Next Sunday our guest author is none other than NYT Bestseller and RITA winner, Mary Jo Putney! What a treat!
I can credit Mary Jo Putney with helping me forge my love of Regency Romance. The Rake and the Reformer (re-released as The Rake), recommended to me by my friend Helen, was the very first traditional regency I read. I loved that book! (How many times does The Rake and The Reformer appear on lists of favorite historicals?) The Rake and the Reformer began my love affair with the Regency era and sparked my voracious reading of traditional regencies and as many of Mary Jo’s books I could get my hands on.
Mary Jo gave me many wonderful reading experiences. I fell for her Fallen Angel series. Shattered Rainbows first got me interested in Waterloo. And Thunder and Roses had a perfect level of sensuality. I loved the premise of The Bargain and greatly admired The Bride Series, especially The China Bride with its rich recreation of Regency era China.
I could go on and on…
But I was also lucky enough to get to know Mary Jo through Washington Romance Writers. One of my first WRW meetings was a synopsis workshop given by Mary Jo. Mary Jo had invited members to read her latest book (can’t remember which one it was now) ahead of time and to write a synopsis of it for the workshop. Being highly motivated, I came to the meeting with my synopsis, only to discover I was one of two people who had done so.
We were invited to read our synopses to the crowded room. The other member read hers, which turned out to be merely chapter summaries. I read mine and was applauded. Wow. I’d done it right!
(By the way, the member who had done the synopsis all wrong was Catherine Asaro. Catherine, of course, went on to become a super-mega star author of sci fi and fantasy and a Nebula winner.)
Also about this time, I read Mary Jo’s essay “Welcome to the Dark Side” in Dangerous Men Adventurous Women, an early (1992) defense of the Romance genre, another “Aha!” moment about how to craft a Romance hero.
It took me awhile to gain the courage to write a Regency Historical, to aspire to join the likes of Mary Jo. Gasp! But try I did. I had a chance to discuss an early draft with Mary Jo at a Washington Romance Writers Retreat. I remember it so clearly, standing in the lobby of Hilltop House with Mary Jo and then editor Gail Fortune, explaining my story. Mary Jo gave me some excellent advice, which I took wholeheartedly, but mostly her interest helped me to persevere with the book—which eventually became The Mysterious Miss M.
Recently, of course, Mary Jo invited us to discuss The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor on the Word Wenches Blog, which was great exposure for the book.
And yesterday Mary Jo let me know that The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor was reviewed in The Baltimore Sun.
So, really, look what it has done for my writing life to have a Mary Jo Putney in it!
I’m delighted we at Risky Regencies can help get out the word about Mary Jo’s latest book, Loving a Lost Lord, her return to the Regency era (Yay!). Come back next Sunday July 13 to read her interview and comment for a chance to win a copy of Loving a Lost Lord.
What is your favorite Mary Jo Putney book?
Do you have a favorite Mary Jo Putney moment?
Hooray! A new Mary Jo Putney book! Both my mom and I are rejoicing in the bookstore aisles!
Thanks for sharing such a nice story, Diane. This is why I love the Romance community. There is so much love and support everywhere you go.
I will be ordering jer new book this week. I am embrassed to say I have not read her books.
I first read Mary Jo Putney’s The Bartered Bride, then plunged into her other books. My favorite has to be Shattered Rainbows, which is unforgettable and a great history lesson about Waterloo.
I downloaded the free Kindle edition of Loving a Lost Lord and will be reading it soon. I’m so glad she’s returned to historicals.
Also, thanks for the little story about getting advice on what turned out to be The Mysterious Miss M, another book that I love.
jcp, you have a treat in store for you!!
Deb, that’s why I love the Romance Community, too!
Karen, FREE kindle edition???? I missed it, but I ordered my copy for my Kindle. Love the Kindle! Thanks for your kind words about The Mysterious Miss M.
Okay, everyone should have a Mary Jo Putney AND a Diane Gaston in their life. I’m glad you persevered, and you really know how to pay it forward!
PS have heard a rumor about a waterproof Kindle. Is it true?
My friend Mary (God bless her) recommended The Rake, and I loved it! The characters were so delightfully real and wonderfully imperfect.
My first was One Perfect Rose, and just loved it. 🙂 The ones I have, I still have one or two that I haven’t read because I haven’t been able to complete the Fallen Angel series yet, they need to rerelease those already! 🙂 Can’t wait to get the new one!
Janegeorge, you are so nice! I haven’t heard about a waterproof Kindle but there are waterproof covers you can spend money on. Colleen Gleason just puts hers in a ziplock freezer bag to read in the bathtub.
Judy, being a MJP purist, I liked The Rake and the Reformer better than The Rake; it had just a tad more Regency feel to it.
Lois, did you buy One Perfect Rose in that small hardback version? I remember the publisher experimented with a different binding, a bit larger than a paperback with a board cover.
Thanks for the neat Mary Jo Putney anecdotes, Diane! (And you threw in a bonus Catherine Asaro anecdote – jackpot!)
Cara!!!!!!! So glad to hear from you. MJP and Catherine Asaro, of course you’d perk up your ears!
I love Mary Jo Putney’s books. Have my copy of Loving a Lost Lord on my TBR stack!
Of course The Rake is a BIG favorite, but then so is The China Bride.
And I agree, Jane, everyone should have a Mary Jo Putney and the Divine Diane Gaston in their life!
Come to think of it, Diane, I expect it’s not a coincidence that the only two writers at that synopsis workshop who bothered to “do their homework” both ended up with great careers. From what I’ve seen, it’s usually those willing to put in the hard work who make it in this biz….
Food for thought! (Which also reminds me I should go work on my book!) 🙂
Yeah, Cara, but Catherine broke in so much earlier and is such a success. Thank you for thinking there is some equality there!
(get to writing!!!!)
I Remember being in a group with historical romance readers. I found many new authors I haven’t read and they had a monthly book pick and discussion and they picked THE WILD CHILD by Mary Jo Putney. Gosh, I cried, I was joyous and so much emotionally with that read. It was the discovery of Mary Jo’s writing voice that so attached me to her stories. I went on and read that whole trilogy (THE CHINA BRIDE and THE BARTERED BRIDE). I had that from the library and some day especially want to get THE WILD CHILD to re-read. I’ve too read some beautiful reads in Anthologies including the fantasy ones! Checking out her site now, I know I shall be finding more of hers at the library and savoring that voice again. I’m so looking forward to chatting with her!
Upon checking out her website I would love to read her Circle of Friends series; this sounds right up my alley and to my liking. Friends who go separate ways and stay connected. Awesome!!
Caffey, isn’t it remarkable how a MJP book can just capture you! I liked The Wild Child but it was the Rake and the Reformer that did it for me.
robynl, way to go! The Circle of FRiends series was Mary Jo’s contemporary series. I’m hoping she’ll tell us about her journey from the Regency and back again!
I shall get RAKE AND REFORMER! I didn’t read that one yet! So now I know what to read next of hers! Thanks!
Mary Jo Putney is one of my absolute favorite authors. Her storylines, characters and setting are among some of the best. I can’t wait to read her new one!