My visit with Deb in Berkeley

My visit with Deb in Berkeley

Isn’t it marvelous that our world seems to get smaller every day? My wonderful editor, Deb Werksman, was invited to speak at a meeting of the San Francisco area Romance Writer’s of America group over the Valentine’s weekend. In turn, she invited me and another fellow Sourcebooks author (the wonderful Loucinda McGary who wrote The Wild Sight) to visit with her!

My husband and I decided to make it a romantic pre-Valentine getaway, driving up a day early and staying at the Hotel Durant in Berkeley overlooking the sprawling campus. We were probably the only people in the near vicinity over 30, but that did not inhibit our fun! In truth, it rained cats and dogs almost the whole time we were there. We did do some walking about in between the cloudbursts, gazing into stores that greatly resembled throwbacks to the hippy Haight-Ashbury era, and ate dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant. The food was actually really good and a new experience for us. Mostly we just hung out in the hotel, a very nice place with an old history.

As always my trusty laptop accompanied me, but in this instance, I was doing some serious publishing work, and publishing news is the main point of this post…. Last week I received the copyedits for Loving Mr. Darcy ~ Journeys Beyond Pemberley. My second novel in the series clocks in at close to 350 pages, and since I intend to read through it very carefully line-by-line, it will take time and diligence. Fortunately, as with the initial edits completed by Deb, the copyedits were extremely minor! I utilized the extended drive to and from the Bay Area, as well as those rainy hours in the hotel, to read through over 200 pages. The only questions asked by the copyeditor were related to clarification points, some requiring slight rewording. Generally, there was nothing for me to address so I was able to simply read through it, attempting to see it with fresh eyes – that being a bit tough since I wrote it!

My visit with Deb was wet but fantastic! We got caught in a torrential downpour, but my gallant husband rescued us, finding a warm, cozy café to hold our discussion. The news was all wonderful. Deb related the infectious, optimistic enthusiasm pervading the halls of Sourcebooks where my novel is affectionately referred to as “Fitz.” Ha!! I reminded her that Darcy hates that name (revealed in my second book), and that made her laugh. We talked at length about my plans for future volumes and although it is too early to report any specifics, let me just say that the interest is very high. There seems to be little doubt that a volume 4 will be under contract soon, but the precise nature of the book was the topic of discussion. She was thrilled with my detailed descriptions of what I have written so far, including Georgiana’s story, and wants me to pursue those story avenues screaming to be written. Once I can breathe again I will be writing formal pitches for the three novel ideas I have so Deb can present to the Sourcebooks publisher, Dominique Raccah, for official approval. She wanted to give me the green-light right then, but figured it was best to include her superiors in the decision! Naturally, I will keep you all posted as matters materialize. Keep your fingers crossed and pray that Mr. and Mrs. FD is as successful as it promises to be.

My husband and I, as well as Loucinda and her hubby, were invited to join Deb at a dinner hosted by a group of RWA members. The ladies were gracious and absolutely wonderful to allow us Sourcebooks gals to crash the party, and the men-folk were incredibly brave to face a room full of romance novelists! Ha!! We had a blast swapping stories and writer’s dramas, and I was delighted to increase my friendship with my fellow CasaSister ‘Aunty Cindy.’ There was a fair amount of talking-shop, but for the most part, we ate and had fun. The end of dining was the end of that portion of the mini-vacation.

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