My friend Josie won a Lambda Award for her first Lonnie Squires novel, Whacked. I am so psyched for her. I have a little bit of a jealous streak, which I hate about myself, but with Josie I am so happy not just because she won but because not a smidge of envy taints my joy. When a good friend who has worked hard gets the gold, it’s a win for her and everyone who loves her!
Josie and I met several years ago at a writer’s conference in Yellow Springs, Ohio. This is before I even started blogging, so really long time ago. We had signed up for the same intensive fiction workshop–a week long of daily classes with Jennifer Crusie.
Jenny gave us some good advice the first day, something like “Look around. These are your peers. After this week is over, stay in touch. Critique each other’s work. Support each other.” I looked around and I saw Josie, Trisha, and Andrew. I took Jenny’s advice to heart.
Trisha and I had dinner together that first night. We clicked immediately and through the years have attended many other conferences together. The second day at Antioch, Trisha introduced me to Josie. Josie and I discovered we had a couple of things in common. We were both from Michigan, and both of us had manuscripts with Harlequin. We were hopeful. We were also both college writing teachers.
Neither Josie’s book nor mine sold to Harlequin, but we persisted. We kept writing. Every time one of us finished a novel, the other would critique it. So I read Whacked way before it was published, and I knew it was a huge leap ahead in craft and skill for Josie. She’d been improving with every manuscript, but with Whacked she hit it out of the park. She SO deserves her win!