When I was a teenager, I was kind of weird. I know–shocking. 🙂 I was a serious ballet student, and when I wasn’t at school or in dance class I had my nose in a book. Not much time for the concerns of most other teenaged girls around me; often it felt like I didn’t even speak the same language as everyone else. Then, on a whim, I tried out for a school play and voila–there was my “tribe”! Theater geeks! Suddenly other people were speaking my language, and I wasn’t considered strange anymore. It was okay to be bookish, to love art and history, to quote from “Monty Python” and Shakespeare. I had found a niche.

I feel the same way about Risky Regencies, and my writing friends in general. We speak the same language (usually). Writing (or any of the arts) can be a very tough business, with more ups and downs than most. Business decisions, reviews, contests, etc. can all feel very personal, when directed at our precious, hard-wrought stories. I stick with it because I have to. So many ideas crowd my head that I’m sure my brain will explode if I didn’t get them out there! But I could never keep on with it without my friends, and without fun places like Risky Regencies. It’s been an honor to be part of this for a year, to be associated with with five fabulous authors and great friends, and to have the opportunity to make new friends!

So, thanks to Cara, who I think totally understands the ‘theater geek’ way of life, and has a wonderful flair for punctuation (and asked me–me!–for a cover quote for My Lady Gamester, so obviously has great taste in authors. Ha!). To Elena, a terrific conference roommate and complete sweetheart, who somehow manages to write great books while raising children and dealing with flooded houses and exploding computers. To Janet, who makes me feel like an ill-read rube (even if she insists she’s just a “faker”!” and has a yummy accent, too. To Megan, my sister in Hello Kitty, party dresses, and cocktails (it’s okay that you selfishly keep Clive to yourself, because Orlando is MINE. And Matthew, too!). And to Diane, who once was my roommate for over two weeks on a tour of England, and who never once screamed at me to Just Shut Up Already, as anyone else would have (that’s a pic of us at Stratfield Saye, the country house of the Duke of Wellington).

Here’s to many more Risky (and fun) years!