, that was an extremely helpful comment. I love the idea of having Couple #1 arguing about Couple #2 in C #2’s book. And Jo Beverley is a great example — I’ve only read one of hers, a while back, but she handles her characters with admirable briskness.

    Thanks for the help. Glad you’re enjoying AAG (do let me know when you post). And isn’t Helen terrific?

  3. Helen IS terrific. I love her!

    I posted AAG on my blog. I tend to always get on to some other subject at the beginning of each blog before I get down to business, and this was no different, I’m afraid, but I am what I am… 🙂

  4. Thanks so much for the post. Even putting aside your discerning appreciation of AAG ;-), I always enjoy essays that kind of sneak up on you. Jon Carroll, a fine columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle says that a good newspaper columnist makes one and a half points. I like that…

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