The last month or so has seen some prime examples of Authors Behaving Badly. For those on the outside, this may seem like the “norm.” But I assure you. The reason this topic gets so much press is because it is such an anomaly. Allow me, then, to pay homage to a few ladies I’ve been fortunate enough to meet who consistently represent all that’s good about our genre: the generosity, the poise, and love we should all strive for. When I grow up, I want to be any one of these ladies. And btw, aside from one who happens to be a chapter mate, I do not have any “personal” relationship with these women. They have merely gained my respect due to their professionalism in person and online. My personal top five:

1. Nora Roberts: No one walks away from her without a smile. She, truly, is the Queen of our business. Open, honest, often blunt, but never mean-spirited.
2. Bertrice Small: If Nora’s the queen, Bertrice is Empress. Even before I was fortunate enough to call her “friend” I was a recipient of her encouragement, her enthusiasm, and her warmth.
3. Allison Brennan: Still a fairly new writer, Allison has shown support, knowledge, and grace to anyone lucky enough to spend an hour or two with her.
4. Shirley Jump: Another lady who is constantly cheerful, encouraging, and eager to help others.
5. Sylvia Day: Savvy, fun, and all-around terrific lady who shares her knowledge and sense of humor with anyone who asks.

So…let’s hear it for the romance ladies who embody all that is good about our business! Feel free to add your own personal heroines (but not to promote a book for a friend or CP, please!) Share your experiences with me. Who’s made a major impact (positively) on your writing life?