My wonderfully talented and just-plain-wonderful critique partner, Courtney Milan, is a finalist in the NTRWA Great Expectations contest! I’m so proud of her. And last year, India was a finalist in the same contest, so clearly North Texans have excellent taste. :0)

I have my monthly chapter meeting tomorrow, where someone from Toastmasters is going to coach us on speaking in public – something I dearly need to learn. Also, my new friend and fellow romance writer, Debra Mullins, will be signing her new Avon release, The Night Before the Wedding. I just picked up my copy at Borders today. (Did you know it’s buy 4, get one free time in the Romance section?) Can’t wait to read it!

One of the things I admire about Deb is her ability to just talk about her books. No, really. It sounds easy, but I have the most absurdly hard time doing it. This is an experience I relived many times last weekend, at my grandparents’ 60th anniversary party. If someone asks me what my book’s about, first I blush. Then I look wildly around the room for an escape route. What eventually comes out is something like, “Well…there’s this guy…and this girl.. and ooh, look, is that cake?” *dashing away* But if you ask Deb what her book’s about, she tells you. And it makes sense. It sounds like a story. It’s such a mystery to me, how she does it. Hopefully the Toastmasters guy can sort me out.

How about you? When people ask what your book’s about, do you freeze up or ramble or turn red like me? Do you practice at home, in front of your mirror or with your cat?

16 comments to “Yes, we have Great Expectations of Ms. Milan”

  1. Gina Black
    · February 8th, 2008 at 1:54 pm · Link

    Tessa–I will be there tomorrow and I will look for you. I’ll be the short frizzy-haired woman who looks confused. 😉 I’m coming with my CP, Lisa Valdez, who is tall and elegant. (We make an interesting pair.) Please find us if I don’t find you. (I will not be staying for Nascar in the afternoon.)

  2. Tessa Dare
    · February 8th, 2008 at 2:07 pm · Link

    Wonderful, Gina!

    Can you believe, Passion was one of the five books I bought today. Will Lisa mind if I bring it and ask her to sign it? 🙂

  3. Alice Audrey
    · February 8th, 2008 at 2:17 pm · Link

    Whoohooo CM!

    I used to think I was pretty good at talking about my book, but lately I’ve been told my queries suck, and that’s what you do in a queery. *shrug*

  4. Gina Black
    · February 8th, 2008 at 3:10 pm · Link

    Tessa–don’t you just love synchronicity? I’m sure Lisa would be delighted to sign Passion. 🙂

  5. India Carolina
    · February 8th, 2008 at 7:34 pm · Link

    Courtney is the bomb!! And Jenny Keebler rocks. I can’t wait for the world to meet this wonderful heroine.
    And as a Texas girl, I have to boast, my home state knows great!

    I have zero problem talking about my book. Did I tell you the one where (on a road trip to Wyoming) my family threatened to put me out of the car if I didn’t shut up about Christian’s eyes?

    But I will never forget how nervous I was on my first pitch. Just shaking and spilling water and such and Margret Marbury was practically an angel about it. I’ll always adore her for that.

  6. terrio
    · February 8th, 2008 at 8:16 pm · Link

    Congrats again to CM. International woman of mystery is about to be international best seller. Was there ever any doubt? LOL!

    Story *telling* I can do. Story *writing* I’m still working on. I have a friend who is sort of reading my story as I write it and if she gets me going to start to tell her what’s going to happen (provided things go the way I think) and she makes me shut up because she doesn’t want to know before she reads it. But she asks!

    I’m pretty sure my mother gets hives if I get started at this point. I tend to ramble and usually she just tunes me out.

  7. Elyssa Papa
    · February 9th, 2008 at 7:39 am · Link

    Congrats again to CM!!!

    I don’t talk about my books because no one knows except, well, the people online. So, I have no problem whatsoever talking about my books because I don’t. LOL

    It’s just something I don’t talk about or share or that people in real life even know about.

  8. CM
    · February 9th, 2008 at 7:50 am · Link

    Thanks, Tessa! I’m definitely more the “ooh, is that cake?” kind of person, but I absolutely need to get away from that. Share any good tips you get, please!

  9. Jackie Barbosa
    · February 9th, 2008 at 3:37 pm · Link

    Ah, at LAST, I’ve found a few minutes to squeeze in blog rounds!

    I laughed when I read your “ooh, there’s cake” description of talking about your book, because I had a similar experience at a baby shower last weekend. My husband told a very old friend of his who is both an ex-police officer and a very devout Christian and has written a book of his own that *I* write books, too. I sort of stumbled over my tongue trying to find a way to AVOID talking about my actual WRITING, and instead managed to ramble on for some time about my agent request for a full for Unbridled due to a contest final. A request I’ll probably never fulfill, alas. And it’s really too bad, because she’s Julie Anne Long’s agent, so I’m prety sure she’s good!

    So, yeah, I feel your pain.

  10. Santa
    · February 9th, 2008 at 7:34 pm · Link

    I am a rambler. I could use a Toastmaster session or two. I must confess that I’ve gotten better – I have to get over the stammering.

    I hope you got your autograph, Tessa and some marvelous tips you’ll have to share!

    Congrats, once again, to CM!

  11. Lindsey
    · February 9th, 2008 at 10:11 pm · Link

    Woot! Hope CM will get to do lots of public speaking of the acceptance-speech variety!

    I find it difficult to talk about my writing because I have a hard time judging people’s interest level – do they want hook-length, blurb-length, the whole synopsis? I think I err on the side of telling too little because I’m afraid of boring them with too much.

  12. Lenora Bell
    · February 10th, 2008 at 12:53 am · Link

    Congratulations, CM!!!

    I’ve been on stage so much that public speaking comes easy–writing witty dialogue, on the other hand…

  13. Gillian Layne
    · February 10th, 2008 at 7:31 am · Link

    Actually, Tessa, I really hope you blog a bit about what you learn. 🙂

    Courtney, congratulations!

    Practicing with the cat sounds appropriate. No human could appear more uninterested than they do.

  14. Alyssa Goodnight
    · February 10th, 2008 at 2:37 pm · Link

    I hate having to speak before a group and I get self-conscious talking about my books. Maybe I can suggest that our chapter bring someone in from Toastmasters… 😉

    Best of luck!

  15. Ervin A.
    · February 10th, 2008 at 2:47 pm · Link

    Tessa: Oh jeez, I am the worst when people ask me what I’m writing. I get, like, mini panic attacks and whatnot. And since I’ve been writing memoiry-type stuff lately, I’m kind of temped to say, when asked by family members or ex’s what I’m writing, “Oh, it’s just some really horrible things ABOUT YOU!”

    CM: Congrats. I’m sure you owe all your success to me. I’m not sure how, but still, I’m sure of it. I mean, we all know that Tessa owes all her success to me, so why not you too? (Just kidding) 🙂


  16. Renee Lynn Scott
    · February 10th, 2008 at 11:19 pm · Link

    Well first Congrats CM!!!! I knew you all rocked.

    Talking about my stories…uh…umm…well yeah it’s uh…

    My dh finally asked the other night what my second story was about. I was shocked considering he never asked about the first.