Monday, November 1, 2010

When Four MuseItUp Authors Meet, Sparks Fly

Part I by Rebecca Ryals Russell

I had a unique opportunity recently to meet an author I’d befriended online but never dreamed of meeting in person as she lives about 1000 miles away. We’ve shared interviews on blog postings and many emails over the last few months. It was one of those emails that got me thinking I might get to meet her after all. She and her husband were planning a trip to Florida, from their home in Ohio, to visit family. And the amazing part? Their journey would take them directly past my home.
            So I offered Roseanne Dowell and her husband Roger a stay in my Vacation Rental log house and they accepted. It was wonderful. They had a place to stay overnight and we would meet face to face. Then I got to thinking, there was another author I’d met just recently at the Florida Writers Association Conference in Orlando. Maybe Marsha A. Moore and her husband, Steve, could drive up from Tampa and we could drive down from Lake City to meet for dinner in Gainesville. And so the invitations went around and arrangements were made. We would meet at the Carrabbas at Archer Road and 34th Street in Gainesville at 5pm.
            Then something happened that was totally cool. A new author joined The Musers and she lived in Gainesville. So, as a surprise, I didn’t tell the others that I had invited Barbara Bockman to join us. In order to know me I said, “Look for the lady in the hat.”
            Throughout dinner we laughed and chatted amiably. It was as though we were all old friends. That comes from the comradery shown on the MuseItUp Author’s Loop where we chat daily. That part of this publication process has been the biggest surprise (compared with other Houses I’ve heard about) as well as the biggest comfort. No matter what happens in our Author or Personal lives, we KNOW there are people who care and will support us. That means the world.

Part II  by Roseanne Dowell

When the invitation came from Rebecca, I couldn’t believe it. Of course, there was no way I’d refuse an offer like that. I mean, seriously, how could I? A chance to meet fellow muse authors was like a dream come true for me also. I knew I couldn’t afford to go to Canada for their first annual get together. In fact, this will probably be the last vacation we’ll be able to take. Rebecca’s cabin is, without a doubt, beautiful. It’s hardly what I would call a cabin. The 1300 square foot three bedroom home is gorgeous with all the modern conveniences. It’s peaceful and a perfect place to write. I wish we could have stayed longer.

We arrived late Friday afternoon. Thank goodness we didn’t arrive in the dark. I don’t think we would have found it. For one thing MapQuest said it was on the right, which was where we were looking. NOT. We realized the addresses were even numbers, and after turning around three times and, of course, passing the house, I finally recognized pictures of the Victorian Home Rebecca lives in. Talk about beautiful, but that’s another story.

Saturday afternoon, Rebecca and her husband, Mike, drove us to Gainesville. I had the pleasure of meeting Rebecca’s son, Robert, who we dropped off at the University of Florida to stay with his sister, one of Rebecca’s beautiful daughters. And then it was on to the restaurant.
When we walked into the restaurant, Rebecca said she had a surprise for us. I had no idea what it could be. We had arrived a little early and were seated. Shortly thereafter, a woman walked up to the table and spoke to Rebecca. She was Rebecca’s surprise. One of our new muse authors, Barbara Bockman. Marsha A. Moore arrived next and what a treat to meet three Muse authors. Although Rebecca and Barbara write young adult and Marsha writes for the Hot line, we had much to talk about (Yes, Lea, even you!). 
It was such an enjoyable experience and I will treasure the memory. Who knows, maybe on our way home, I’ll get to meet another Muse author.      

Part III by Marsha A. Moore

What amazed me the most about our visit was how much fun we all had, so much to talk about, even though we write such different genres. Rebecca and Barbara write for younger readers, Roseanne writes romance, and I write fantasy romance. We represent all three lines of Muse: MuseItUp, the main line, MuseItHot (erotica) and MuseItYoung (readers 10-14). It wasn’t by any accident or coincidence we eagerly got together and had a great time. The collective, sharing, and caring spirit is what makes MuseItUp Publishing unique. Not only does that basic tenet help out whenever concerns, small or large arise, but it allows us to be comfortable with each other. Our publisher, Lea Schizas, certainly will not like being credited with this, but she’ll get over it. Her vision and example established and continues to foster this wonderful, interactive environment. As we turn toward Thanksgiving, I’m very grateful for this terrific group of authors, working and enjoying life together. It was a treat to meet three of them.

Part IV by Barbara Bockman

            I couldn’t believe my good fortune when I read on the Muse Blog that Rebecca had invited Roseanne and her husband to stay in their cabin and that they were coming to dinner Saturday night in my town. (Who says eavesdropping doesn’t pay?) I asked to be included and Rebecca said she would save me as a surprise. In addition to Rebecca and Roseanne, Marsha was to be there, too. I was thrilled at the prospect of meeting some live Muse Authors. I joined the group for dinner and we had a terrific time talking about writing and writers and The Muse. (The three husbands were sweet and tolerant of our writerly conversation). I am a Baby Muse Author with a lot to learn. It’s a great advantage for me to be among experienced writers who are always willing to show the ropes to a newbie. This is ONE TERRIFIC GROUP. I am so happy to have been a part of the Muse Conference Board for a few years now and I’ve seen Lea’s vision expand and grow to where she’s now a publisher of books. She shows us all how to reach for the stars.


