Tag Archives: RITA


This hasn’t been a good year.  The hardest part was the death of my husband.  I still mourn that.   Then, when I was nomnated for a top honor for THE WELCOME COMMITTEE OF BUTTERNUT CREEK and planned to go to the conference in Atlanta to attend the conference and award ceremony, I had a detached retina which meant I couldn’t fly until three days after that ceremony.  A disappointment.

But, in the midst of these months, there were many, many blessings.  Let me count them for you.

1)  I got to spend forty-seven years with the finest, sexiest, most intelligent and delightful man in the world.  Not every second was marvelous but the whole experience changed me and made me a better, happier, more self-confident person.

2)  My friends have been so wonderful.  Church friends, writing friends, long-time friends have written me and supported me, come by when I was hysterical, held my hand, called and sent me flowers.  I have been so very blessed by all of them.

3)  George’s family and best friend dropped everything and came to Texas.  They took care of me, stayed with George, and I will always remember their love and concern and how much their presence meant to George.

4)  I was nominated for a RITA, something I thought would never, never happen.   My career has not be a long series of successes.  In twelve years, ten of my books have been published.  My friend Tracy Wolff writes that many in a week–every one of them great.   Exactly three weeks after George’s funeral, I received the call my book was nominated.   I didn’t even realize that was the day RITA calls were being made.  I didn’t answer the first call because I screen calls and didn’t recognize the number.   I only answered the second call to ask this person not to bother me again.   But the fact remains:  I was nominated for a RITA.  That overwhelmed me and continues to.

5)  I have enough to eat, a nice apartment, a car that runs, and two darling cats that keep my company.   Those facts put me in a small percentage of the world’s population.  Although this feels like a blessing, I’m haunted by those who go to bed hungry, who live in a box or hovel, who have no health care or or future.

6)   For a person my age, I’m fairly healthy.  I try to swim four or five times a week in a pool only steps from my apartment.   I know lots of specialists who watch over my health and keep me running.

7)  And my CARDS won the NCAA basketball championship!

And I know there are more but these are at the top of my list.  Many thanks to all of you who’ve been parts of those blessings.

I’m not a fancy lady

The Romance Writers conference is in July.  Because I’m a RITA finalist, I have to come up with something  to wear.  Looking in my closet, I realize my wardrobe consists of jeans and knit tops, many with Cardinals or Power Cats on them.    I once had a pretty, flouncy dress.  I wore it in 1999 when I was a Golden Heart finalist and in 2004 when I was a presenter during the awards ceremony.  This spring as I cleared out closets, I thought, “I’ll never wear this again because ‘fancy’ doesn’t fit my life style.”  Some lucky woman bought it at Good Will and I’m out looking to replace it.

The search has been distressing but had it’s moments of fun.  I tried on a lovely black sequined dress which did not  look like me.  As I left the dressing room, I ran into Tracy Wolff–one of my favorite writing friends–and had such a great conversation that people came over and said we sounded as if we were having fun.  I’ve been pondering if they really meant, “You’re too loud.”   She got some great and very bright clothes.  I got a pair of jeans.

A few days later, I went to lunch with the beautiful and talented Katie Graykowski who offered me a couple of her fancy outfits.  Thanks, Katie!  Katie is gorgeous.  She’d look great in red velvet but it’s just not me.

Then I had an idea!  I had a black top with black beads around the top in my dresser.  I’d never  worn it because, yes, it’s fancier than I am.  Sadly, that shirt had been ignored for  so long that one-third of the beads had fallen off.  

How would you describe yourself?  Are you fancy or comfortable or do you just not care?

No blog today–too busy doing the happy dance

I sat down this morning to complete the blog post I’d started for today–and received a call that The Welcome Committee of Butternut Creek is a RITA finalist.   For those of you who aren’t members of Romance Writers of America, the RITA is an award for the best books for 2012.   It’s a wonderful honor that I’ve dreamed about getting for years and years and years as has every romance writer.   That call completely blew my plans for the morning.  I’ll have something up Friday when I can regain my poise and settle down in a chair.

Who do you call?

The marvelously talented Alicia Rasley and I’ve been friends since before she and Lynn Kerstan won the RITA.  When I went to RWA conferences, I always attended her workshops because they were so much fun and I learned an incredible amount.

Then I discovered “On-line Alicia.”   She has the most wonderful web site of articles to help writers and answers questions.  Really, when I was stuck, I’d head over there for inspiration and help.   I don’t know if this is still available, but she had a worksheet which helped outline an entire novel in thirty minutes  I used that over and over when I got lost and had no idea what happened next.   I don’t know if I would have published without all the information and help and answers I received from Alicia, but I know her tips really helped and smoothed the path.  She’s taught writing and been an editor.  She really knows what she’s talking about.

NOW her wonderful Regencies are available as ebooks.

I cannot tell you how excited I am both that she’ll be blogging at Notes from Butternut Creek and that her wonderful books will be available again.  Please stop by tomorrow for her blog Five Bad Habits of Good Writers

You can find Alicia at  http://www.aliciarasley.com/ and http://edittorrent.blogspot.com/


How did a nice girl like you end up writing gritty mysteries?

I first met Laura Griffin at her first book signing and was impressed with what a lovely person she is.   I then read her book and was surprised that this lovey woman could write such tough, gritty novels.   Over and over, Laura has proved that she’s one of the best writers of romantic suspense around.  Her latest novel TWISTED released Tuesday.  Laura, I’m delighted to have you here today.  The blog is yours.

Hi, Jane, and thanks for having me today! I get this question a lot, actually. And I’m not sure how I ended up writing chilling suspense books, but it probably has to do with my newspaper background.  I started my career as a reporter, and I was always drawn to the hard news stories. I liked the excitement of going to a crime scene and interviewing cops and hearing eyewitness accounts.

Newspaper reporting turned out to be a great entrée into fiction. I learned to overcome my shyness about interviewing people, which helps me all the time while I’m writing books. Whenever I have a question about something–maybe a police procedure or something about forensic science, I try to track down an expert who can help me get the answer.    I also love to interview people when I’m starting a new story. No matter what my protagonist’s job is–whether it’s a police detective, or a forensic anthropologist, or a hair stylist–I want to meet someone who does that job and get a first-hand account of what it’s like. I want to hear about the sights, the smells, the challenges of their daily life.

My new book TWISTED features rookie police detective Allison Doyle, who is working her first big murder case when she meets FBI profiler Mark Wolfe. To learn about Allison’s job, I interviewed female cops and did a police ride-along in my community. Touring the FBI Academy at Quantico and talking to veteran agents helped me better understand my FBI hero.

I hope readers will enjoy TWISTED! I had so much fun writing this story. This is the fifth book in the Tracers series, and people often ask me if it’s necessary to read the books in order. It isn’t. Each book focuses on a different romantic couple and has a stand-alone mystery plot. So feel free to plunge right in!

* * *New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin started her career in journalism before venturing into the world of romantic suspense. She is the author of ten novels and has won numerous awards, including a RITA Award for Whisper of Warning. Laura lives in Austin, where she is working on the next book in her popular Tracers series. Find Laura on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LauraGriffinAuthor or visit www.lauragriffin.com.