Spent a good chunk of today at my friend Deb’s book signing (aka Sabrina Jeffries) and then out at dinner with a pack of romance writers. It was fun, and made me itch to write, although now of course, I’m exhausted, and so it’ll have to wait ’til tomorrow. (Isn’t that always the way?) Deb rocks. She tells me what things I should paint and I tell her to put more leprosy and exploding carriages in her books. Then we ignore each other’s suggestions. This, so far as I am concerned, is the ideal creative relationship, and we both enjoy it thoroughly.

I am reminded however–I feel obligated to mention Deb’s revenge. Awhile back, I read several of her romance novels, and bein’ my usual snide self, and never having read a romance novel before, said “Okay…let me get this straight…they fall in love…there’s the love thing…and that’s it? Nothing happens?”

Deb thought this was hysterical–most of my friends have hide like a rhinoceros, generally for good reason–and repeated it to all her friends, including an agent, which is actually how I got my agent in the first place–a friend of mine telling insulting anecdotes about this weirdo artist she knows. This is entirely typical of my life. (The romance writers were very nice despite Deb’s delight in this story. I get t’impression romance writers take a lot of flak for their chosen genre.)

And then some time slid by, and I asked Deb if she had time if she’d want to read “Black Dogs” and throw a jacket quote my way.* Deb agreed (and this is really above and beyond the call of duty, I hasten to add–dear friends should not be asked to read the books of dear friends, particularly out-genre, particularly when they’re busy. It was very nice of her to do, and had she not displayed wild enthusiasm and asked me repeatedly when her copy was coming, I wouldn’t have ever mentioned it again. A jacket quote is an act of great kindness, falling somewhere between helping you move and helping you bury a body.)

So she reads the book, and the next time we hook up for coffee, she fixes me with a steely eye and says “Soooo…let me get this straight…they’re on this quest…and that’s it? Nobody falls in love? Nothing happens?”

Then she about fell over laughing.

I deserved that.

But I am still proud to say that if you go find the latest Sabrina Jeffries book, which is called “Only A Duke Will Do,” my name is on the dedication page. And that’s pretty cool, even if she didn’t include any monkey poo or leprosy anywhere in the book.

*It’s not out yet. I’ll tell you when it is, but I’m not sure of the time frame yet. You’ll know as soon as I do, believe me.

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