Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Lisa: An Angel by Any Other Name?


By L.G.C. Smith

I’ve known Lisa Hughey for fifteen years. We first met at our local RWA chapter meetings. I don’t remember when exactly, only that she was a beautiful young woman with long, long hair, quiet confidence and a quick laugh. Then we served on a chapter board of directors together, and I saw her competence, attention to detail, and sharp mind.

A couple of years later I joined her critique group, and came to appreciate her thirst for knowledge, her love of suspense fiction and her talent for writing a sexy blend of romance, adventure, and espionage that’s impossible to put down. Seriously. Suspense is not my favorite genre but I can’t stop reading Lisa’s books once I start one. I’m not biased or anything. That ten years of reviewing romance, more years than that spent researching the field and teaching in universities, thirty years of reading widely – I couldn’t possibly know what I’m talking about. Nor do I ever listen to my uncle, the market research sensei, or my sister the genius who has propelled her organic stone fruit farm into a nationally known brand name with the highest reputation in her industry. One learns things about marketing and identifying broad appeal. A lot of things.

Lisa’s books have those things. Kick ass characters. Authentic emotion. Gripping tension. HOT love scenes. And all sorts of smart and sneaky spy things. But mostly, it’s the way she puts everything together in fast-paced stories that, lest I wasn’t clear the first time, are impossible to put down.

To any editors who might stumble across our little blog – you want this woman in your publishing program. Readers are going to snap her books up like bears scooping up spawning salmon. She’s already got a fabulous agent behind her. Lisa is the real deal as a commercial writer. Mark my words: She’s headed for the bestseller lists.

However, Lisa’s writing isn’t her greatest gift. That distinction belongs to her spirit and the astounding capacity of her heart. She cares deeply about many, many people, and she does things every day that show it. If someone is late to a meeting or event, Lisa is taking note and phoning or texting them to make sure all is well. In times of stress, she checks in, letting us know she’s thinking of us. If Lisa knows you, even if she might not like you, she’s going to care about your well-being and wish you well.

She’s good to the bone, which doesn’t mean she’s a Pollyanna or a sap. Oh, no. She’s got too pithy a vocabulary for that, and too sharp a wit. But she would instantly give you anything she possessed if she thought it would make your life a little easier. She’s willing to hold her friends accountable for taking care of themselves and managing their writing careers. That last takes a lot of belief in those of us who may, at times, have shown tendencies to commit heedless career hari-kari.

Lisa is possibly the sanest person I know. She has a strong marriage (if it isn’t perfect, it’s what I hope for all the children I love when they grow up) and a wonderful family. She tends things well. Herself. Her home. Her family. Her friends. Her career. Watching her, I’ve learned how to be kinder and wiser in tending the things I love.

Most of all, Lisa loves with her whole heart. Unstintingly. All in. With deep compassion and inborn wisdom. This is a gift of the highest order, one that makes angels weep with joy, if there are angels. Looking at Lisa, one might be tempted to make a case for angels living in our midst.


Sophie Littlefield said...

Lisa is indeed all these things and more...i laughed when I got to the part about "even if she might not like you" - - I think it's true that lisa has the cleanest karma of anyone I know. She's a true practitioner of "just letting it go" and has been my mentor for that. Returns are coming, we all just know it to be true; when the universe starts handing out thank-you cards, Lisa's going to be deluged!!

Martha Flynn said...

She really is this wonderful, isn't it crazy?? And she ALWAYS checks up on us like a cutie mother hen. (Is there an Ocean's 11 equiv of this, Adrienne?)

Lisa Hughey said...

Oh, this is really sweet. Got a little teary start to my morning :) Thank you!!

Mysti said...

All in! I love that description of Lisa!!!!

Rachael Herron said...

I love this. You hit every point I think of when I think of Lisa and more. Perfect. She really is that amazing.

Juliet Blackwell said...

yes yes yes!!! I thought I might find out something nasty about her when we roomed together at Bouchercon, but no. Sweet-tempered and caring and fun all the way through...despite the shenanigans going on around her ;-)

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