Friday, April 20, 2012

R is for Robyn... Carr

Back when I was just a young wanna-be (okay, a younger wanna-be), I decided to start telling people was going to write a book. I figured the shame of scores of people asking for updates would help motivate me to actually, yanno, write it.

It worked, sort of. Took a few years, but eventually I finished a whole book. Now I get to tell people I'm looking for an agent and writing another book.

But there was one benefit even greater than that: I got to meet my mentor. And she even had a cool name!

One of my colleagues at work mentioned one day that his best friend growing up had a mother who was a writer. My friend had practically grown up in her house. She was reportedly very nice and would likely respond if I emailed her. So I did. (I think I've mentioned how I'm never shy.)

Robyn Carr emailed me back within a few hours. She was delighted I'd contacted her, told me which of her books to read first, and, a few emails later, started asking me about myself. That was in early 2008. Over the next year, we exchanged literally thousands of emails. Slowly, she taught me details about the industry, such as how royalties are calculated and that it's a good idea to put your first advance into growing your career.

Isn't she gorgeous?
After about a year of exchanging emails, Robyn hit the NYT Bestseller list. She'd been writing for thirty years and had finally found her niche writing about a quirky small town in the Northern California mountains populated by sexy ex-military men, strong and gorgeous women, enough eccentrics to shake a stick at, and a worrisome hidden population of marijuana growers. I love her books. When I'm sick, they're the perfect comfort food. When I'm well, they can soothe the worst day. They make me laugh, they make me cry. Love. Them.

Robyn's been awfully busy writing 3-5 books a year and touring and being all famous and everything, but we still exchange the occasional email, and she's always made me feel like a privileged friend. I can't express how much her friendship has meant to me. We've only had one phone conversation (recorded for posterity on Authors' Advisory), but someday I AM going to meet her in person. That will be a good day.

So who are your writing mentors?


  1. Awww....I feel a little like royalty here! I'm humbled. And proud of you, Robin!

    1. You ARE royalty, here! And your humility just makes you that much cooler.

      Thanks for stopping by and proving that I didn't just make it up! :D

  2. Your mentor sounds awesome. 3-5 books a year? That's James Patterson territory! Do you have any advice for finding a mentor? To be honest, I've had trouble with this. I may reach out to someone, talk once, and then it fizzles out.

    1. I know, right? She's a rock star.

      I completely lucked out with Robyn. The stars aligned, I knew someone she loved, she found me mildly interesting, and voila. Truly, I didn't start out looking to make her my mentor. I just wanted to make a connection with another (albeit much cooler) author. It was sheer kismet that we clicked.

  3. Robyn is the coolest. She's not just a warm, talented writer but she's a kind, loving person who makes you feel cherished even if you're a complete stranger! Love her.

    One of these days, Robin, we should totally meet up in Vegas so we can meet her together. Be afraid, Robyn. Be very afraid ...

    1. So what you're saying is that I'm not all that special? So mean! ;D

      And, yes, we absolutely need to meet up with her. Personally, I'm planning to become famous enough to be on Carr Chat. :)

  4. Hi...I'm hopping over from the A to Z Challenge...lovely blog...good luck with the rest of the challenge...

    Donna L Martin

  5. Oh, so exciting for you Robin. We expect a full report!