Tell a person they’ve done a good job and often they will tell you the name of someone they couldn’t have done it without. For me, that person is Lynne Silver. This past weekend, Lynne was presented the Nancy Richards-Akers Mentoring award at the Washington Romance Writers annual retreat in Westminster, MD. I cannot tell you how honored I am to have had the nomination letter I wrote be a small part of that. If I’m a good writer, it’s because Lynne is an outstanding mentor to me…
Dear WRW (Washington Romance Writers) President,
I am nominating Lynne Silver for the Nancy Richards-Akers Mentoring Award.
I’m not sure when I realized that the lady I’d seen at monthly chapter meetings and Lynne Silver were one in the same. What I do know is that on November 16, 2011, my birthday of all days, I left a light-hearted, somewhat joking response to Pintip’s Waterworld Mermaids post about Accountability Partners. Lynne left a thought-provoking comment that had me staring at my laptop, hand over mouth, gawking. See below:
Carlene: I think I need an AP for shaving my legs! And writing of course but darn, with the cooler weather lately and the long pants, I’m just saying!!! Love your post P.H.!
Lynne: I’d love an accountability partner. I’ve been eyeing large wall calendars at Staples to start planning manuscripts and due dates. Hey- we all want to have multiple deadlines at multiple publishing houses someday, we might as well pretend we’re there now and get some practice in. Carlene, if you’re really looking, I’d love to be APs with you. Email me cause I also have something else to ask you about. Lynne
Lynne Silver wanted to work with me? You’d think I’d just been asked out on a date by Casey James! (This is major, friends. It would be the equivalent of most people in the room being asked to take a trip to the moon with Jamie Fraser.) I had a small freaking out moment as I read her words. And then I went and Googled Lynne and saw that she had published like, a load of books! They looked so good too. There were dukes and mistresses and debutantes, all super sexy looking to little ole me who had written a couple gigantic stories that needed serious work. She wanted to work with me? Maybe this Lynne Silver person was crazy.
In complete fan-girl mode, I wrote back to her. Don’t have a clue as to what I said but whatever it was, it must have been good because we became not just accountability partners, but critique partners. I actually do remember that she wanted me to read her work because of my infatuation with Sherrilyn Kenyon. Note to writers, let your freak flags fly and obsessions be known, they could snag you an amazing partner too. The first thing I read for Lynne was amazing, the first of her Coded for Love books. I loved it. It was pretty much flawless but I did get to have one moment where I felt worthy of being this woman’s partner. She’d misspelled her heroine’s name and also left a butt plug (can we say that in an award nomination letter?) (Sorry Ms. WRW President, wink) in place and forgot to remove it. Score one for little ole me ‘cuz I caught the mistakes! Now, I wasn’t just blushing and walking around the house grinning from reading Lynne’s super-hot writing (I’d never read anything like it before), I felt like I might be “writerly” enough to hang with her. Lynne was super appreciative of my comments, excited even, which made me feel overjoyed.
And then it was my turn to send her something to read. Nerve wracking? Yep. Just a little.
As I waited to see what she would say about my story, I happened upon the Twitter universe one day. Lynne had tweeted that she hated to have to put my story down but needed a shower pretty badly. Casey James may as well had shown up on my doorstep with roses.
Lynne did get me the feedback and in the instant she did, I knew I was in good hands. Generous hands. Strong and honest hands. Writerly and kind hands.
“Carlene, there are these things called scene goals and you need to get some, Hon.”
I smiled so big. I had scenes!!! Sure they needed goals but I had them! And I wasn’t overwhelmed at the task of making them better because Lynne also shared her notes on how to go about fixing them. She’s helped me with every story I’ve written since then. I wouldn’t get to call myself “Romance Author” were it not for Lynne. She continues to help and share and inspire, not just me but many.
I took Lynne on a date not long after this whole AP/CP business between us. We went to meet Casey James at WMZQ’s radio station. He sang to us and Lynne got to see what a nut I really am. There was a song he did that I’d never heard before that day. The lyrics were nearly a match to something I’d written in that first story I’d had Lynne critique. She turned to me as soon as the words left Casey’s lips and we smiled at the connection to my book. She pays attention to others and what’s going on around her. She’s not all about Lynne Silver; she’s about all of us. Afterwards we went to lunch and Lynne kept me from eating an edamame shell. I’d never seen one. Embarrassing? Slightly. Lynne was great though and together, we played it off.
There are so many reasons I could give as to why I know Lynne is a deserving recipient of this wonderful award. She’s always at the forefront of fun, innovative ways to connect with readers and share her work and in turn, she shares that with her fellow writers. She’s even opened her home to writers when they needed a getaway. She’s insanely funny, ridiculously smart yet every bit the girl next door. I haven’t even mentioned all the upfront and behind-the-scenes work she does for WRW.
I have one word for Lynne … Beshert. She might think that even after all the times she has explained this word to me, that I still don’t quite understand its meaning. But I do. To me, Beshert is my friend, Lynne. Inevitable and meant-to-be.
Thanks for letting me gush. I probably didn’t say enough or say it in the right way. Can I please ask you to just take my word for it?
Want to spend more time with my awesome mentor? She’d love to help you celebrate your inner dirty girl but in a super classy, smart and sexy way like only Lynne can! Connect with her on Facebook HERE and I’ll see you there too. 🙂
Lynne’s brand new release, Two for Love, is a two-novella set combining the fun and flirty Cruising for Love and Waiting on Love. Available now for only $1.99!
Cruising for Love
When Andi Greene heads out on a cruise, she’s pumped for a fun week of sun bathing with her best friend. Little does she know her best friend has surprises in store. The first is the cruise’s theme of BDSM. The other? Ship’s doctor Jonah Coleman, Andi’s first love, her high school boyfriend —the boy she thought she’d marry before he moved across the country and dropped her cold. But there’s nothing cold about their reunion. Sparks fly, and Andi’s relaxing cruise turns into a week of hot loving.
Jonah can’t believe he’s getting a second chance with Andi , who might need more than he knows how to give. But he’s willing to put everything on the line to find out if the heat between them is just the remnants of teenage love or more. And even though he has to let her go again, he’s determined she’ll never forget him.
Waiting on Love
After a disastrous vacation breakup with the man who was supposed to be The One, KK O’Brien decides she’s done. Love will find her when the time is right. On her flight home, she’s seated next to a male soldier, Aidan Dominguez, whom she ignores, because one: he is male, two: he’s younger than her, and three: he’s on his way to be deployed overseas. When weather grounds her flight, she agrees to a drink with Aidan. After all, he’s leaving the country and she’s done projecting wedding bells onto encounters with men. KK knows this is nothing more than a one-night stand with a sexy soldier. It’s her patriotic duty to send him off to war with a good last memory.
Aidan and KK have a great night together and they part with the expectation that they’ll never see each other again. A few weeks later, the first email from Aidan arrives. Once she replies, another arrives, and soon an epistolary love affair blossoms where love was never meant to grow.
Want to share a little love for someone who has helped you in your life? I’d love to hear it! It’s never a bad time to thank someone for being in your life, no matter how big or small a footprint they have left. Please share in the comments.