Now, there’s a story behind all this, and the brief version is this:
A couple years ago, I was invited to participate in the Levy Book Cruise—a week-long adventure where readers and authors could hop on a ship together, sail down to Mexico, and just hang. It was supposed to be great fun, a really wonderful opportunity.
Ten minutes before I left, there was a death in the family.
At that point, I went on auto-pilot. I did not know what to do. So I kept moving forward. I got on that ship. I also got off the ship at the first port, and flew home for the funeral – but the intervening time was miserable. The single bright point while locked on the open sea was Barbara Vey, one of readers on the cruise. I had actually met her a year or two before at RT in St. Louis, but that was brief. This was a chance to really sit and talk. And Barbara was…effortlessly kind. She took care of me.
So anyway, we were sitting and having lunch on the second or third day, and this lovely lady came walking by with a tray. Barbara invited her to sit down. Turned out it was Karen Holt of Publishers Weekly, and we all had a wonderful conversation about books. A really great conversation, actually. Because a year later, Karen asked Barbara if she would be willing to blog professionally for PW. And she did. And Publishers Weekly sent her to RT and RWA, and all sorts of other conferences, where she proved herself to be the most natural, engaging, interviewer I have ever met. Probably the best interviewer that magazine has on staff.
Fate—that cruise, that lunch, that conversation—works in mysterious ways.
So, that was all in one year. Her blog has taken off. 2008-2009 can only get bigger and brighter. And for those interested, there is a blog party like no other taking place at her site. In fact, over 75 authors/agents/publishers have pledged prizes, and all you have to do is leave a comment. So go here, and wish Barbara well!