|Publisher's Weekly blogger Barbara Vey (right) and me, 2011|
Her blog and virtual party are partly responsible for my involvement in Romance Writers of America; Barbara attends a lot of RWA chapter meetings, and she showed up at a regional RWA conference I attended last year. She is a reader first, and loves to promote authors through her connections with PW. In the virtual party forum, I admitted I thought romance novels were cheesy and I preferred fiction with more "going on" than just romance. Lots of readers suggested authors to me who have transcended the stereotypical romance fiction conventions, and I found a few new favorite authors because of it (Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jennifer Crusie for example).
UPDATE: The virtual party was postponed to March 11-16! Beyond Her Book
Sidenote, for you midwestern folk, she is hosting a Reader Appreciation Lunch in Milwuakee on April 27 with a bunch of authors. I have a wedding to go to, but this sounds super cool.