It's us! The Denny's Chicks! And we're actually at Denny's! Waiting for our breakfast. From left to right: Kathy, me, Kelly, Sandy. You have to admit we are probably the best part of the decor!
Last, but certainly not least, I'd like you to meet KELLY HAYES. Kelly is EXTREMELY well read. If she hasn't actually read a book you mention, she'll know the premise. It's pretty much impossible to stump her. She could make a lot of money on Jeopardy. Alex Trebek would be totally smitten with Kelly and her dry sense of humor. With bottles of his Pinot Noir, he'd try to bribe her to be Writer in Residence at his Napa Valley Vineyards. "No, no, no!" Kelly would cry. "I can't move north and leave my Denny's Chicks!" (Not to mention that she's also happily married.)
The tres tres humorous interjections in blue are mine (i.e. Barrie's)
My name is Kelly Hayes and I met Barrie several years ago at an RWA-San Diego meeting. Shortly thereafter we attended an RWA plotting bootcamp where Barrie and I shared a hotel room and partnered with Kathy Krevat for the whole session. We shared lots of caffeine and even more maniacal laughter. I still feel sorry for our poor fourth partner who no doubt thought we were insane. That night, Barrie and I plotted into the wee hours and came up with some great stuff. Or so we thought under the influence of too much green tea. (Uh, Kelly, it WAS great stuff!) It was the beginning of a productive, if at times slightly wacky, writing friendship.
Soon Barrie wrangled (translation: gently persuaded) Kathy into forming a critiue group with us and Kathy in turn wrangled (translation: well, actually, "wrangled" pretty much covers it!) Sandy. We started meeting at Denny's and the rest is history.
I started writing about nine years ago when I was still living in London (my husband's a Limey). I chose historical romance because I thought it'd be fun to write. And it was, for years. But in the last year or so I've branched out a bit and tried my hand at YA fiction. Yes, Barrie has been a big influence in that respect. Her talent for coersion is quite impressive. (Nix "coersion." Replace with "gentle persuasion.") I had an idea for a near-future sci-fi which somehow, after telling her about it, turned into a YA. But I'm grateful because it was a lot of fun to write something totally different. I'm still revising it and plan to send it out to several agents very soon. (And a smart cookie of an agent will snap it up!)
I work at a local library where I run the library book club. So I spend a lot of time talking about books.
Uh, Kelly, you forgot to mention how INCREDIBLY ARTISTIC YOU ARE! Below is a card Kelly CREATED for me. It's got all sorts of elements from I So Don't Do Mysteries.
Isn't this card just amazingly creative? The letters are hard to read due to my lousy photography, but it reads, Fearless Rhino Warrior
And here it is again next to a $1 bill, just to give you some perspective.
Besides being super artistic, Kelly's an excellent baker, reviews our manuscripts with a fine eye, has a delightful understated sense of humor and is always on time! Can you say EXCELLENT critique partner.
And, uh, no, you can't have her.