We seldom get famous romance/women's fiction authors doing book tours that include our desert communities. This week we got lucky. Susan Elizabeth Phillips, or SEP to those of us who are die hard fans, spoke at the Rancho Mirage Public Library as part of her book tour promoting her latest work, Call Me Irresistible.
It was a great night, and she had an amazing turnout, not just women either. But what really impressed me was the age range of the audience. SEP attracts readers from the late teens to senior citizens. One of the ladies in our group is in her eighties and she said she really got a kick out of the book.
Our La Quinta bookclub chose SEP's book for our February read. February being the month of love, right? Also, we thought it would be a treat to hear the author speak and see if her natural voice shows through in her written work. Of course, I knew that it did. (I've had the pleasure of hearing SEP talk at the Romance Writers of America National Conference.) I've never had the chance to speak to her before, because at RWA she is at a whole different level to little old me. An author pal, Lynne Marshall, who writes medical romance, came to visit and she joined me and four members of our bookclub at the library event.
SEP was a delight. She has a natural approach to public speaking and makes her audience feel like they are conversing with an old friend. She has a bubbly personality and her humor comes through with ease just as it does in her books. She seems very comfortable with herself, is approachable, kind, and always gracious...even when fans rolled up to her signing table with a cartload of older books of hers that required an autograph. And the amount of photographs she posed for was amazing. She must be exhausted at the end of each one of these events. I figured it's like being an actor in a public venue and feeling you must be "on" and presenting your best self at all times. Or maybe not, maybe she was just born that way. ; )
Seriously, if you have never read her books. Go get one. You don't have to read them in order. Some characters from prior books pop in for a visit in some of the newer ones, but each book stands alone. One of my personal favorites is, Natural Born Charmer. But they're all good.