Over two years ago, Shirley Braden of gluten-free easily tweeted a link to me and a friend of hers, Katie Oliver. It was a manifesto by another writer (Thank you for reminding us, Shirley!). Who knew we would be sitting with each other in Shirley’s dining room two years later?
I checked out Katie’s blog and the first post I read, The Little Blue Box had me in stitches. I can’t remember laughing so hard at a blog post like I did with that one. Katie writes Romantic Comedy. My experience with reading RomCom was limited to Bridget Jones’s Diary and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding and Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella.
We planned to meet in real life last year when I went to Shirley’s for a retreat with friends. But as real life happens, it will get in the way of what we want for a time. I knew there would be another chance for us to meet.
In the meantime, we did a crossover post: Just Desserts. We placed her characters from The Little Blue Box with my characters J.D. & Ari. Because I write general fiction, I’m more accustomed to witty banter than placing characters into comedic situations. I am now able to think about different scenarios and how they can be turned into bits of comedy. When she sent me what would be the final major draft, before we made some minor tweaks, I almost fell off my chair from uproarious laughter.
Katie’s first three books were published earlier this year: Prada & Prejudice, Love & Liability, and Mansfield Lark. As expected, I laughed hard and tweeted harder. She created wonderful characters that you want to crawl into the book to spend time with them. Even the minor characters. But not the psychos. I recommend staying away from them. They ooze crazy, yo.
When Shirley set the date for this year’s retreat, I told Katie she had to join us even if it meant me driving up to get her myself. She’s the one Twitter friend I make sure to talk to almost daily, even if it’s small talk, and I wanted to give her hugs in person instead of *hugs* on Twitter.
And so we met.
After the initial oh-my-gosh-we’re-sitting-next-to-each-other shock wore off, it was like it always is on Twitter – full of laughter. We commented more than once on how much fun it was without wine involved. Okay, maybe it was how insane we were and we still hadn’t opened the wine. We fleshed out a collaboration we’ve been talking about for months and had to keep getting ourselves back on track, because in person, conversations easily go off on tangents. We’d end a fit of giggles with, “Okay, what are they doing?” or “Where are they going?” or “Why are they doing this?” then snicker about something else two minutes later.
The fun and laughs aside, Katie is a supportive and encouraging friend and I am thankful for Shirley introducing us.
I can’t wait to do it again, unless Katie gets us in trouble with her midday shenanigans first.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.