Today is Halloween (Happy Haunting, everyone!) . Even more exciting, today is the eve of the start of NaNoWriMo 2014. For these reasons (and more), I think it altogether appropriate to introduce you to the first previously unpublished author to publish a NaNoWriMo manuscript. Lani Diane Rich wrote her first book, “Time Off for Good Behavior” during NaNoWriMo. To top that feat, she won the Rita Award for “Best First Book” proving critics who said a good book could not be written in thirty days, wrong.
I came to Lani’s party late. If it hadn’t been for our McD professor talking about her BFF’s and writing partners, “Lani” and “Krissy” (Author Anne Stuart), I never would have picked up one of her books. Both Lani and Krissy sounded like funny, smart women. Women I could hang out with, but since asking for an introduction seemed inappropriate (read, stalker), I reached for their books instead. And really, isn’t that the best way to hang out with a writer?
My first LDR novel was a Kindle freebie (Time Off for Good Behavior). It was fresh. It was funny. And boy, was it smart. I was envious. This was just the kind of story I hoped to write, and everything I’ve read by Lani since has reinforced that view.
Now you might wonder why I thought presenting Lani Diane Rich on Halloween was appropriate. Simply put, she has a split personality. The funny women’s fiction stories she writes comes out of the pen of Lani Diane Rich. “Magical romantic fiction” is Lucy March’s domain. That Touch of Magic (Nodaway Falls) is Lucy’s most recent release. I downloaded it to my Kindle today since it seemed like the perfect way to spend a rainy, magical Halloween night.
Now if all of that isn’t impressive enough, how about this:
Not content with a simple (ha) writing career, Lani, along with her husband Alastair Stephens created a place where they could share their passion about writing and storytelling with other writers (and readers). StoryWonk is so rich with passion (podcasts, classes, blog, resources) that’s it’s hard to know where to begin. If you’re an Outlander fan (and you’re jonsing for an Outlander fix) it’s a bit easier. Alastair (a Scotsman, who better?) recently began a series of seminars on Outlander.
I was going to wrap up by pointing you to an online interview Lani did back in 2011, but since there’s no better way to meet a writer than to check out one of her books, here’s my favorite: The Fortune Quilt. Or you can sample the tone and feel of her books by checking out quotes from a few of her novels at Goodreads.
So what are you waiting for? Go hang out with Lani Diane Rich.