Susan Elizabeth Phillips Is a Goddess

Have I ever mentioned how important it is to have good writing friends?

I was working on the latest draft of Nita this morning (you all haven’t seen this one), thinking “This will never work,” and SEP e-mailed me about something, and I told her that I was worried because my heroine was drunk in the first scene, and she wrote back “Drunk heroines are fantastic! They get in all kinds of trouble that way. And you know how much I love heroines in trouble. . . . I swear to God I’m going to get on a plane and pull that frickin’ next book out of your head! Be afraid.”

So I sent her the first scene to show her I was writing and got this back:

“OH SHIT!!!!! This is absolutely the best thing you have ever written!!!! Ohmygod, I want to KILL you!!! Get out of your frickin’ head and just keep writing. I can not even remember the last time I burst out loud laughing when I read anything! And it happened more than once! This is absolutely killer. You could put this out exactly as it is right now and readers would go nuts. Yes, you absolutely could. It’s that damn good.

“Remember… Every scene doesn’t have to be this frickin’ magical. As a matter of fact, every scene shouldn’t be. If they were all like this the reader would be exhausted and scenes like this would lose their magic. Give us some breathing room, for God’s sake.”

I love Susan Elizabeth Phillips. She is a good true friend and a great cheerleader, too.

And now I’m going back to writing Nita. I started over on the first scene, so I’ll put it up later this week so you can see how disorganized I am. Remember it’s a process, so the fact that I trash-canned the first scene I’d been writing for months is just part of that.

Also, I love Susan Elizabeth Phillips.


33 thoughts on “Susan Elizabeth Phillips Is a Goddess

  1. Where do I send SEP some tix money to facilitate the pulling the book out of your head plan? 😀

  2. I love this=> “Remember… Every scene doesn’t have to be this frickin’ magical. As a matter of fact, every scene shouldn’t be. If they were all like this the reader would be exhausted and scenes like this would lose their magic.”

  3. Woah. Deja vu.

    It feels like there should be “part 7” attached to the end of that title.

    Ah well. Yay that you’ve been told to get out of your own way. The epic question would be “WHY do we get in our own way?!”

    Maybe there’s a questionable in there?

  4. Thank God you’re willing to listen to her because WE’VE been telling you that for months.

    I’m willing to chip in on that plane ticket.

    1. LOL. It wasn’t that part that got me. I was feeling very uncertain this morning and the praise up top got to me.
      Also, you haven’t seen this scene, it’s all brand new. So this was first feedback.
      You’re all probably so tired of Nita in the rain jawing at people that the new scene will just be “Yeah, yeah, yeah.”

      1. Do you have ANY idea how often we reread your books? To be able to reread a scene that you’re writing that keeps changing, getting better, and isn’t published, well, we’re honored and anxiously waiting.

        I think we send the money to someplace in Illinois to SEP.

        1. Yeah, really, about the only books I have (other than Jane Austen) which are so well-read that they are held together by rubberbands are Crusies.


          And count me in for SEP bribe money!

          1. Same, except mine was Agnes and the Hitman. For about the 100th time.

            I’m in for the plane ticket.

  5. I want you and Susan Elizabeth Phillips for my friends. You two are lucky to have each other to cheer each other on and to have someone to blame for throwing rolls at Rod Stewart. Wait…I may have that story confused. 😉 haha.

  6. Wait. Was it SEP who was signing Bob’s leg cast at the writers conference in Maui or was it Elizabeth George? I vaguely remember the story involved drinks with umbrellas in them and Bob having a thigh high leg cast.

    1. I don’t remember Bob being in a cast, and I’d have been carrying the luggage if he was.
      It’s entirely possible women were signing Bob’s leg. I do remember one signing his inner thigh, although I cannot for the life of me think why people were signing his leg, no cast. We all drank a lot in Maui, that might have had an impact.
      SEP wasn’t in that group. Elizabeth George would undoubtedly have signed Bob’s leg; they’re buddies. Susan Wiggs. Karen Joy Fowler. There were a lot of us there.

      1. Funny, especially since SEP’s first scene in her latest involves a woman signing the male protag’s thigh. har har.

  7. Oh, PLEASE listen to her!!! It’s never perfect. I will contribute to her plane ticket. We all want your book so much!
    I did use the Queen Susan pic and I credited it to you with a link to your post.

    PS The Unnamed major TV show shoot was awesome!!!! We shot all Friday night. My makeup took two hours and it’s brilliant. Hair and costume another hour and equally brilliant. Waiting for my episodes to air is going to feel very long. I want to post pictures and of course I can’t.

  8. I’m just a bit nervous that continuing to show us your rewrites may interrupt your flow. Please don’t risk that.

    1. That’s so sweet, that you think I have a flow. It’s more of a stagger with occasional mad dashes.

  9. Well, I must the only person on the planet who didn’t know who SEP was, but this community seems to know a thing or two so I gave the first chapter of her new book a go on Amazon and adored it and ordered it, then went to my local library to see if there was something I could read while I waited. The only thing on the shelf was “Heroes Are My Weakness” and despite my initial skepticism that a book about a ventriloquist could be endearing, I started it at noon, was finished by midnight. Sweet and funny and smart.

  10. She’s a cheerleader with cuss words. Ha ha. I adore you and I adore SEP. Great to have her telling you how wonderful you are, because you never believe us. Take her advice, please. I just finished her new book, it was highly entertaining.

    1. I love stories of your friendship with her and other writers. So good that she can encourage you and you can HEAR her. Everybody appreciates that kind of thing.
      BTW finished her new book and it was so excellent I started the whole Chicago Stars series over again. Binge reading is so much more fun than binge tv watching.
      Even though your wip book is a departure, Nita is a heroine I love already, drunk or sober.

  11. Revealing that you characterize that scene as Nita in the rain jawing at people. So. Much. More. If I use “frickin’,” will you promise to stop lurching, staggering and dashing and get out of your own way? I don’t care if you publish here or with SMP – although they and Mollie probably do – I just wanna READ a new CRUSIE. Thank you, thank you very much.

  12. I have enjoyed many books by SEP. In retrospect, I am disturbed by the scene in each book where the heroine is totally humiliated.

    1. I don’t think it’s humiliation (not sure if it’s in every book) as it is part of the classic going-to-hell trope, where the protagonist is brought to her knees (or his knees) in order to rise again reborn. I definitely remember that happening to the hero in Heaven, Texas. It’s a really difficult thing to do to a protagonist you love, but you have to throw rocks at your protagonists or they’ll never change.

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