One cold, January day in 1995, I hurried home from work, stopped by the grocery store to pick up a few things, and flipped through the book rack while standing in the check-out line.
A western, my favorite plot, caught my eye. The book was Desert Dreams, by Deborah Cox. I bought it, and thoroughly enjoyed the story of the tortured hero and the woman who saves him.
Fast forward a few months, and my librarian called to let me know that someone with an interest in writing had stopped by the library. She gave me the woman’s name and number, and we connected.
Julene and I met at the library, and I learned that there was a national writer’s organization named Romance Writers of America that allowed unpublished authors to join. Amazingly, there was a chapter about an hour from my small hometown.
And, as we talked more, I found out that Deborah Cox was a member of that chapter. I couldn’t believe it! A real, live, published author lived within an hour of me. Not too long after that, Julene invited me to go to a meeting. I was nervous about meeting a published author. Would Deborah Cox be there? Would she be a prima donna? Would she sign my copy of Desert Dreams that I conveniently stuck in my bag?
We arrived at the library where the Magnolia State Romance Writers (MSRW) met. We trooped down to the basement meeting room. (It was a great place to meet, btw!), and Julene introduced me to the ones already gathered there. To my disappointment, Deborah Cox wasn’t there. But the meeting hadn’t started yet, so there was still time.
She came, floating down the stairs to the basement like a queen. I thought she was so sophisticated, gracious, and brilliant. Of course she was brilliant! She’d written a book that I loved, and Harper Collins had published. I was in awe. To me, a country girl who’d never met anyone of any importance in the publishing world, meeting Deborah Cox was like meeting a celebrity.
Somehow I managed to get up the nerve to ask her to sign my copy of Desert Dreams, which I still have, btw. I’ll never part with it!
Debbie was the first published author I ever met, and she set the stage for a host of friendly, gracious authors who have befriended me through RWA, MSRW, and ACFW. When I met Debbie, I realized that authors are people too.
Thanks Debbie, for being so sweet to this starstruck fan. I'm sure I blubbered like an idiot.
So, friends of Seekerville, tell us about that special meeting with a published author you’ll never forget.