Tuesday, May 17, 2011

An Evening With Nora Roberts

After my fairytale booksigning two weeks ago at Nora Roberts' husband's bookstore, I was invited back to Turn the Page Bookstore in Boonsboro, Maryland for a Girls' Night Out. I had no idea what the Girls' Night Out was about, but I figured if Nora Roberts was involved, that was good enough for me. So Dana, Alethea Kontis and I made our way back to Dame Nora's for a night of food, fun, and chatting, even with Nora herself. She talked and mingled wearing killer high heeled shoes that in my case would've really been killer, since I would have at least broken an ankle, if not my neck. She hung out for the evening, just like the rest of us.

The event was open to the public, and lots of women mingled with authors and artisans who were present. The bookstore doesn't just sell books, but offers a variety of local artisan's works, from jewelry to hand-made lotions and soaps. A massage therapist gave hand and arm massages for free, which for a writer is a wonderful thing. There were door prizes and lots of fun to be had.

Several local ladies told me how wonderful Nora is. She doesn't just "pocket all the money" this lady said. Nora gives back to the community without ever tootin' her own horn about her generosity, which includes scholarships and supporting the local arts and crafts. Her Inn is furnished from the local furniture shop two doors down the street. The food for this event came from the restaurant just up the street. I know how supportive she is to the writing community but I hadn't realized until lately that she does the same with her local community. One of the ladies said that Nora could've chosen any communtity to help, but thank God, she chose Boonsboro.

And yet, she still manages to write about five books per year. One fan asked the store manager, who knows Nora well, how Nora does it. Lots of hard work, the store manager said. She said Nora puts in a full day of writing just like anyone else would put in a full day of work. No ghostwriters, just drive and dedication. You only have to be around her a few times, or see a couple of interviews, to know this woman has a work ethic and determination that is admirable, if not frightening. So my goal in life isn't to be Nora Roberts; there's only one, but I want to have that same drive.

18 comments:

Cassy Pickard said...

What fun for you!! But, your success is already happening. It might be grand to bask in the light of someone like Nora, but you, kiddo, are definitely on your way to creating your own following. Thanks for sharing. It is a fun read.

Kari Lee Townsend said...

What a great story. I'll have to visit her store someday. And yes, she is an inspiration for no excused. Just sit your ass in the chair and write, dammit! And that is what I am off to do.

Happy writing everyone :-)

Anita Clenney said...

Cassy, thank you! I remember after the book sold it seemed as if it would take forever to actually see it in print. Now it's moving so fast I feel like I'm in a whirlwind.

Anita Clenney said...

Kari, it's a tiny store, and it got crowded with all the people there last night. But it was so much fun. We chatted with some lovely older ladies who had never gone to one of these events but wanted to see what it was about. I think I need a nap, then I have to get some writing done.

Leanne109 said...

Wonderful Post!!! It's great to hear what an author can do for her local community. I had great respect for Nora Roberts writing and have been a fan of hers for years. Now I also have a greater respect for her as a person.
Sounds like I missed out big time with that "girls night out" I often wish I was an American just so I wouldn't miss out on all the good times you all have together. Thanks for sharing :D

Renee Vincent said...

Oh Anita...thank you for this! I am so jealous of you though...Nora is one of my all time fav authors! She is the reason I started reading romance!

What a lovely post and thank you for sharing it with us. You lucky woman!

Lindsay said...

Sounds like a fun time and Nora is definitely an inspiration to us writers

Christine Ashworth said...

How lovely! I knew Nora was a special lady. I wish I lived on the East coast so I could drop by Boonsboro and the bookstore.

Congrats ladies on all your successes!

Sapphire Phelan said...

Sounds like you had a good time there.

Anita Clenney said...

Hi Leanne. My resect for Nora increased as well. I think she's very modest about her generosity.

Anita Clenney said...

Renee, you're welcome. She is amazing. I had a good time but I wish I had thought to take some pictures.

Anita Clenney said...

Hi Lindsay. There are so many great writers out there, but Nora really is an inspiration.

Anita Clenney said...

Christine, they've only done this Girls Night Out twice now, and apparently it's been quite successful both times.

Anita Clenney said...

Hi Sapphire. It was fun. I wish I'd taken some pictures. And I picked up a great locally made lotion.

Donna Cummings said...

Wow, that definitely sounds like it was fun! It's always fun to hang out with fellow writers. :)

Anita Clenney said...

Hi Donna. It was lots of fun. I loved your post today on tattooed romance heroes. :)

Joni Sauer-Folger said...

I'm so jealous!! What a fun and awesome experience. I hope to visit some day...
:o)

Anita Clenney said...

Hey Joni. The more the merrier! The bookstore manager said they've had such a good turnout they'll probably continue.