- A Kitty in the Henhouse
- Chicken Scratches and Other Writing Tips
- Eye Candy
- Happenings at the Henhouse
- Music of the Coop
- Pop Culture
- Squawk Authors: Latest and Greatest Books
- Squawk Friends
- Squawk Interactive: Captions, polls, etc
- Squawk's Favorite Books
- Stranger Than Fiction (Real Life)
- Teresa Reveals the CONFESSIONS OF A TRUE ROMANTIC
- CHRISTINA DODD HAS A TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY
- Christina Dodd Exposes the Glamour of Booktour
- Christina Dodd Treats You to an Extra Excerpt of IN BED WITH THE DUKE!
- GIRLFRIENDS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN Contest!
- Connie Brockway Posts Incriminating New Video
- SPOIL ME! BY CELEBRATING THE GOLDEN SEASON’S PUB DATE, TODAY!
- Teresa Says It Loud and Says It Proud: I WRITE ROMANCE NOVELS!!!
- CHRISTINA DODD SAYS “IT’S CHRISTMAS! DUCK!”
- Teresa Needs Your Help to Choose the SEXIEST MAN DEAD!
When Susan Mallery moved to Houston, we were told by Susan Wiggs (who also lived in Houston) that we should be friends. Being the kind of people who obeyed when told in a firm tone to do something, Susan Mallery and I became fast friends.
I confess, I don’t know why. We have nothing in common.
Susan is organized. In fact, the first time we talked on the phone she told me, “I could run the world if I had the right staff.” That’s a fair assessment of her abilities.
I am not organized. My office looks like the Federal Repository for cardboard boxes.
Susan is focused, which means she writes like the wind, or at least a good stiff breeze. She writes anywhere from six to nine books a year. She’s finished her hundredth manuscript. She’s written historicals, Silhouette Intimate Moments, Silhouette Special Editions, and big book romance. She’s written for HarperCollins, Berkley, Pocket, Silhouette and HQN. Her current Silhouette Desire, THE ULTIMATE MILLIONAIRE, is on the Waldens Series Romance List a #1, while at the same time, SIZZLING (her ninety-seventh book) is #9 on the Waldens Mass Market Romance List at #9.
Up until I met Susan, the most books I had written in a year was two.
After Susan moved to Houston, my fans vanished. Or at least, she never ran into one. She never saw anyone reading one of my books. She never heard a readers speak well of my books. I know this, because we did many autographings together, and the readers always gushed over her and smiled vaguely at me.
Yet every time I went out in public on my own, I would meet one of her rabid fans. At one conference, this unpublished writer explained she had never read me, but that Susan was her role model and that she even treasured the Women’s Day stories Susan had published.
Worst of all, people who met her would come to me, her friend, and say, “Susan is so witty!” Eventually I was reduced to saying, in a surly tone, “Oh, yeah? Well, I’m witty, too.”
But I did contribute a lot to our friendship.
I made her go out to lunch on the spur of the moment, something which she’d never done before—lack of spontaneity is the downside of being so organized. (We went out to Pappasitos so often we not only always ordered the same thing — a mixed grill of shrimp, chicken and beef over Spanish rice with beans and pineapple pico de gallo — but we exchanged the shrimp for the chicken without saying a word.)
I let her take care of my children. Susan has no children, she was always writing about them, and babysitting my daughters helped with her craft. (It also provided stories that are told and re-told even today, to great hilarity … like the time she told my adolescent girls that they didn’t have to do anything to attract a boy’s attention, all a guy saw when he looked at a girl was a one giant breast.)
Most important, I helped her survive. Susan is a California girl. Not just California, but LA. And she’d lived pretty much her whole life in LA, which made the transition to Houston rocky. Without me, who would have told her to unplug her computer during a lightning storm, or how to survive a tornado? Who would have told her what to do about fire ants and cockroaches (which are endemic in Houston, so you Yankees can just unwrinkle your little noses.) Who would have suggested we do a nine-hundred mile book tour through Texas which included a flat tire, goat sausage, and a hurricane? Who would have taken her to the pig auction?
In return, Susan showed me how to write faster, better, more efficiently, and with greater imagination.
Tomorrow, you’ll meet Susan and learn a little bit about her life, and Wednesday, she’ll share some of her writing wisdom — in a witty way, of course.
Please welcome Susan Mallery.