Thursday, June 09, 2011


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.


Megan said...

I must admit that I am a little jealous. I have always wanted a book dedication! Congrats to your friend! I'll buzz over and check out the book.

Robena Grant said...

Thanks, Megan. I know you'll enjoy it.

Anna said...

Woohoo, a new author/book to read. I'm always hunting for new stuff, so I'll look into it!

Anna/Irish Betty

lora96 said...

That would be sooo cool to be in the acknowledgments of a book. I *always* read the acknowledgments!

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Robena!
How fun to walk down memory lane with you. I remember those early days of critiquing well, and I gravitated to you because we were the senior members. I loved being around the younger ladies, too.

I remember fondly Melissa's time travel novel and enjoyed every second of critiquing it way back when. I never got to find out the ending, so I'll have to buy the e-book!

Thanks for reminding me about the good old days, which weren't that long ago, right?

Robena Grant said...

Anna, I thought you were my daughter. I love the name. : ) Thanks for stopping by.

Thank you Lora, I really am thrilled.

And Lynne, my old pal, my buddy, those really were the days weren't they? And now look at you ten or more published books later. You're awesome. Oh, and you'll LOVE the ending of Past Her Time.

melissa_jarvis said...

That was such a lovely blog, and I'm truly touched. You've been a great friend, critique partner, listener, and I couldn't have gotten here without you. And I remember those early days when we would critique. I had no idea what I was doing and then all those near misses. But life happens for a reason!

Robena Grant said...

Melissa, thanks for stopping by and I'm glad you like my ramblings. You can tell I'm excited for you, and while I may have done all of those things for you, you have done the same for me.

I agree wholeheartedly that things happen for a reason. Past Her Time has found her time. ; )