Tag Archives: getting published

The Day I Met Nora Roberts, Jayne Ann Krentz and Christine Feehan by Christine Mazurk

Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts

Jayne Ann Krentz

Jayne Ann Krentz

Christine Feehan

Christine Feehan

The day I met Nora Roberts, Jayne Ann Krentz, and Christine Feehan, all at the same time, marked a special moment for me.

I was at the RWA National Conference in Reno in 2005 and had just pitched one of my stories to an editor (I was unpublished at the time).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?


SISTERS-OF-SPIRIT-COVERChristine 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).

Check out “Identity” by Christine Mazurk in the Sisters of Spirit Anthology. You can purchase it at Lachesis Publishing and on Amazon.com, on Kobo, on Barnes and Noble and on itunes (iBooks).

Connect with Christine Mazurk on her web site and on facebook and twitter.

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Filed under Best-selling authors, Bestselling Authors, CHRISTINE MAZURK, getting published

From the Editor’s Desk: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Book Reviews

Courtesy clipartof.com

Courtesy clipartof.com

We know that a good review in a big publication (online or otherwise) can truly help generate sales and word-of-mouth advertising, but what about the bad reviews? Can they break your career, let alone your heart?

Do you read all your reviews – the good, the bad, and the ugly? Or do you read only the good ones and leave the bad ones to rot.

Do you think a bad review is helpful to you as a writer, or do you feel that sometimes readers or critics are just being negative, or perhaps, even spiteful.

My background is in film and TV. For a few years, I had a part-time gig as a movie critic, but I also worked for a production company that produced movies. I was on both sides. I know how hard people work to get a movie made, let alone a small budget movie. But on the other hand, my opinions about movies sometimes influenced whether or not someone went to see it. I always tried to be responsible when doing a review. I gave my opinion, but I never trashed a film. I think that is the point of a review. It is one person’s opinion. Just one person. It may influence people to see a movie or read a book, but then again, it might not.

Courtesy chiniehdiaz (on flickr) and http://fabafter40.tumblr.com

Courtesy chiniehdiaz (on flickr) and http://fabafter40.tumblr.com

As writers (and editors) we are always improving our craft. We are always working on making each book better than the last. But sometimes we have a bad day at work. Generally speaking, when most people have a bad day at work, they don’t have hundreds of people criticizing them. But writers do. Every artist who puts something out there, whether it’s a photograph, film, poem, or prose, is exposing himself or herself to the good, the bad, and the ugly criticism.

I think at the end of the day, we have to let it go, and just keep working. Certainly we are always striving to improve, always trying to create something meaningful and entertaining, but if we let every harsh word break us, then we would never get any work done. So keep on writing. Let those ideas flow. Keep on growing as an artist. Take what you will from the good, the bad, and the ugly reviews, but don’t let them keep you from your goals.

Have a great day of writing!

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100_4277Joanna D’Angelo is Editor in Chief at Lachesis Publishing Inc. She loves Cinnamon Dolce Lattes, editing, and a good story.

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Filed under book reviews, getting published, Lachesis Publishing, writing craft