“Here’s our friend we were just telling you about.”

I smiled politely, wondering at my friend’s words as I settled into the only available seat at the table. My excitement bubbled up within me like fine champagne. After all, I had a major fan girl moment, eating dinner with an author whose novels I’ve devoured since my teenage years. And . . . she talked to me!

Heather Graham. New York Times best-selling author. Iconic pioneer, with over 100 novels written. Generous, nurturing spirit. Truly.

Here’s my recollection of our conversation.

Heather (turning to me): “Conferences are a good way to learn about the industry.”

Me: “Ah, ba, ah, ba . . . ”

Heather: “We have a terrific conference in New Orleans.”

Me: ” Uhh . . . ”  I’m temporarily at a loss for words. Star Struck.

The conversation continues, and the whole time I’m thinking: How generous you are, Heather. If I am ever so fortunate to have one published novel under my wing, let alone 100 novels – and best-sellers, too – I would want to give back to writers just like you do, with your vivacious spirit. 

We were attending the New Jersey Romance Writer’s Put Your Heart in a Book Conference. Heather was a key note speaker and I was part of the conference committee contest organizers.

I realized something during this three day conference while mingling with authors who I adore. Heather puts it into words best:

“You have to live a full life to fully write.”

Writing can be an isolating endeavor. You, a laptop, and the occasional cat warming your legs. Characters keep you company, messing with your head as they demand to be put on the page. But how an author depicts them, along with their problems and their world, is where LIFE comes in.

After talking with Heather, it became very obvious why she’s so successful and why I love her writing so much. She’s living a full, rich life. And she is kind enough to let you in on it.

I settled into my new seat and the waiter came to clear away the dinner plates. My heart was still racing. Still star struck. And inspired. I was suddenly even more excited to work on my next manuscript. Who needed champagne when you’ve just met your muse?

I searched my friends’ faces at the table. Mirror images of my own greet me. Broad smiles. That gleam authors get in their eyes when their creativity is shimmering. Their excitement is palpable. And, all of them had it.

Wait a second! I became aware of the person across from me. I knew her, too.

Sabrina Jeffries.

Oh my God. Life doesn’t get any better than this!

For more information about Heather Graham, please visit:  http://www.theoriginalheathergraham.com/

For more information about Sabrina Jeffries, please visit: http://www.sabrinajeffries.com/

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