One of the highlights of my week at RT was meeting #1 NYTimes Bestseller Victoria Alexander.
I've mentioned on this blog before how my reading habits have changed since I became a writer. Most often, I'm not reading for pleasure. I'm studying how the other writer handles the elements of the craft. However, there are a few authors who suck me into their fictive dream so completely, I forget I'm a writer too and just wallow in the glory of their books.
Victoria Alexander is one of that very small group of authors.
Along with engaging characters and singing prose, Victoria always inserts a sly little private joke into her books. You know how Hitchcock always gave himself a cameo in his films, how there's always a hidden pineapple on Psyche, how Clive Cussler appears by name as a disseminator of essential information in all his Dirk Pitt books . . . well Victoria has a running schtick in her stories as well. There is always a widow in her books whose dead husband was named Charles.
What's Victoria's real husband's name? You guessed it! Charles. (One hopes he takes it in the spirit with which it's meant?!?)
Anyway, you can imagine how excited I was to meet her. I freely confess I had a fangirl melt down-- babbling, gushing, words mangled before they left my mouth. I'm sure she must have thought I had a syndrome of some sort. But she graciously went to lunch (and picked up the tab!) with me and my roommate, the talented and charming Bobbi Smith.
It was fascinating to talk shop with her. Victoria is so personable and down-to-earth. She's recently moved from Avon to Kensington (my new publisher! I was thrilled by that news!) and she's also experiementing with plotting. Like me, she's usually a linear "pantser," but recently she'd attended a weekend workshop and plotted out her next book. She decided she liked knowing what was coming.
And it just goes to show that if a #1 NYTimes Bestseller is still learning, still experimenting with the writer's craft, it's a lifelong process for all of us.
I have Victoria's latest release, DESIRES OF A PERFECT LADY , in my hot little hands, but I'm resisting the temptation to start it yet. I'm saving it for our cruise in a couple weeks so I can savor it as it deserves to be savored. I encourage you to run out and pick it up today. You will thank me later.
If you had to list your top 5 authors, who would make the cut?