If you're a romance writer or reader, you've heard of Jayne Ann Krentz. Hell, just the initials JAK mean something to you. You also know that she writes historical novels as Amanda Quick and futuristic novels as Jayne Castle.
Today, Jayne was in Honolulu signing books. She also invited the Aloha Chapter to join her for coffee afterward. Can you imagine my excitement? Heck, I gave up a Pro Bowl ticket for this! (Okay, the truth is it wasn't much of a sacrifice for me — I'm not a big football fan but would have gone with the hubby anyway. Naturally, he had no trouble finding someone who wanted to go in my place. Yay!)
Jayne is wonderful! She's energetic, friendly, and willing to talk and answer questions for hours. She started off her talk by telling the gathered readers and writers about her latest book, All Night Long. She talked about the types of books she writes, the themes that move her, her process (she's not an outliner — yippee!), and so many things I just can't remember them all. After she talked for an hour, she signed books. The four of us from the chapter who were able to make it met her husband, Frank, and went into the cafe to order coffee. There were no available tables, but the B&N staff arranged chairs for us near Jayne's book table (oh the stacks! I aspire, I aspire!).
We gathered around in a circle and talked for about an hour and a half. Jayne's advice to writers? Whatever you love to read is probably what you should be writing. Don't write about vampires if you love to read romantic comedy. Don't worry about the rules. Some people outline, some people don't. Some people fill out character charts, some people don't. Write as many drafts as it takes. Don't give up. Don't rewrite the same book forever. Don't send your manuscript to the senior editor; send it to an editorial assistant. Short, to the point query letters. Sample pages. Be professional.
Jayne agreed to come back and speak to the chapter, which we look forward to. In the meantime, go check out her blog, Running With Quills, a joint blog with authors Stella Cameron, Elizabeth Lowell, and Suzanne Simmons.
L to R:
Leslee Ellenson, Shauna Jones, Jayne Ann Krentz, Lynn Raye Harris, Michael Little (no, we did not line up in order of height on purpose — besides, I was wearing two inch boots, so I cheated)