Colorado struck Gold this past weekend with its 33rd annual writer’s conference, and yours truly enjoyed every minute of it. There were so many great people and events that I’m going to share the experience over a couple of posts with you.
USA Today called Desiree the “Nora Roberts of erotic romance writing.” Since her first book was published in 2006, she has produced an incredible 197 books . . . and counting! Desiree is a graduate of the University of Michigan (go blue!) and even has the U of M fight song as her ring tone. How do I know this? I had the happy honor of giving this great woman a ride from the airport to the convention hotel. We spent about an hour or so together, and I have to say, it was one of the best hours I’ve had in a good while.
We met as she stepped out of the tram area and instantly clicked. This tiny woman of indeterminate years and a dash of style was so warm we hugged immediately. Soon after, we were snug in the car and she was telling me about life in Texas and her plans to move closer to family somewhere in Florida. I was taken aback, as it seems like we’ve lived in the same states, just at different times. Heck, Desiree could be one of my sisters.
The biggest impact upon meeting her is that Desiree has a seemingly boundless energy. She is excited about life, about writing, and about what’s next on the agenda. Those of us lucky enough to attend her workshop on building characters got a sampling of how she brainstorms while we built a character together.
“Quick, someone,” said Desiree, “give me a gender.” Someone shouted out “female.” Female it was. “Now, ask yourself some questions about your character. Things you’d ask a friend about someone you don’t know. What food does she like to eat?”
And we were off. Soon, a young woman (in her early forties) is opening the door to a total (and totally hot) stranger, who is dripping from the rain he just ran through, and asking for help with his flat tire, because his cell phone can’t get reception in this less populated part of town. The sparks fly as the artist-welder takes him in, only to have him inadvertently insult her.
I’m sure, right now, there are thirty or forty new stories being written with these characters leading the plot along.
Something else Desiree shared was her love of meeting strangers. Imagine that–an extroverted writer. Good for her! She has her smart phone with her constantly and will ask total strangers if she can take their picture and ask them a few questions. She gives them her business card and the two are off and running.
Case in point was a nice-looking waiter who Desiree chatted up with family looking on. At one point Desiree’s daughter apparently said to the waiter, “Don’t worry, she’s harmless. My mom’s a writer.” The answers flowed and soon the young man became a football player for Desiree’s series, Game On. I have a copy of the first book there called Forward Pass. One word–Hot. Okay, one more–Blush! Wow. I’m only on chapter four and this book has me thinking thoughts I long believed went dormant.
Yet having sports figures as main characters should be a natural for Desiree. She was the first woman sports reporter for her university’s, Michigan Daily newspaper. Between that and working for a while as a stringer for four or five publications, Desiree picked up the habit of writing fast and furious. She said she currently works on at least three projects at a time. That way, when she’s stuck on one, she can move to another and the words keep flowing.
Great advice from a successful writer.
And my favorite Desiree line? This obviously middle-aged (okay my daughter would say “senior”) was at a book signing and a reader walked up to say something like, “You haven’t done all the exploits you’ve written about, have you?” Desiree smiled and said, “Of course I have, but you see dear, I’m only twenty-seven years old.” They both laughed and Desiree earned another fan.
Wishing you a happy, stranger-filled week.