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A Visit with Emma Holly and Susan Elizabeth Phillips

August 20, 2005 by in category Blogs tagged as with 0 and 0
Home > Writing > Blogs > A Visit with Emma Holly and Susan Elizabeth Phillips


OCC just celebrated “Awesome August!” Here are the details of the day from a Program Director’s POV…

We had Emma Holly visit us in the morning, and this five foot dynamo gave a workshop that made several women start fanning themselves from the sheer HOTNESS of the content. That was a first for me in my time as Program Director and I really enjoyed her tips on sexy writing. She gave us many tips to spice up our scenes and first piece of advice was to “get in touch with our kinks,” so Ladies and Gentlemen…GET BUSY!

Emma kept making me laugh because she’d get the steam level to rising, then she’d pause, glance at us, take a lo-o-o-ng sip of her water…and pick up where she left off. Her comedic timing was dead-on funny. She gave two of her ARCs (advanced release copies) away as door prizes and I don’t know who won them but I certainly hope that one of those people will loan their book to me when they’re done – I don’t know if I can wait until October 4th to find out who did what to who.

The Board of Directors changed tactics and strategies all day…almost as fast as America West changed Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ flight schedule! (Herein, she’ll be referred to as SEP to save typing.) We started lunch thinking we’d see SEP at about 12:30 and by the end of lunchtime, this Program Director was wondering if SEP would EVER get to California. We updated the membership over the next hour – plane is delayed, plane left, etc – until finally the plane arrived and I heaved a sigh of relief. It was the first time I’d ever been happy to have my phone ring in the middle of a meeting.

I spoke with SEP and she told me that “I didn’t even need to introduce her…she’d have her notes in her hand when she stepped out of the car and she’d just run in and start talking” and darned if that isn’t exactly what she did…another first for me in Programs. God she gave the best talk! Diane Pershing told me afterward that she rarely takes notes and SEP had her scribbling away.

We found out that Susan is a “set of the pants” writer, that she has a tremendous fear of the blank page and that it takes her about a year to write each book. She doesn’t take a break in between books. She gave us tips on writing subplots, flashbacks, how to fix scenes and many, many more “million dollar” tips.

If anyone missed getting a handout and would like one, just send a note to us on the Craft Loop or email me privately and I’ll forward it to you. Susan gave me more in 40 minutes of talking that I ever knew was possible. And she told me four times that we were the most organized group that she’d ever seen.

Thanks to everyone on the Board who zigged and zagged with each change to the schedule and to all the OCC members that stayed on site and waited for SEP so we could give her a tremendous welcome!

The last tidbit I wanted to add about August….Susan Elizabeth Phillips told me that OCC members have the best collection of shoes that she’s ever seen. I thought that was pretty amusing and wanted to encourage you all to bring that fancy footwear to Conference next year so you could have a built in conversation opener .

So, August was awesome and I am on to planning the September meeting with Michele Scott and Leanne Banks. Michele’s talk is on “Getting Your Foot in the Door” and Leanne will be talking about “Developing the Relationship Between the Hero and Heroine.” I especially can’t wait for the brainstorming session that Leanne is conducting later in the evening during the guest reception….I hope to see you all volunteering at the September meeting so you can be part of that.

See you next month!

~ Jen Crooks

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