series and one of my all-time favorite writers. Her books are vanilla and contain absolutely no spanking (the only thing that could improve them) but seriously, they are wonderful. There are nineteen in the series and now and she is working on number twenty. I’ve read every one more than once. I must be right in her target area. When I walked into the room where she was to speak I hadn’t seen so many little white haired ladies since Mollie went to see The Help. But I read her first one almost twenty years ago and I love it then too.
I was anxious to hear her speak and as I listened I was stunned to hear all she was saying. Honestly, change the name of the main character and I could have made the talk. She started by saying she had not begun with the idea of writing a book – it was this woman she was picturing in her head that was telling her the story. She said the character often just took off in their own direction over which she had very little control. She went on to say that her biggest problem was coming up with a plot. Amen, sister! Like me she is well acquainted with her characters and knows them like family, but coming up with a major conflict then resolution for each book can be tough.
I’ve always worried about this with the Cassie books – I know Cassie and Tom, Sue and Steve and all the rest. Give me a situation and I can tell you how each of my characters will react. That’s the problem sometimes, I need someone to give me a situation. Ms. Ross says she gets her ideas from everywhere, news stories, overheard conversations, listening to her friends gossip – anything. Maybe I need to be listening harder in real-life.
She went on to say that her writing day consist of getting up and dressed (in case someone stops by) eating breakfast as she does the cross-word puzzle then getting a cup of coffee and heading to her writing room where she writes for a few hours. Exchange checking my email and Facebook for cross-word puzzle and you have most of my writing days.
I had her sign one her books for me. I would have love to sit and talk with her about writing. But I never mentioned to her that I wrote. There was a line and it wouldn’t have been appropriate. But luckily I was in line with another retired teacher who knew about my books and she asked about them. Several ladies around us seemed interested and I was happy to give them one of my cards.
I guess the thing I envied the most was her interaction with her readers. Lots of people write her and ask about the books – fuss at her for incidents they don’t like sometimes, but in general tell her they enjoy her work and ask her questions about it. She gets tons of reviews on Amazon, I would love to be able to say that. And of course, she gets invited to talk with groups who like her books – that would be fun! I guess that the price I pay for writing spanking fiction instead of vanilla. But I wouldn’t give up what I write – I do love it!