My first interaction with Jane Porter occurred during the summer of 2008. I’d just finished FOUR of her books (Odd Mom Out, Mrs. Perfect, The Frog Prince, and Flirty With Forty) and was enamored with her storytelling. Author stalker that I am, I checked out her website, where I discovered three things – they were making Flirty With Forty into a movie starring Heather Locklear; Flirting was loosely based on her life; and she had a blog (I love author blogs).
The first blog I read was also a contest, which I promptly entered. Low and behold – I WON! Yay me! I received a gorgeous beach bag and a thick, hot pink beach towel…both of which I still own and use. The beach bag was filled with candy, a Starbucks card and three beach books (not hers, either). How generous is that? Honestly, I’m unaware of any other authors who regularly give away so many serious prizes (and if you know of any….let me know, so I can stalk and win).
Then, after I read Easy on the Eyes, I sent a fan letter (I do this with any author whose book I love, so settle down with any concerns about my stalking). She responded back and we exchanged a couple of e-mails. A few months later she posted a blog about the promotion of She’s Gone Country and how she’d be visiting the south. I suggested that she contact the Margaret Mitchel House, as they often host book and author events with southern themes. Who wouldn’t want to celebrate their book at the home of the woman who wrote Gone With the Wind? Jane thanked me, but wrote that she preferred more intimate settings, like bookstores or book clubs. Well I had a book club – did she want to come to mine? She said yes. Just like that. Can believe it?
Jane kept her word! She came to Atlanta (from Seattle!) and took my whole book club out to dinner and gave us gift bags to boot. How incredibly cool is that? We were fans for life. As she was leaving, Jane told me she’d had a great time and would love to come back. Any time, momma!
Jane did come back. Last week she was in town to speak at a Georgia Romance Writers meeting and host a reader event. She offered to visit my new book club. I insisted that it was my turn to host, because I wanted the chance to reciprocate her generosity. Jane came for dinner, girl talk and book talk, and she brought a friend – another author, Wendy Wax. Lucky girls, we got two for the price of one.
Jane discussed both The Good Woman and The Good Daughter but absolutely refused to spill about The Good Wife(!), which is the third book in the Brennan sisters trilogy (out in September). She discussed story development and shared her bible of notes and pictures about the stories, characters and settings, some of which you can check out on Pinterest. Jane and Wendy both talked to us about the publishing world and their writing processes, which are very different. I was on the edge of my seat, fascinated. I learned so much and had a great time.
The first time Jane came, I was a nervous wreck. Scared to death, actually, as authors are almost like rock stars to me. It’s so hard to get published and even harder to stay getting published. Jane has written and published forty-four books, which is mind boggling! This time was chill. She walked right into the house calling my name, asking for a glass of wine, like we’d known each other for years. I’m so grateful for her visit, her insight, her writing, her sharing and her friendship.
Now go read her books – you’ll love them!
Book Club 2010
Book Club 2013