One of my writing heroines is author Jennifer Ashley. If all she’d done was write The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie, she would have my undying respect, because that book took the romance genre is a new and wonderful direction. (Autism spectrum historical romance hero, done beautifully.) Jennifer has also weathered many industry storms, she shares her time and wisdom generously with other authors, and she has perfected the art of being herself on social media.
Much there to admire, and one of her recent Facebook posts was along the lines of, “I walked 2.5 miles this morning and it was nothing’. There was a time when that would have been an unthinkable challenge. I’m proud of myself for how far I’ve come!” That attitude, of being proud of an achievement many other people might think was a big so-what, fortifies me to go on my own 2.5 miles walks and be proud of myself.
Joanna Bourne is another personal heroine. To look at Jo, you’d think, “Sweet little old lady. She probably knits baby blankets for her myriad great-nieces and great-nephews, and makes her own organic low-sugar jam.” Meanwhile, Jo has lived (as in for years at a time) in seven different countries (including Nigeria and Saudi Arabia), has a master’s degree in marine biology, bagged two RITA awards, and can tell you stories about life in the foreign service that will make your jaw drop.
She’s also a brilliant, generous, funny, highly creative writer, and when I was a tadpole author, she offered me much steadying advice and writin’ buddy friendship. I found my balance as a writer much faster and with much less drama than I would have otherwise because of Jo.
I am a rabid fan of writing coach, agent, author, and teacher Donald Maass. He is passionately devoted to helping authors turn good books into better books, which is a thankless and exacting task on a good day. Don works enormously hard at what he does, which means unique among the writing coach crowd, his material is always being refreshed. Unlike many, he’s not giving the same workshop (for more money) that he was tossing out ten years ago.
As I spend day after day after day at home, I am still fortified by my associations with these people and others like them. Some I bounce across on social media, some I can visit by reading their books. Some I can email, and I am so very, exceedingly grateful that technology allows me these contacts. I am alone, and I’m never alone, and the company I’ve met along the way continues to cheer me.
Whom do you admire? Is there anybody in particular whose company has cheered you along the way this year? To two commenters, I’ll send a signed print copy of My Heart’s True Delight.