Tuesday, June 8

Idolizing Linda Howard

Have you ever met one of your idols, writing-wise?

I have now.

About two months ago, I was avoiding writing and killing time by looking at the Colorado RWA groups. When I came to the one for Pikes Peak Romance Writers, I about wet myself! Because their site said they were hosting the Linda Howard in June. I was shaking so hard I could hardly dial the phone, but I called my friend Kim and asked her to go with me. Since Kim is as big a fan as me, maybe more so, I knew she would be excited, too!

Last Saturday, Kim and I traveled the five and half hours needed to see Linda Howard in person.

She didn't disappoint.


The woman knows funny!

She had the crowd in stitches practically from her opening line.

But, more importantly to me, she gave me, and unpublished fan, some good advice. Some I needed to hear.

Any of you who follow this blog know that I've been struggling with writing for this past year. I want to write something only I really love, and Linda Howard, the Linda Howard, encouraged me to do it.

I can't put into words what that means to me. I know, a writer with no words! But it felt incredible to have a person whose work I admire so much tell me to go for it.

Kim, too, left there feeling excited about her work, and looking ahead.

I would encourage any of you who have the chance to go see an author you admire, if the chance ever comes.

I would encourage you to see Linda Howard, but this was her last speaking engagement. I heard a rumor she is going to speak at nationals, but I'm not certain that's true. If it is, I'd go!

Thank you, Linda Howard, for giving this writer/fan a boost!


  1. So glad you had agreat time and got inspired all over again!

    A couple years ago at National Conference I met Cindi Myers -- I didn't even know it was her at first! We chatted about writing and books and I finally realized her nametag actually said Cindi Myers (she intro'd herself as Cindi, so I was calling her Cindi...but my brain didn't make the connection for a bit)...and I about died.

  2. I didn't know you were a fan of hers!
    Shge came to the Black Canyon conf, and I used to email her once in awhile. But I lost her addy. :>(
    I agree, She's very nice.

  3. Like you, D'Ann, I traveled a lot further than I normally would just to see Linda Howard. And you're right. Shd didn't disappoint. As much as I love her books [May I someday write as well!!!] I loved hearing her talk. We may think all authors with books on every store shelf are different than ourselves. They aren't. They agonize over their writing just as we do. They laugh. They cry. They tell jokes. Listening to Linda talk, I was reminded of all of these things. I could never keep the kind of writing schedule she does, but I left the workshop knowing I can figure out how to get more writing into my schedule if she can do what she does. Because we all aren't all that different. We all need to find our own way.

  4. So glad you got to meet her AND that she was all you hoped, D'Ann.

    I've had a couple of OMG experiences. In Dallas in 07, I was exhausted and asked if I might share a table in the lobbby with a couple of other ladies. We chatted a bit, then I learned that one was Barbara Pearce, whose Regencies I love!

    The second was when Diana Groe/Emily Bryan, another super historical author I'm in awe of, joined the local writers group I belong to. Unfortunately, she moved soon after, but it was great meeting her.

    I was tongue-tied both times once I found out who each was. With luck, they've forgotten my name LOL.

  5. My first RWA national conference was also the first time I had traveled alone, flown, and checked myself into a hotel. Lots of firsts. :D After I checked in, I found the elevator. When the doors opened, inside stood Sylvie Sommerfield, the first author who ever encouraged me. I about tripped over my tongue. She probably thought I was stalking her (I wrote to her on a regular basis), but she was very kind. She also helped me figure out which floor I needed. I was so green (as in stupid!).

  6. I once got to meet Fred Grandy ...remember him? Gopher from the Love Boat? not that that has anything to do with writing. =) oh and Jehan Sadat. Sorry, haven't really met any authors!

  7. In sixth grade, Wilson Rawls who had recently published "Where The Red Fern Grows" came to our school. It was amazing. Your first is always your best :)

    He told a story about how he had a trunk of stories that never got published and when he was frustrated one day after another rejection, he burned the trunk. Can you imagine how many gems he might have destroyed?

    He advised us never to give up on our dreams and if you wrote, never destroy your writing. Good advice I've always heeded. I have files upon files to prove it.

  8. I was at National in Chicago, taking a breather in the lobby with some women I didn't know, when Nora Roberts came up on her way out for lunch. She stayed and talked for about 10 minutes. Not really to me, but she included me in the conversation. It was great.

  9. Linda Howard was one of the keynote speakers at National last year. Needless to say, she brought the house down. It was amazing how open and intimate she was with a crowd of 2200 people. Made me race out and read her latest book, that's for sure!