Archive for February, 2012

My first contact with Ms. Sally MacKenzie, a USA Today bestselling author, who writes funny, romantic and hot, Regency-set historical stories, was when I emailed to invite her for an interview for The Regency Inkwell. Ms. MacKenzie graduated from the University of Notre Dame in the first class of women with a BA in English. She and her husband raised four boys and currently resides in suburban Maryland.

While working through the interview process, I had discovered Ms. MacKenzie and I were in actuality neighbors. When I mentioned this to her she graciously invited me out for a cup of coffee. Well you can imagine my response – here I was a newbie excited about starting the blog and pursuing my writing career; and a bona fide author wanted to get together with me. I nonchalantly accepted for I did not want to scare the woman. But, deep down inside I was excited, thrilled and nervous. I mean what do you say to someone as accomplished in the Historical Romances genre, that you had just met and she wanted to take you out for coffee?

When the time came to meet at the café I was very calm. As I parked the car, I began to pretend as if I was just meeting an old friend. But that did not last long. I had no idea what to say. It was not like I had planned to interview her since I had already done that. So I asked myself what do you talk about with an accomplished author. I berated myself for not having thought about it before I had set out to meet with her.

As I walked into the café, I wondered if I would have a difficult time spotting her, since she had mentioned to me that she had somewhat changed from the picture she had sent me. But, I did recognize her immediately — I found her reading her iPad. I stood for a second studying her and wondering what kind of greeting one gives an author. At first I thought about curtsying, for I felt as if I was meeting royalty. Then I thought hugs were out of the way since we had just met, so I settled for shaking hands — it was the professional thing to do. When I started walking toward her, and she saw me, she gave me the biggest grin ever and I immediately knew I was meeting a cool lady, apprehension and shyness all gone.

It was one of the best afternoons I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. She treated me to a cup of café latte, my favorite and we talked about anything and everything, as if we were old friends. Besides her lovely smile, another thing that stood out for me was her openness and willingness to share her wisdom on writing with me.

Ms. MacKenzie published her first book at the same age I am now, giving me and hopefully other first time writers the hope that it is never too late to follow ones dreams. She also mentioned that her writing mantra was “write, write, write and then revise, revise, revise.” She talked about the Romance Writers of America and its local chapters, and how important it is to be a part of a group like them. I can happily report, since our meeting, that I have joined both the RWA and the DC and Maryland chapters.

We talked about her family and before you knew it we spent 2 ½ hours chatting. This article is long overdue, so I can’t remember if we hugged before we said our goodbyes, but something tells me we did – because that would be just what Sally MacKenzie would do. For more information about her and her books, please visit her website.




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