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Take a Chance

Taking chances is never easy and they don’t always pan out, but when they do amazing things can happen.  

Years ago—I think in 2003 or 2004—I was checking in at the Malice hotel. Something was screwed up with my reservation and the woman next to me was also having a problem. While the hotel staff was trying to sort things out we struck up a conversation. It turned out the woman was agent Meg Ruley. I told her about my book, Diamond Solitaire. She told me to send it to her. I walked on air the rest of the weekend. I sent off the manuscript when I got home. Since none of you have ever heard of Diamond Solitaire, you guessed correctly that I got a rejection letter. Deservedly so I must add, but I’m always happy I had that opportunity.

Tori Eldridge’s second book in her Lily Wong series, The Ninja’s Blade, just came out on Tuesday. I met Tori when she stopped me in the hall at Bouchercon in Dallas last year. It was the day I turned over the presidency of Sisters in Crime to Lori Rader-Day. Tori introduced herself, handed me her card, told me a quick bit about her first book, The Ninja’s Daughter, and thanked me for my work with Sisters in Crime.

When I returned home I stuck her card on my desk and glanced at it frequently. One day I decided it was time to buy the book and I loved it. It’s not a cozy, but if you don’t mind something a little darker, I highly recommend The Ninja’s Daughter. Something about that interaction—that Tori took the time to introduce herself—has always impressed me. And I have a wonderful new series to read.

I’ve walked into many meetings and conferences alone over the years and it is never easy. A scary moment for me was when I went to my first meeting of the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime. We’d moved from Massachusetts back to Virginia. I loved belonging to the New England Chapter of Sisters in Crime and I wasn’t quite sure the new chapter would measure up.

As I walked down the sidewalk I met a couple, Kathryn O’Sullivan and her husband Paul, who were also going to the meeting for the first time. Who knew that down the road Kathryn and I would be on panels and do book events together?! Once I was in the room where the meeting was held, I suddenly felt like I had twelve heads. Fortunately, the Chessie members came to my rescue. Barb Goffman, who is usually an introvert, introduced herself, as did others. What a great support system the Chessie members have become. I’ve meet so many wonderful authors and read so many great books because of attending that meeting.

Readers: Do you take chances? How have they turned out?

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