I'm sitting here looking at my calendar for July. Except for one single day*, it's completely filled with names of authors who have gone above and beyond and offered to help me celebrate my birthday.
Each time I opened an email and saw "I'd love to blog" I got a thrill. This is so new to me - I've always figured no one would want to guest blog on my blog as I feel like I'm still such a newbie. And yet, within the space of 48 hours, 30 authors have volunteered to spend time writing a blog post, to come back and check for comments. Many of them will be holding contests giving away precious copies of their books.Some answered calls I put out on a few select loops. And some - Ann Aguirre, Maya Banks, Kate Pearce and Lorelei James responded to my direct requests.
Poor Ann and Maya (and Kate Pearce too.) I ambushed them on Twitter, and wasn't very subtle about it. For Ann and Maya, I was twittering to another reader *waves to @HockeyVampiress* and tacked on "I'd love to have @AnnAguirre and @Maya_Banks help celebrate my birthday bash too" to my tweet. (Or words similar to that.) Yes, very unsubtle, Leah, I hear you saying. Heck, I was saying it myself. I even tweeted it. Yet both ladies, who don't know me from Adam, graciously responded and agreed to guest post. I nabbed Kate Pearce the next day - we're both Romance Divas and members of Passionate Ink, so I didn't feel quite as guilty about asking her. (I didn't even have to tell her that her Antonia's Bargain and Eden's Pleasure were the very first e-books I'd ever bought. Or how she got me hooked on e-books and erotic romance because of those two stories.)
Having such a great response from those three ladies, and from all the others who had responded to my loop posts, I worked up my courage and sent an email to Lorelei. I got her answer in this morning's mail - she'll be blogging on July 28th. I'd be surprised Shelley Munro didn't hear me "squeeing" all the way down in New Zealand.
I don't mean to diminish the other authors - I'm thrilled about each and every one. That's one thing I love about the romance community -- there is a sense of community. Maybe it's because romances are so disparaged by so many people? Dismissed as bodice rippers, fluff, or even porn.
My sister and I had a conversation a while back as I tried to explain that I wrote romances:
"You mean you write porn? Like Harlequin stuff?" she asked.
"Harlequin's not porn!" I protested. "Harlequin's about as vanilla as you can get. Even their Blazes are fairly tame in comparison to some stories."
"Oh, you mean like Nora Roberts writes? She's writes heavy duty porn, doesn't she." (No, I didn't forget the question mark there, as she said it as a statement.)
Can you picture me having to drag my jaw off the floor on that one? Or did you hear the slap when my palm hit my forehead? I've heard similar statements from other romance authors - how we have to battle for legitimacy. Yet romances continue to have strong sales compared to other books in this economy. (I'm preaching to the choir here, aren't I?)
Anyway, I am thrilled with the response I've received this weekend, and I really hope you will take the time to not only read but also comment on their posts to let them know they're appreciated.
*I'm waiting to hear back from an author confirming that date.