I was at the RWA National Conference in Reno in 2005 and had just pitched one of my stories to an editor (I was unpublished at the time). My pitch made me a few minutes late getting to the ballroom for the luncheon, so I quietly slipped into the room, found a table with several empty chairs, and took a seat.
As I introduced myself to the few writers already seated, Nora, Jayne, and Christine walked in and sat down. Christine Feehan to my right, Jayne Ann Krentz next to her, and Nora Roberts next to her. My heart stopped for a second as I realized I would be eating lunch with these famous ladies.
Trying not to appear star-struck, I introduced myself and conversations began around the table. I chatted with Christine Feehan, learned why she started writing her dark tales, what inspired her work. She in turn asked me what I wrote and if I’d submitted any of my manuscripts?
I told her about a few of my stories and answered that, yes I had submitted and received many rejections.
Several minutes into the meal, Jayne Ann Krentz leaned forward and asked me if the rejections were form letters or if they contained specific comments?
I answered, “A few form letters, but most contained specific comments.”
She said, “You’re almost there. Keep knocking because they’ll either open the door or you’ll knock it down.”
After lunch, I ran back to my room and called my husband. “You’ll never guess who I just had lunch with…” Like a giddy schoolgirl, I told him what happened.
When I finished telling him the story, he laughed and said, “I wonder how many people in the room were sitting there asking themselves who that blonde was sitting with Nora, Jayne and Christine?”
Mmm, I hadn’t even thought about that. Smart man, my hubby!
Well, noticed or not, I carried Jayne’s words with me for many years as a reminder not to give up, and every year when I saw her at Nationals, she’d ask, “Well? Published yet?”
In 2013, the RWA National Conference was held in Atlanta. My son and daughter-in-law live there, so they met me for dinner the night of the Literacy Signing. They brought my then four-month-old granddaughter and after we ate, we strolled the room buying books and having them signed.
Jayne Ann Krentz waved me over to her table and again asked, “Well, are you published?”
I smiled broadly and held up three fingers. “Three published,” I said proudly. “I kept your encouraging words with me, never gave up, and signed with my agent in December of 2010.”
She jumped up and down, gave me a huge hug. “See, I told you it would happen, Christine.”
My daughter in law’s eyes widened and as we walked away, she whispered, “She knew your name. That is so cool!”
Meeting the ladies and the following yearly interactions with Jayne will remain magical moments in my memories.
Have you ever met anyone who is famous?
Christine Mazurk, is the author of “Identity”, one of four novellas in the lovely and lyrical Sisters of Spirit Anthology (Lachesis Publishing). The anthology features four stories about four very special friends. Written by four real life friends: New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Annette Blair, Lynn Jenssen, Christine Mazurk and Jeanine Duval Spikes (also known as J.D. Spikes Lachesis Publishing author of The Possession).