I was recently acknowledged on a friend's dedication page in her novel. It made me smile, and I must admit I was quite chuffed.
Melissa and I met about ten years ago when we joined LARA, the Los Angeles chapter of Romance Writers of America. We joined a large critique group and met after the monthly meeting to exchange chapters, comment upon, and generally try to learn from each other's writing attempts the best way to write a romance. Those were fun days.
We were an eclectic group and all have remarkably stayed friends some ten years later. What surprised me most was Melissa and Gina (my current critique partner) were young women, not much older than my own daughter. Melissa was recently married with no children, Gina was single. They were so modern and contemporary, and I was this old lady who was single, didn't even date, and had no idea how to write a romance for today's reader. They loosened me up. ; )
Over the years we broke away from the larger group to find smaller numbers to critique with. My group of five went on to produce three successful authors. Then those authors were deluged with contracts and marketing and building a brand, and we split again. Melissa and I critiqued for a while and then life got in the way for her as she was working, had a baby, and so on, but we've always been there to support each other in times of need. Gina and I still critique and we seem to do just fine.
Melissa wrote a wonderful story that was a historical time travel. It got so close to being published in several of the big houses, she garnered an agent with that story, and life started to look promising. Then things went topsy turvy as they often do in life, and the agent changed vocation. Publishing was beginning to change, and not for the good for new writers. Melissa never gave up on her story. She knew it deserved to be published. Me, on the other hand, I'd write a story submit it five or six times, get a rejection and move on to the next story. Ah, I think there's a lesson here, somewhere. ; )
Melissa's first novel, Past Her Time, came out in e-book and is available at Bookstrand Publishers this week. It should be available at Amazon in a week or so, and it will be published in print in October 2011.
Check it out, you won't be sorry.