Continuing in my Month of Thanks, here is my letter for October 15th.
To Michele Merlin,
I don’t really remember what our first interaction was, but I’m pretty sure it was on Twitter. At the time, my podcast of The Dreamer’s Thread was in the works, and I was busy trying to find the right cast. I searched high and low across podiobooks.com and iTunes, looking for voices that might fit, seeing who else was out there and what they were doing. I found you because you were in the process of releasing Trapping a Duchess.
Your book was my first introduction to Romance novels that didn’t suck. Before that, I was firm in my belief that that genre just wasn’t for me. The prose was over the top, the story lines made me roll my eyes, and the relationships weren’t at all realistic. But because of your wit and humor on Twitter, I gave it a try.
And I fell in love with that book. I don’t really know why. I’m not a Historical Romance reader even now. I think it was your characters. Their witty banter left me giggling and longing for more. It was the first time I felt really invested in a Romance novel, and I looked forward to every new episode.
It was because of Trapping a Duchess that I asked for your involvement in The Dreamer’s Thread, and I can’t imagine it without you. Yours was a small part, but you threw yourself into the role as though you were the star. I think your outtakes were probably longer than your lines, but that hardly mattered. I used those too! In fact, I’m pretty sure that I stole your idea for a blooper reel after you released yours as your final episode.
During that time, I got to know you more, and I even met you in person the following year at Balticon. You were every bit the powerhouse of snark I’d come to expect from your digital presence. We hit it off immediately.
It’s because of you, of getting to know you and picking your brain about Romance and Erotica writing, that I had the courage to explore my own idea for the Endure series. We had several conversations about things I’d written in the past, and you provided excellent feedback, guiding me in the basic how-to’s of constructing my story for Erotica a la Carte and a small scene (which I ultimately cut) from Master of Myth. Still, it wasn’t until your critique of the first seven chapters of Maven that I truly noticed a difference in my craft. In what time you were able to give me, I took your advice and notes and applied them throughout the story, so your fingerprints are all over the story it became.
Our spontaneous Twitter conversations became sources of entertainment for our mutual friends. Often I’d see folks tweet about following us both if they were in need of a laugh. And laugh we did. I adore our back-and-forths and wish they were as frequent now as they used to be.
But things change. You’re away far more than you are present these days, but I know you’re only a text or phonecall from me. You’ve seen me through more than one personal crisis, and for that I’m grateful as well. Even better, you became a client, allowing me to design a beautiful new cover for the book that made me a believer in Romance. It’s wonderful and touching when your friends have enough confidence in your work to trust you that way. I’m glad you’ve had the success you have with it. I can’t tell you how much I loved getting your phonecalls of SQUEE when you hit another milestone and had to flail at someone. My part in all that was small, but you made me feel absolutely crucial to the process.
For all of these things and more, you have my most heartfelt thanks.
Your Partner in Snark,
You can learn more about Michele and her work here.
John Merlin says
You know what kind of ego she’s going to have for the rest of the day, now?
Starla Huchton says
Sorry, not sorry. :P
Melissa (My World...in words and pages) says
Wow. Lots of influence. And good stuff for the Endure series. ;)