Welcome to Wednesday Wanderings! Last week, we visited medieval castles on Margaret Mallory's website, http://www.margaretmallory.com/, in honor of her latest release, Knight of Passion. And the winner of the autographed copy of Knight of Passion is .... Kathy! Kathy, please send your mailing address to email@example.com.
Thank you, Margaret, for hosting us and donating the autographed book!
Today we visit my friends at Word Wenches,
The Word Wenches are Jo Beverley, Nicola Cornick, Cara Elliott/Andrea Pickens, Anne Gracie, Susan Fraser King/Sarah Gabriel, Mary Jo Putney, and Patricia Rice. Wench Emeritae are Loretta Chase and Susan Holloway Scott.
Today, I am a “guest” on their blog as we reflect upon the relationship between romance and the military.
My love affair with the Word Wenches began in February 2007 when I coordinated an Old Fashioned Tea Party for the military spouses at Fort Meade. Since the Duchess of Bedford is credited with making tea parties fashionable in Victorian England, I wanted to educate the military spouses on British titles. I found an informative article by Jo Beverley and asked her permission to reprint it. She not only gave me permission, but donated two books as door prizes. This inspired me to invite local authors to the tea party – I was pleasantly surprised when 20 authors came, including Word Wench Mary Jo Putney and Romantic Times’ Kathryn Falk. Through their efforts, publishers donated over 500 books for this event. Military spouses and wounded warriors took home a wide range of romance books. A few romance readers came out of the closet and a few non-believers were converted. A good time was had by all:
Through all of this, I learned that Mary Jo was a member of the Word Wenches. I literally fell off my chair when I logged onto the Word Wench website - the Crème de La Crème of Historical Romances, including Jo Beverley, the author who started it all.
As much as I like to place authors up on a pedestal, they are real people. In 2008, I attended an “Author’s Chat” with Mary Jo and Patricia Rice at the Romantic Times’ Booklovers’ Convention. Following the chat, Mary Jo and Patricia invited me to have coffee with them. This was not just a star struck moment, but an act of human kindness as my father was with me. He suffers from Alzheimer’s and my mother needed a break at the same time of the convention. Kathryn graciously encouraged me to bring my father to the convention (as she had done for her father). Every author, including the Word Wenches, extended the utmost courtesy to him.
In 2008, I initiated an email exchange with Cara Elliott. As a fan of her alter ego, Andrea Pickens, I learned through her website that she visited Devon where my grandmother lived. I was delighted to meet Cara last year at the RWA National Convention in Washington, DC. Lauren Willig joined us for coffee and they shared their idea of teaching a course about romance reading at their Alma mater, Yale. Wow, me, with a two distinguished Elis!
I also met Nicola Cornick in Washington. My roommate enjoyed dinner with her while I was having drinks with the RomVets (www.romvets.com). It was a tough decision – English writer or fellow veterans. I believe Nicola understood my decision but I have a promise to dine together at the next convention she attends!
Following the convention, I lunched with Mary Jo and Anne Gracie. Anne laughed at my adventures in the Air Force and encouraged me to write. Mary Jo sent me off to Hawaii with a big hug and warm wishes.
I have not met Word Wenches Loretta Chase, Susan King, and Susan Holloway Scott. But I am a fan and hope to meet them in the future. I claim to be Loretta’s only fan who has traveled to her two exotic locales – Albania and Egypt.
I am thankful that the military has given me the opportunity to travel the world that the Word Wenches use as their inspiration. I am thankful that I met the Word Wenches, knowing that they appreciate the military.
Do you have a funny story about meeting your favorite author? Leave a comment for the chance to win a special "Word Wenches" prize. Comments will be open through June 23 as I will be traveling in the next two weeks.
Thank you, Word Wenches, for the "joint" project!
Join Wednesday Wanderings for the following special posts:
- Friday, June 11: King Kamehameha Day
- Saturday, June 12: Trooping of the Colours
- Monday, June 14: US Army's Birthday and the US Flag Day
Plus fabulous prizes!