lindsay emory

Welcome to the official site of Lindsay Emory, author of books with kisses and sass including the Sorority Sisters Mysteries, The Last Plus One, and the forthcoming The Royal Runaway.

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RWA16 Roundup - Mystery, Magic and Girl Crushes

Prologue

Editors often suggest that a writer should start her story with a hook, or an inciting incident, or, in the case of a mystery, a body.

So here you go.

 

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That is a man in white boxer briefs, standing on a San Diego bar with motorcycle gloves and a helmet covering his, um, steering column.

Chapter One - the Setting

This was my third RWA National Conference to attend and, like the first two, it did not disappoint. Also, like the first two, it defied my expectations. San Diego was better than I expected it would be - the sun, breeze, coastal temperature put everyone (okay, me) in a happy mood. The city is walkable, has tons of attractions and restaurants and our hotel, the Marriott Marquis Marina was an outstanding place for a conference.  It was large, clean, the staff and service were impeccable and there were so many chairs and places to meet friends and colleagues.

Chapter Two - the Introduction of the Heroine

I've discussed in my previous blog posts about RWA Nationals (here and here) that there are always unexpected surprises that occur at the conference so this year, I came prepared.  I came to conference open to whatever magic might be brewing. As I told someone on my last day, I may not learn what I want, but I learn what I need. This year the standouts were Beverly Jenkins' keynote, getting to watch Love Between the Covers again (which is now available on iTunes and Amazon - go NOW and watch this uplifting documentary about friendship, self-determination and making dreams come true) and an amaze-balls two hour creativity workshop that I'm still working through, brought to us by Lori Wilde and the Indra's Grace yoga crew from "back home" in Texas.  I also got some great tips from Rachel Hollis on social media which was pretty cool since she's sort of awesome at all the platforms.

I signed at the Readers for Life literacy signing and at the Avon book signing where I was happy to just be in the same room with that amazing group of writers, and I gave out my buttons to readers, to librarians, to people I made a personal connection with.  I thought long and hard about what my swag should say this year and in the end, I just wanted to spread a positive message about the thing that we all love so much.

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It was so fun to watch people's faces go from "oh yeah, I'll take your crappy pin" to "Man, I need this" or "This is awesome."  It made my day and I hope it lifted them a little too.

Chapter Three - the Heroine Finds True Love

Warning - this chapter contains explicit fangirling which may offend those readers who aren't awesome and don't have friends. Or hearts.

The best best best part of any conference, but this one in particular, was my girls. The women who preached from the stage, the ones who listened to me debate minute career decisions while under the influence of tequila, the ones who immediately "got" me, the ones who made time to get to know me.  I am always in awe of this sisterhood, this sorority of Romancelandia.  That doesn't mean that there weren't those who got snippy or had bad table manners or tried to put me in my newbie place. Yeah, yeah, whatever. You do you. I do me. And I choose to celebrate talented writers and inspiring women. I choose to smile at everyone and drink with anyone who asks.

Me and the ever-awesome Sarah Maclean

I love Susanna Kearsley so much. If I ever move to Canada in November *cough* I want to live on her street.

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I finally got to tell Diane Kelly, the president of RWA, how she was the first person to welcome me to DARA and tell me she thought my vampire lawyer book sounded really good (let's just say this shows how warm and supportive she is).  I got to tell Sarah Wendell how I talk to her in my head and that she sounds sexier in real life (I don't think she reported me to the police.) There were so many other awesome moments and so many new friends, I just can't list them all.  Check out my social media and that of Alexandra Haughton, Julia Kelly and Alexis Anne for more fun pics of our adventures (and late night videos!.)

Chapter Four- the Happily Ever After

I left #RWA16 leaving uplifted and convicted (and almost 7k words written - whoop!).  Most importantly, my tribe is stronger than ever.  And even though I feel a leeetle like Margot Blythe when I say this, isn't that the best kind of happy ending?

Epilogue - the Cruel Cliffhanger

If you want to know the story of the man in the tighty whities pictured above, I'll be posting it in my next newsletter, along with some really fun giveaways and promos and book news, as always.  Sign up here to get the scoop!

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Balance and the Rock Star

IMG_5394 I love the new year and the retrospectives and the planning and the beauty of a blank calendar. This year is no exception.  I've taken some time to go over 2015, thanks to these lovely printables at The Happiness Planner.  My answers to some of the questions were a little shocking, to tell the truth.

