My favorite numbers are 37 and 17 (in that order). I have no idea why; they just always have been, and they regularly pop up in my life.
In the spring of 1995, in celebration of college graduation, my U of Iowa roomies and I embarked on a crazy day trip to Elvis Presley’s home, Graceland – a whirlwind 28 hour experience I’ll never forget.
The first thing I noticed upon arrival? The address: 3717 Elvis Presley Boulevard.
I shrieked like a madwoman.
Later I learned that was merely the tourist area’s address; Graceland’s actual house number is 3764. Still, it was a sign.
That fall, I moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, to pursue doctoral studies in medieval history at UVA.
To escape the stresses of academic life, I taught myself HTML (it was pretty new then) and created a website, Elvis Lives In Evil Levis, dedicated to my obsession of the time: Mr. Presley. (The link takes you to a version archived by the Internet Archive Wayback Machine – for which I’m grateful, since the original, though tidier looking, is long gone. Click on the “My Trip” link at the bottom to read all about my Graceland adventures.)
That website introduced me to my husband.
He found it, emailed me, we started chatting all things Elvis, then discovered we were both grad students at the same university. (Given my site had fans all over the world contacting me, I consider this a miracle.) We met up. We kept meeting up.
Elvis brought us together.
Twenty years later, we’re still going strong. Which brings me to my second example:
For Christmas 1996, my mom gave me a numerology book, her way of gently teasing me about my weird numbers thing.
Well, imagine ALL of our surprise when I calculated the numbers for my then-friend/soon-to-be-boyfriend/now-husband’s name: his first name added up to 17, and his whole name to 37. I kid you not.
I knew right then he was the one.
Why the heck do I post about this today? Because it’s March 7th, 2017 – or, in shortened American style, 3/7/17. My two favorite numbers, side by side. It will never happen again in my life time!
I feel as if I ought to play the lottery. Or that Colin Morgan should show up for a visit.
Hello, and welcome to another Writer Wednesday. A few weeks ago, I noticed no author had claimed this date. As I was prepping to solicit participants, it occurred to me that since my debut novel, A Man of Character, was coming out the day before, I could interview myself! Bwah ha ha … so, well, here it goes: my answers to three of questions, just like I’ve been asking everybody else.
Which type of romance do you love best? Why?
I’m a historical romance lover at heart. They’re the first type of romance novels I ever read, and the ones that suck me in, time and time again. I think that’s because a) I love history, and love learning about / imagining what it was like to live in other eras and places, and b) the distance of time helps render the story all the more magical for me. I’ve always been a sucker for the whole “Once Upon A Time” thing.
Recently I’ve branched out and read a number of contemporaries, because I stumbled across fabulous authors like Katy Regnery and Kathryn Barrett (and many more!) and wanted to read their books.
But my heart belongs to Regency England. I’ll pick up a novel about that era any day.
Name one interesting thing you learned in researching/writing your last book.
I needed a fancy place in New York City to which a wealthy businessman might take a date. Not being a big city person at all, I had no clue, so I asked a college friend who now lives there (thanks, Liz!). “Rao’s,” she answered right away. I’d never heard of it. But I spent an afternoon happily Googling away, learning as much as I could, and thus the fictitious Joey’s was born (yes, that’s an homage to Joey Tribbiani of Friends fame–my husband loves him).
A few days after this restaurant-researching adventure, I went grocery shopping (the boring real life of an author) and discovered Rao’s pasta sauce sitting there among the zillion spaghetti sauce options. Although it was a bit pricey, I had to try it–and it’s now become my family’s favorite sauce. The things you learn.
Name two things people don’t know about you.
1. I skipped first grade. But I’m convinced the only reason I did well enough on the tests to do so is because the man administering the exams was really cute (yes, I remember that!). It motivated me. I was six, people. Guess I knew my heart was in romance from a very early age.
2. OK, I’m cheating a bit, because if you know me in real life, you know I’m a ’50s Elvis fan. I didn’t give a fig about Elvis until my senior year in college, though. That was 1995, and because it was Elvis’ 60th birthday, his old movies and Elvis documentaries were playing all over TV. That young Elvis, with his oddly innocent, yet oh-so-seductive face, that voice, and that hip swivel … I was a goner.
Which I was extra grateful for two years later, because if I hadn’t fallen for Elvis, I wouldn’t have made an Elvis website (hey, I needed something to do to escape the stress of grad school, and teaching myself HTML in the baby days of the web seemed ideal). If I hadn’t had that website, I wouldn’t have met my husband. By freaky chance, we met online (way before that was common) when I asked a question about Elvis, and he answered. We emailed. We discovered we were at the same university, both in grad school (what are the chances?). We met for lunch. We kept meeting. I found my happily-ever-after.
Elvis brought my husband and me together. Thank ya, thank ya verra much.
What’s your favorite romance novel of all time, and why?
The book I come back to again and again, though, the one romance I kept when I (stupidly) purged my entire collection in my mid 30s, is Lynn Kurland‘s Stardust of Yesterday. Something about that story just hooked me like no other–probably the time-traveling element, since that idea has always intrigued me, as well as the new-to-me idea of ghost as hero. The fact that the ghost hero and definitely in-the-flesh heroine literally couldn’t touch each other for great parts of the book heightened the romance and tension for me.
So there you have it.
Interested in knowing about my own new romance release (It still feels bizarre to say that!)?
Check out the blurb for A Man of Character, my paranormal romantic comedy in which a bookstore owner learns that the perfect fantasy might just be reality:
What would you do if you discovered the men you were dating were fictional characters you’d created long ago?
Thirty-five-year-old Catherine Schreiber has shelved love for good. Keeping her ailing bookstore afloat takes all her time, and she’s perfectly fine with that. So when several men ask her out in short order, she’s not sure what to do…especially since something about them seems eerily familiar.
Caught between fantasy and reality, Cat must decide which—or whom—she wants more.
Blending humor with unusual twists, including a magical manuscript, a computer scientist in shining armor, and even a Regency ball, A Man of Character tells a story not only of love, but also of the lengths we’ll go for friendship, self-discovery, and second chances.
You can find A Man of Character on Amazon – available for Kindle or in paperback. And if you read it, I’d love to know what you think!
Thanks for hanging with me today! Come back next Wednesday for another exciting (and far less myopically self-centered) Writer Wednesday!
(Fellow authors, I do have openings for Wednesdays starting in June, so if you’d like to participate, just shoot me an email.)