Unknown said...

I totally enjoyed the blog post. Each of you added your own touch to the story and I truly felt the emotion you shared at meeting one another. I'm totally delighted that I'm going to meet Roseanne this weekend. She and her husband are altering their route home to pass my way, and although I don't have a gorgeous log house to offer for their comfort, I do have an extra bedroom where they are most welcome to rest their heads. I can't wait to hug my friend. I feel like I've known her forever.

Lea didn't just bring authors together, she united people who are forging friendships that will last a lifetime.

Roseanne Dowell said...

I am so lucky to have met three wonderful people and fellow authors. And Barbara is right, our three husbands were very tolerant. Ginger, I can't wait to meet you. At least now I have something to look forward to on the long ride home. Because of the author's and reader's group, Lea set up, I also feel like I've known these women forever. I wish I could meet Lea and the other authors in person too. As all the authors have pointed out, Lea has made this one special group. I feel like we're all family. I know she hates when we thank her, but I've been with other publishers and no place except Muse has felt like home. Thanks, Lea, you're one super mama.

Karen McGrath said...

Oh, what fun! I want you all to visit me! Wanh!! I'm in Boston, hint, hint. :)

Thanks for sharing, everyone. I love the photos, seeing your shining faces is great!

J.Q. Rose said...

What a great plan and loved the story of your get-together. I missed that posting about the meeting in FL or I would have invited myself to the party too. I am near Tampa for the winter. So anyone in the area, you're invited to stop by!

Roseanne Dowell said...

JQ sorry you didn't see those postings. Would have loved to have you join us.

MuseItUp Publishing said...

I am such a baby. I actually teared up reading this because of such an overwhelming emotion to see Musers forging friendships. Having our database with our cities mentioned is a great idea for future get-togethers.

And, Rebecca, what a peaceful and tranquil looking cabin you have. I agree with Roseanne...this would be a perfect writer's retreat.

I wish I was a fly on the wall because it would have been neat to hear what three different imprint writers of the Muse talked about. :)

Love the photo of you ladies. What a treasure.

Barbara Ehrentreu said...

Karen, I live in Stamford, CT. Maybe we can get together some time if you are coming south.:) We could meet at one of the casinos:)

I loved reading about Roseanne, Marsha, Barbara B and Rebecca getting together.:) I've only been here for a short time, but I feel very welcome and enjoy meeting all of you. I think that anything Lea does has her stamp of warmth, sharing, and originality. And as far as writers from different imprints getting together, writers have so much in common that when we meet there is always going to be that bond.

I also loved reading from each different POV. It brought more to this story. I hope we can all meet each other some day.

Marsha A. Moore said...

It was a great time. Wouldn't have missed it for anything! :)

Heather Haven said...

Ladies, what a great experience you've shared with one another! And thank you for sharing it with the rest of the MIU authors. I think - I hope - you've started a tradition. Maybe some of us can have mini-conferences here and there throughout our parts of the country. I live in Norther California, the foothills of San Jose, and would love to meet up with some of my nearby fellow Muse authors.

Christine London said...

Loved, loved, loved hearing about your get together. How fun! Thanks for sharing.

Heather--I'll be at Barnes and Noble
Sunday November 14th, 2010
Christine London and Joann Smith Ainsworth

Hacienda Crossings
4972 Dublin Boulevard
Dublin, CA 94568
1-4 p.m.

Might you be i the neighbourhood??


P.S. I'm a Los Angeles gal. My door and heart --Always open to any Muser

Viviane Brentanos said...

Ok, folks. You gals on the other side of the water can't have it all your own way. I say, next year, we Musers go Greek {sure Lea won't object}. Let's rent a villa on my beloved Corfu.

Christine London said...

I'm "IN" Viv. Would be tres cheap for Villa split many ways between us. Find a rock bottom flight and we have our locale for Muse convention Par Deux! WOuld not be any more than Canada or US locale if we play our cards right.

Sara Durham Writer ~ Author said...

What a wonderful gathering! I'm so happy you guys made this happen! This no doubt sets the precedence for future gatherings. Viviane, I've always wanted to go to Greece... I'm looking forward to the Montreal gathering already, and it's a year away! Sigh


Rosalie Skinner said...

What a great experience. Thanks for sharing it. So when you do y'all wanna come Downunder?
Montreal is so far away... and huge cost to get there and back again....but would be fantastic to attend the first Muse Retreat.
Corfu? Would love to do that too.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you all got to meet. What a wonderful time you all had!

Sherry Adams said...

YAY, glad you had a great time!