Without going into too much gory detail, I overdid 2015. Some of it couldn't be helped, some of it was all my fault. I've been battling a Cold from Hell (which would make a great band name, btw) for over a week and all signs point to the fact that my body has completely given out, surrendered, thrown out the white flag, etc. No matter how many supplements, vitamins and amino acids I choke down, they cannot undo the damage that 12 months of stress has done to my body.

Ironically (?), this was my goal for the year.  I was going to Dream Bigger. I still love that mantra. Looking back at my awesome writing spreadsheet, I estimate that I wrote approximately 325,000 words in 2015. That doesn't count words produced during edits, blogging, etc.   That doesn't count words that I produce in a very stressful full time day job.   This is a metric shit-ton of words, of hours spent at laptops, huddled over the ipad mini on the train, scribbling on notebooks.

As much as I love it, and while I now know I am completely capable of it,  I can't do this in 2016.

Not unless I'm having fun doing it.

That's what my reflections have shown me, in a striking black-and-white clarity.  I love having fun.  If I'm having fun, late nights and tendonitis and the strange looks of parents on the soccer field as I balance 300 pages of a manuscript-in-edits on my lap while sitting on the sidelines are all 100% worth it.

If I'm not having fun, well. It's just not worth it.  Pretty simple, right?

So for 2015, I am going to be a rock star. That's going to be me, up there on the amp, head banging and singing my heart out.  I'm having fun for the sheer fun of it. I'm going out with my girls, I'm supporting my tribe, I'm drinking wine, I'm writing the stories that make me feel like Mick Jagger, Beyonce and Taylor Swift all rolled up into one. I'm going on more roadtrips, seeing the ocean, basking in Broadway lights.  And in this, I believe I will find the balance that eluded me in 2015.

That said, I'm SO FREAKING EXCITED about some of the projects that are in the works and/or germinating right now. I wish I could tell you all about them, but until I get official go-aheads, please follow me on social media, or sign up for my newsletter so you can get the updates for 2016.  

I'm wishing all of you a very balanced and fun 2016.

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P.S. Have you checked out RUSHING TO DIE yet? It came out this week!

A MONTH. AWAY.

Yes, you heard me.  SISTERHOOD IS DEADLY, the first Sorority Sisters Mystery, ever, in the history of the world, will be released unto mankind A MONTH FROM TODAY. Can you feel it?  The trembling excitement that readers everywhere are hearing about?

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And no, authors don't exaggerate AT ALL about their books.

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Everyone says self-promotion is super awkward and difficult and I agree. I'm not going to spend everyday tweeting and posting about this book because once it's released, it's kind of out of my hands.  A really good friend of mine recently came clean and apologized for not reading KNOW WHEN TO HOLD HIM yet. And I just laughed and said, "It's okay" and something like, "I don't care if you do or not."

She's never looked that shocked by me before.  And I've shared deep, dark, secrets with this woman, like how I was thisclose to getting a Grateful Dead dancing bear tattoo when I was eighteen.

I tried to explain, and I'm still not sure I was successful, that when I say "I don't care if she reads it" it's because I know she's a super busy high powered executive and involved mom of three active kids.  She barely has time to return texts but I know this person has my back 100% and is a huge cheerleader for me and always has been.  Her love and support are what's important to me.  That's what keeps me going.

I recently wrote the dedication to SISTERHOOD IS DEADLY and I knew exactly who I wanted to dedicate this book to: Women everywhere who share their light with others and shine brighter for it.

Because in the past six months, I've learned a great deal about support - from other women, other writers, from friends, from maybe-enemies.  Support that comes from unexpected corners and support that never materializes from those you relied on.  The message has been reinforced from other things I've been reading, like an article about how women need to stop criticizing each other and play bigger.  This older piece on Shine Theory was particularly eye-opening for me, especially this quote:

When you meet a woman who is intimidatingly witty, stylish, beautiful, and professionally accomplished, befriend her.Surrounding yourself with the best people doesn’t make you look worse by comparison. It makes you better.

 

Publishing is an extremely tough business, maybe even cutthroat, but it's also filled with women who build each other up, believing and living the above mantra.  I've benefited tremendously from the support of many amazing women and I hope to give back twice as much.

This is, probably not uncoincidentally (that's a word, right?), the philosophy of Margot Blythe, the protagonist of the Sorority Sisters Mysteries.  Whatever you think about Margot (after you've read the book, at 12:01 am on July 7, 2015, of course) know that she only wants everyone to succeed (except for that trashy sorority chapter - you know the one.)

So yeah.  I'm really excited about what's to come.  SISTERHOOD is a beautiful culmination of so many positive experiences that just having it published is pretty damn good. But it will also feel pretty good when y'all buy it.

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