I just returned from Calgary a few days ago, where I attended the When Words Collide conference. It’s my third year, and I did a lot of running around, participating in panels and conducting workshops.
I made a rather large ooops, though. I left my flat shoes at home.
Which wouldn’t be such a great deal, I guess, except the hotel where the conference was held is actually two hotels, one on one corner of the street, and the other building on the other corner of the street, with a sky ramp connecting the two. And of course, every panel and workshop I was holding was on the other side of the hotel from where I was conducting the last one…
My shoes were heels, but they’re old ones and comfortable enough, except that I was on my feet all day, and running between buildings. Plus, I so rarely wear high heels anymore. I’m just not used to it. Although the shoes are cute as hell…
Anyway, by day 2 I had blood blisters on my soles, blisters on my little toes and heels, and blisters on my big toes. Plus my feet were swollen.
I got out my most comfortable ankle boots, that didn’t go with anything, but dammit, they would at least be comfortable…and I couldn’t get them on. My feet had swollen that much.
So I went downstairs for my first coffee of the morning in bare feet.
The hotel staff were horrified, of course. I felt very comfortable, and was happy to walk about barefoot. There was no friggin’ way I was going to put on any shoes at all. Period. It hurt to walk on the blood blisters, anyway.
Mark and I always get up early and at conferences, that generally means we’re wandering the hotel while its still and quiet. So Mark parked me on a bar stool to drink my sanity-saving coffee, and dashed to the nearest Walmart as soon as it opened.
And he came back with…
The most divine, perfect pair of fleece-lined, knitted, stretchy slippers that cradled my feet and were the talk of the conference, too!
Aren’t they brilliant?
Mark also bought a pair of black slippers with bows on the front — they were my formal “black tie” slippers.
So I wore slippers for the rest of the conference, and my feet were so happy. No more groaning about hiking to the other building…
Four days of discussions about creativity and writing brought to mind some of the early comments I received about Risk of Ruin. The story features an artist, Annalies, and the conflict between her art and “real life”.
An early beta reader commented to me that she was also an artist, and that I had perfectly nailed the artistic temperament and thought processes, and exactly how it was to be caught up in composing a picture…
It wasn’t research that led me to write about Annalies’ mental processes so accurately. No, that came directly from my brain to yours. Everything that Annalies agonizes over in this book–the war between craft and business, being nudged by those around her and being told to stop painting in her head and ignoring everyone, the pressure to paint what is popular and will win her professional approval…all those things translate directly to my career.
I’m not an artist, of course, but my daughter-in-law is. (Her site is here, if you’re curious, or if you love horse and dog pictures and other fine art). I’ve listened to Robyn talking about how her painting sessions go and was struck by the parallels to my writing process.
I get caught up by the power of a story moving in my head–I’ve been nudged by Mark any number of times and told to stop writing, often when we’re out somewhere with no computer within reach. The struggles between art and life, professional approval and paying the bills…that all exists, even today, for artists of all ilks, including writers of fiction.
I suspect the conflicts surrounding any creative career will always exist and every creative will find different solutions, too. Annalies’ solution was very different!
Now she belongs to another, he realizes too late that he wants her.
Lady Annalies is the daughter of the Earl of Innesford, but rejects society.Instead, she embraces the Bohemian art world, and lives in secret with her patron and lover, Tobias.The only person who knows the truth is her cousin, Peter, who furiously resents the burden of knowing how she courts disaster for the entire family.
When sales of her paintings diminish, putting her in financial straits, Annalies turns to Peter for help, as he has always helped her in the past.Peter grasps the chance to involve himself in her life, to head off the catastrophe she flirts with every day.The entanglements increase when he realizes it is not merely the risk of ruin which draws him to her.
This book is the eleventh in the Scandalous Scions series, bringing together the members of three great families, to love and play under the gaze of the Victorian era’s moralistic, straight-laced society.
This story is part of the Scandalous Scions series:
0.5 Rose of Ebony
1.0 Soul of Sin
2.0 Valor of Love
3.0 Marriage of Lies
3.5 Scandalous Scions Boxed Set 1
4.0 Mask of Nobility
5.0 Law of Attraction
6.0 Veil of Honor
6.5 Scandalous Scions Boxed Set 2
7.0 Season of Denial
8.0 Rules of Engagement
9.0 Degree of Solitude
10.0 Ashes of Pride
11.0 Risk of Ruin
12.0 Year of Folly
13.0 Queen of Hearts
A Sexy Historical Romance
And some early feedback:
As a trained historian, I can’t start to tell how much I liked it. It’s a very precise image of the academic art world, that in the end would result in the artistic vanguards in opposition to the official art.
A female non-conformist in a Regency Romance! What a great idea!
I just love the beginning and how I felt as if I had been dropped directly into Annalies’ mind. I can really empathize with her situation and eagerly read the story to follow the steps that this strong woman takes to achieve her dreams.
I also really admire and enjoy how Tracy Cooper Posey maintains historical accuracy in even the smallest details and how in every book she introduces me to new historical figures like James Tissot and historical events.
A must read story with a great plot, relatable characters and an ending that I did not expect but love.
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